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 VIII: The Einsatzgruppe B Activity & Situation Report
Part IX: The Just Memo (in preparation)

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.

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Einsatzgruppe B Activity & Situation Report

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part VIII: The Einsatzgruppe B Activity & Situation Report
Part IX: The Just Memo (in preparation)

The Einsatzgruppe B report of 1 March 1942 on its gas vans has been already discussed elsewhere, including a rebuttal of denier Mattogno on this source. The following post will look at what his fellow denier Alvarez has written on the subject.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How Faurisson made a fool of himself right at the start of his denial career.

In 1975 the good old Prof. Faurisson sent this letter (quoted by Thion) to Historama:
I would like to point out an error and an omission on pages 87 and 88 of your July 1975 issue.

Error: the Nacht und Nebel Erlass is of December 7 and not December 12, 1941. It is true, to the best of my knowledge, that the text of this ordinance has not been found, and that what is always quoted, as was the case in the big Nuremberg trial, is the text of December 12, which uses it as a reference.

Omission: more serious, at least for anyone who does not like to confuse history with propaganda or journalism: Nacht und Nebel is an invented explanation of the initials N.N. commonly used in the German administration (and Italian, too) to designate either genuine or imposed anonymity. In the first case, it means Nomen Nescio (unknown name), in the second, it means Nomen Notetur (censured name). The French equivalent would be Inconnu, or X, or sans autre renseigement. Reference: Deutsches Woerterbuch de Jakob Grimm et Wilhelm Grimm, 1889, entry N.

The book by Walter Goerlitz on Keitel, translated by R. Moreigne (Fayard, 1963) says on p. 247, without further explanation, that the translation of N.N. by Nuit et Brouillard (night and Fog) is only customary.

Don't you think, like me, that it is important to review some customs and get to the truth by going back to the sources? We all make mistakes, and very often, but don't you think that, from rectification to rectification, Historama could appear as a magazine that, unlike others, is in search of the truth?
First of all, that the "text of this ordinance has not been found" is pure nonsense, it is contained, among other places, in PS-1733. But that's just the beginning of the madness.

That "Night and Fog" is an "invented explanation" would have been news to many, many witnesses, including Keitel himself, who used the designation without any second thought (see his and Jodl's affidavit designated as doc. Keitel-13 in IMT, vol. XL, pp.385ff.; for further witnesses see the Judges' Trial).

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mattogno and the Activity & Situation Report of Einsatzgruppe B on its Gas Vans

The operation and situation report of Einsatzgruppe B of 1 March 1942 explicitly mentions four "Gaswagen" (gas vans) in the group's motor pool. The report, which was published in the 90s, corroborates earlier evidence such as the testimony of the gas vans' drivers, and vice versa. This independent, mutual corroboration results in more powerful evidence on the reality of Germans homicidal gas vans.

As starter and to provide some context, the activities of the group, which demanded the use gas vans, and the contribution of the group to the development of gas vans will be outlined. The main part looks at what the Einsatzgruppe B report stated on its gas vans and relates this to other sources. The final part addresses why the "Revisionist" Carlo Mattogno failed once again with his denial of German homicidal gas vans.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

From the vocabulary of Aktion 1005

With time the members of Aktion 1005, whose task was destroying the traces of the Nazi crimes by incinerating corpses from mass graves, developed their own slang to denote their activities. Some of the terms became sort of official, as we will see. Since the issue of the Nazi code words crops up from time to time in denial-related discussions, I decided to gather what I could about several terms most often used by the corpse-burning brigades.

Trump Junior Promotes 9/11 Truther Alex Jones on 9/11 Anniversary

Alex Jones is a 9/11 "truther" (see here). He is the figure pictured second from right in the image below. Donald J. Trump Junior says he is "honored to be grouped with" the men in this picture.
A friend sent me this. Apparently I made the cut as one of the Deplorables😂😂😂 All kidding aside I am honored to be grouped with the hard working men and women of this great nation that have supported @realdonaldtrump and know that he can fix the mess created by politicians in Washington. He's fighting for you and won't ever quit. Thanks for your trust!