Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sketches of German Homicidal Gas Vans

So far, there are eight witnesses known to have produced drawings of homicidal German gas vans or parts therof. A sketch of a gas van operating in Minsk made by the Wehrmacht soldier Erich W. on 18 September 1962 for West-German investigators can be examined only in the Niedersächsische Hauptstaatsarchiv, NDS. 721 Hannover Acc. 97/99 Nr.10/28, p. 191. The remaining seven drawings are reproduced in this posting. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rebuttal of Alvarez of Gas Vans: The West-German Trials Against Members of Einsatzkommando 8

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo


The West-German investigations and trials yielded more than two hundreds of testimonies on the German homicidal gas vans, mostly of former members of the German paramilitary and military forces (Wehrmacht, Security Service, Security Police and Ordinary Police). This massive amount of evidence from perpetrators, accomplices and pro-German bystanders obtained by numerous West-German police officers, public prosecutors and judges in a constitutional democracy over many years poses arguably one of the biggest problems for Holocaust denial encountering the reality of the Nazi gas vans.

In his book The Gas Vans the denier Santiago Alvarez failed to explain and neutralize this evidence. His "analysis" of the West-German investigations is limited to the trial judgements as published in the Justiz and NS-Verbrechen volumes, i.e. he did not research the actual pre-trial investigation and trial files, which is only the first shortcoming of his contribution. According to him, this material is "currently difficult, if not impossible, to access by critical researchers due to German censorship laws" (Alvarez, The Gas Vans, p. 12). This explanation sounds like a lame excuse for not performing crucial archival research on the subject. As a matter of fact, "Santiago Alvarez" was a completely unknown quantity prior the publication of his book in 2011 and there is no evidence it is a pseudonym of a prominent person, who should be known to the Bundesarchiv and the various Landesarchive staff. Most importantly, Alvarez did not even attempt to request the files to test if he could gain access to them  (else he would have certainly reported such). It is therefore obvious that there was never any serious intention to examine the West-German trial files (or any others, for that matter).

A point for point rebuttal of all his sections on the trials is beyond what can be managed in this series in terms of space and probably also patience of the readers, but that's not even necessary given that the omnipresent, systematic flaws penetrating his writing can be demonstrated in case studies. This was previously done by Roberto in "Alvarez" and Marais lie about the judgment LG München I vom 14.07.1972, 114 Ks 4/70  and by myself in Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Ford Gas Wagon. The following will further look at his fail on the West-German trials against former members of Einsatzkommando 8 of Einsatzgruppe B, which operated a gas van in Mogilev in Belorussia.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Contemporary Diary of Swiss Doctor Robert Hegglin on Mass Shootings of Jews in Latvia

The following is taken from the contemporary diary of the Swiss internist and cardiologist Robert Hegglin, who took part in a humanitarian mission of the Swiss Red Cross in Riga, Daugavpils and ­Pskov in June - September 1942 and learnt from "German soldiers, officers and Latvians...that 100,000 Jews have been shot in the Riga area since the German occupation".

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Is The French Holocaust Denier Thierry Gosselin As Dense As a Black Hole?

A French anti-denier who goes by the nickname "Max Ou" has written a short post on his interactions with the French Youtube-based denier Thierry Gosselin.

He calls attention to a video in which Gosselin denies the authenticity of the Becker letter (which, by the way, is authentic without question) on the basis of the SS-rune being used in it.

Apparently Gosselin was unaware of the basic well-known fact that many Nazi typewriters had this double rune as an extra key. Need I say more?

Gosselin even promised 1000€ to anyone who could provide evidence of such a typewriter, and upon being showered with evidence deleted the comments, then deleted the video and reuploaded it without the parts which show him to be an imbecilic ignoramus.

Max Ou saved the relevant part of the clip though:

Needless to say, the denier scammer never paid out the promised 1000€ and even claimed that the photos of the German typewriters with the SS rune were made in Hollywood.

I'll just quote Max Ou's summary, to which I have nothing to add:
Anyone familiar with the contemporary documentation knows that there are many examples of "SS" typed in this way. It is common knowledge that the Nazis made typewriters with this special character. Obviously Thierry Gosselin denies the Holocaust without having the slightest notion about the documents of that time and about the Nazi regime. Below I provide a link to high quality photographs of such a typewriter... (which of course strike down all the beautiful "demonstrations" of Gosselin). It is interesting to note that all the "arguments" of Thierry Gosselin, highly technical, elaborate, "scientific" (including technical drawings, AutoCAD measures - no less) on all aspects that allow him to conclude that this and other documents are "fake", are made with the same assurance. This speaks volumes about their real value. All this is only bluff camouflaging gross incompetence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Holocaust Handbooks" Updating Policy - Cosmetic Changes and Recycling Instead of Engaging With Critique

The denier site has repeatedly released "corrected" and "expanded" editions of their "Holocaust Handbooks Series", most recently Carlo Mattogno's book Auschwitz: Open Air Incinerations. Upon scrolling through the pdf, the most important "correction" seems to be the replacement of "official" by "orthodox" and "cremation" by "incineration". Aside this, three articles have been attached at the end. One might think that these additions constitute new researched material, but they are merely rehashed articles previously published in 2003 (1998 in German), 2003 and 2015 (2004 in German). 

As usual, the new edition of the book entirely refrains from engaging with its critique, most notable my blog posts The Photograph of the Crematorium Site Undressing Scene in Auschwitz-Birkenau (re: section 7.2), The Auschwitz Open Air Incineration Photographs as Evidence for Mass Extermination (re: section 10,11) and Auschwitz Labour Force Reports as Evidence of Sinister Activity at the Crematoria (re: section 12). It is, by the way, also noteworthy that the latter seems to have contributed at least something to the evolution of the former denier going after the name theblackrabbitofinlé to acknowledge Nazi mass extermination. This loss is particular bad for Holocaust denial as he was one of the few - if not the only one - still active in actual archival research.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Just Memo

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo

The Document

On 5 June 1942, the member of the Security Police motor pool Willy Just set up a memo for Walther Rauff, the head of RSHA department II D on Technical Matters, to "decide" on "technical modifications on the special vehicles in operation and under construction". The memo does not explicitly name the purpose of these "special vehicles", but the description is clear enough that it is talking about homicidal gas vans. It explains that about "97,000 have been processed with three vehicles in use" at one place, about "a rapid distribution of carbon monoxide" and that "the load pushes hard against the door" inside the vehicles. The memo also mentions that such vehicle was involved in an "explosion in Chelmno".

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mattogno's Falsehoods on the Rauff Letter to the Criminal Technical Institute

As shown in Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans Part V: The Rauff Letter to the Criminal Technical Institute (update) (2nd update) (3rd update), Alvarez has performed the epic fail to claim that "formally seen, almost everything about this letter is wrong" on a clearly formally authentic document corroborating German homicidal gas vans. In his book Inside the Gas Chambers, Carlo Mattogno has hailed Alvarez' display of his complete ignorance and misunderstanding of RSHA documents as "critical analysis". He further did not want to miss the opportunity to contribute some of his own ignorance to the argument, so here we go.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Contemporary German Documents on Carbon Monoxide Gas and Bottles Employed for the Nazi Euthanasia

The following is a compilation of German documents on the existence, use, filling and delivery of carbon monoxide gas bottles in the context of the Nazi Euthanasia.

1.) Film script for an Euthanasia documentary of 29 October 1942 by Hermann Schwenninger on "[i]n a hermetically sealed room the patient is exposed to the effects of carbon monoxide gas".

2.) Letter from the IG Farbenindustrie to the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police of 17 December 1943 on returning "carbon monoxide steel bottles".

3.) Letter from the IG Farbenindustrie to the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police of 18 January 1944 on returning "carbon monoxide bottles".

4.) Letter from Albert Widmann of the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police to Werner Blankenburg of Hitler's Chancellery of 5 February 1944 on sending superfluous "steel bottles" to the IG Farbenindustrie.

5.) Letter from Albert Widmann of the Criminal Technical Institute to Werner Blankenburg of Hitler's Chancellery of 9 February 1944 on "bottles" from the IG Farbenindustrie.

6.) Letter from Friedrich Lorent to Albert Widmann of 19 April 1944 on "15 fillings of bottles with CO".

7.) Letter from Friedrich Lorent to Richard von Hegener of 19 April 1944 on "60 once-used seamless empty steel bottles for carbon monoxide".

8.) Letter from the IG Farbenindustrie to the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police of 26 April 1944 on shipping "60 carbon monoxide bottles (used once)".

9.) Telex from Albert Widmann to the Criminal Police Linz of 2? April 1944 informing Friedrich Lorent on "filling of 15 steel bottles in Ludwigshafen". 

10.) Letter from Helmut Kallmeyer of the Criminal Technical Institute to the IG Farbenindustrie of 2 May 1944 on "filling of 15 bottles with carbon monoxide".

11.) Letter from the IG Farbenindustrie to the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police of 20 May 1944 on "60 seamless steel bottles 40 liters content...for carbon monoxide".

12) Letter from Albert Widmann to Friedrich Lorent of 26 May 1944 on a letter from the IG Farbenindustrie on "60 used carbon monoxide steel bottles".

13.) Letter from Friedrich Lorent to Albert Widmann of 9 December 1944 on "51 steel bottles for CO".

14.) Letter from Friedrich Lorent to Albert Widmann of 11 December 1944 on "53 seamless steel bottles...for carbon monoxide".

15.) Letter from Albert Widmann to the IG Farbenindustrie of 18 December 1944 on "53 seamless steel bottles...for carbon monoxide".

16.) Letter from Albert Widmann to Friedrich Lorent of 3 January 1945 on "51 steel bottles for CO announced".

Friday, October 07, 2016

3rd Update on Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Rauff Letter to the Criminal Technical Institute

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo

It may appear like beating a dead horse when I'm still updating this post with further material refuting the already discredited Revisionist forgery hypothesis on the Rauff letter to the Criminal Technical Institute, but this is one is too good not to share it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Auschwitz Museum's instant factchecking of a "gas chamber survival" story

The gas chamber survival stories seem to appear more often in the press lately. All such stories are a priori improbable, and thus require stronger evidence to accept them than an uncorroborated testimony.

If it is claimed that the people were driven into some sort of a room, and simply left there, with a survivor speculating that the Nazis were out of gas or the chamber malfunctioned, then the people would have probably been gassed in another gas chamber or on the next day, not simply sent to work (especially in the light of the fact that it was, as a rule, Jews unable to work who were selected for the gas chambers).

If the story is that the people were driven into a room and the gas was let in, but some person survived and was left alive, this is an even less probable variation. While certain accounts tell of a few individuals barely surviving the gassings, they were inevitably killed by the Nazis afterwards.

The origin of the stories is not hard to explain. Confused, frightened people who had probably heard certain rumors are crowded into a shower room and expect the worst. Maybe something happens:  they're left there for the night or the water doesn't come from the showers and they interpret it as surviving a gas chamber - or somebody misinforms them afterwards that they had been in a gas chamber. And they believe it. It's an honestly misinterpreted experience. These people are not liars despite the fact that their testimony is not accurate.

Sometimes false memory must be at play - like in the case of the stories where the gas was let in (sometimes in a way which we know was not actually used). Research shows that false memories are relatively easily constructed. It is no wonder that it would happen to some survivors under conditions of stress and uncertainty. Memories of the actual unpleasant experiences in unfamiliar shower rooms would combine in their heads with extraneous information (rumors, nightmares) to create memories of failed gassings, sometimes pretty vivid ones (if demonstrably inaccurate).

(This, by the way, is different from the testimonies of  inmates who actually worked in the gas chambers. The unreliable witnesses we're discussing testify about momentous, one-off events. Whereas the actual witnesses from the Sonderkommando had to work there for months, in some cases years, and the chances of misinterpretation were nil.)

Unfortunately journalists who print these stories are mostly doing it uncritically (self-selection might be at work - if you publish an old survivor's story, you usually don't do it to criticize it, so the articles that do get written and/or published are uncritical). Case in point is the latest such piece published on Oct. 4 on an Australian news site: "Miracle that saved girl from Auschwitz gas chamber":
Yvonne’s hair was shaved and she was forced to strip naked.
Yet Despite Mengele’s decision, Yvonne was ushered into what appeared to be a gas chamber, a simple room filled with what appeared to be shower heads.
“We were forced to strip, our hair was shaven and then — to this day I’m still not really sure what was happened.
“I had no idea what it was — I was in such a state of shock, I didn’t think anything. I was shaking with fear so much so that I was too afraid to even cry.”
Locked in the room in darkness with naked strangers all around her, they waited. Afraid.
Nothing happened.
“The gas chamber must have malfunctioned,” she reasons.
“In the morning we were marched out and then put to work.”
There is of course nothing in this story to suggest it was a gas chamber rather than a normal shower room. Yvonne Engelmann is an honest but confused witness. Yet the author, Paul Ewart, simply accepts her interpretation without question. Certainly not what a responsible journalist (or a historian) should do.

But this time something interesting happened: the Auschwitz Museum factchecked the article on the spot, on Twitter!

And to his credit, Paul Ewart (or his editor) included this tweet in the article (although the text remained unchanged).

If more such factchecking by authoritative institutions is forthcoming in the future, Holocaust deniers, who, like parasites, cling onto such stories, will have no ground to stand on.

Friday, September 30, 2016

2nd Update on Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: Why the Diesel Issue is Still Irrelevant

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo

Three further additions on gasoline engines in the Saurer or other gas vans showing that the "Diesel issue" is just irrelevant

Zenon Rossa, car mechanic at the Kraft company in Kolo:
"The engine was a 6-cylinder from the company Saurer, on gasoline [benzyne]."
(interrogation of 15 June 1945, Archiwum Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej GK 165/271, tom I, p. 43)

Rudolf Sch., Einsatzkommando 11b:
"The gas van was a 3.5 or 5 tons truck with a gasoline engine [Benzinmotor]."
(interrogation of 23 July 1962, Bundesarchiv, B162/1053, p. 1226)

Friedrich Pr., head of the motor pool department of the Security Police:
"The first vehicles were 5 Saurer from Hauptsturmführer Ga., the other 10 Saurer vehicles came from Bal. [...] I still remember that Ju. once asked asked me what should happen with these vehicles. I replied that the vehicles are not suitable for service in Russia, at most they could be used in Germany; but this could pose problems, because these gasoline vehicles [Benzinfahrzeuge] had a volume of 5 liters."
(interrogation of 26 September 1961, Niedersächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, NDS. 721 Hannover Acc. 97/99 Nr.10/13, p. 4)

Monday, September 26, 2016

The tree-hanging photo was not a fake after all...

For years I thought that the famous tree-hanging photo from Buchenwald was a fake. That is, a propaganda photo (or a montage) that was specifically made in order to deceive.

I based this on an article by Wolfgang Ayaß and Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar "Mit Argumenten gegen die Holocaust-Leugnung" in Polis №19, the relevant part of which was based on Herbert Obenaus, "Das Foto vom Baumhängen - ein Bild geht um die Welt", in Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief, №68.

According to these authors the photo was staged by DEFA. But as someone has pointed out, there is now a newer piece of research that establishes the actual origin of the photo. It's Holm Kirsten, "Das Fotoarchiv der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald", Archive in Thüringen, Tagungsband 2010, S.22ff. Kirsten writes that it has recently become possible to find out the name of the photographer - it was the former inmate Willem Hoogwerf from the Netherlands who made the photos with a camera that was a present from an American solider. This and a couple of other similar photos were made between 15 and 26 April 1945. The original description of the photo was found:
Reconstruction of one of the "light punishments". The SS man was forced by the Americans to cooperate. Later the SS personnel were shot, exactly like in Dachau, Neuengamme, etc.
The photo thus was not intended to deceive and was clearly marked as a reconstruction (which represented something that actually had happened). That later propagandists misused it, ignoring the original intent, does not make the original photo a fake, nor does the fact that it does not depict an authentic scene - it's no more fake than Schindler's List or Katyń.

Some will say: well, what's the difference? The difference is intent.

Obviously, deniers have been using it as an example of Allied fakery - and I can't blame them - but if they want to be honest, they should stop doing it now.

Oh, who am I kidding.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Scrapbookpages' owner on Mattogno

The Holocaust denial website "" is known for masking itself as a mainstream Holocaust/Nazi crimes website. This was less obvious about 10 years ago, when the owner of the website was dropping Holocaust denial hints here and there (like including the subtle references to the Leuchter report in the "title" HTML tag) and gathering all the usual stuff from the margins of the Nazi period history that the deniers are so fond of, presenting it in a deadpan manner designed to cause "doubt" among the less aware. Since then the "hints" on the website itself have become much more blatant, with the author sometimes openly linking to deniers' articles. So, more people have been noticing. The links to the website appear to have been mostly scrapped from Wikipedia (and that they had been there in the first place shows one of the main problems with wiki - seems like it's easy to fool an average editor).

Anyway, Scrapbookpages has an official blog and here the author writes in a much more explicit, blatant and mocking manner. Just one example will suffice:
I was no more than 6 years old when I first learned about the Gypsies. [The correct term for these people is Roma and Sinti.] The word Gypsy comes from a term that was made up for them because, traditionally, the Gypsies don’t work — they gyp people. 
[Ehhhm, nope! ~ SR] 
The Gypsies were also accused of stealing children; that’s why my mother warned me to beware of Gypsies.
Years ago, when I went on a tour that was led by a Jewish tour guide, I was warned to wear my backpack in the front, so that Gypsy fingers would not find their way into my backpack.
The poor innocent Gypsies were Holocausted by the Nazis, for no reason at all, the same as the Jews.
 This is her usual style.

Anyway, there are loads and loads of stuff like this at her blog, some more, some less explicit. But what this pro-fascist clownesse wrote about Mattogno has caught my eye:
There has been some discussion in the comments section of my blog about this event. I thought that the famous Erntefest was a proven fact, but others have doubted it.
I finally did a search to find out what Carlo Mattogno has to say about it. I consider Mattogno to be the foremost Holocaust revisionist and the most reliable Holocaust historian, because he seems to me to be completely unbiased. Not that other revisionists are biased, but Mattogno is noted for being completely unbiased.

She goes on to quote another antisemitic "revisionist" liar, Jürgen Graf, who claims to have refuted (together with Mattogno) "the myth of the homicidal gas chambers as well as the legend of the mass shooting allegedly perpetrated in November 1943", to which the Scrapbookpages owner adds:
If Mattogno refutes the “legend” of the mass shooting, that’s good enough for me.
No further comment necessary.