Thursday, January 19, 2017

Karoline Cohn

As this video and this article show, a pendant uncovered at Sobibor has the date of birth (July 3, 1929) of a girl called Karoline Cohn, who was deported from Frankfurt to Minsk on November 11, 1941, according to testimony given by Sophie Kollmann in 1978, and to this entry in the Memorial Book. According to Yoram Haimi (in the video), the pendant was found in the area thought to be the women's undressing and shaving hut. Cohn would have been 12 when deported to Minsk, and 14 when the ghetto was liquidated and the survivors sent to Sobibor. The pendant is thus evidence that at least one Frankfurt Jew was gassed in Sobibor, having spent two years in the Minsk ghetto. Alternatively, if Cohn died in Minsk, it is feasible that the pendant passed from Cohn to another Minsk deportee who was killed in Sobibor. What is not feasible is that Cohn survived the war yet her pendant wound up in Sobibor.

Monday, January 16, 2017

On Mattogno's Hallucination That von dem Bach-Zelewski's Extended Testimony on the Minsk Shooting Is a Jewish Forgery

In a handwritten post-war manuscript, the former Higher SS and Police Leader for Central Russia Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski briefly mentioned the show mass shooting carried out by Einsatzgruppe B on 15 August 1941 for the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler in Minsk (NARA Record Group 238, M1270/1/111, p. 41, see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Page five from a declaration of von dem Bach-Zelewski on the "persecution of Jews".
The mass execution was also reported by numerous other witnesses. From a historiographic point of view, what is most significant in von dem Bach-Zelewski's account is that he described how after the shooting and visiting of an mental asylum (which are both confirmed by Himmler's appointment diary) Himmler ordered the Einsatzgruppen B leader Arthur Nebe "to make use of a more human method of killing" on the mentally ill people, which links the incident to the subsequent mass killing trials with explosives and poison gas in asylums in Minsk and Mogilev. The connection between the events is supported by von dem Bach-Zelewski's own documented activity on the next day to get a demonstration of the mobile carbon monoxide gas chamber of Sonderkommando Lange (for obvious reasons, he kept quiet about this in his post-war testimony).

A more vivid and detailed description of the Minsk shooting by von dem Bach-Zelewski was published on 23 August 1946 in the German-Jewish newspaper Aufbau (Figure 2). The account is somewhat more general with respect to the scope of Himmler's order following the mass execution and asylum visit. He considered that "shooting is not the most human method", ordered Nebe "to think about it and submit a report based on the experiences made" and agreed to try explosives on mentally ill people in Minsk.

Figure 2: Aufbau, volume 12, issue 34, p. 2.

But if it were according to the Holocaust denier Carlo Mattogno, von dem Bach-Zelewski's account in Aufbau is a forgery based on his more brief statement from the NARA Record Group 238:
"This anecdote appeared on 23 August 1946 in the New York Jewish newspaper Der [sic!] Aufbau as part of a statement attributed to von dem Bach-Zelewski, but its contents had been massively manipulated by the editorial staff of the newspaper, as is apparent from a comparison with the original statement of this SS officer."
(Mattogno, Inside the Gas Chambers, 2nd edition, p. 58)

Unfortunately for Mattogno, this is rubbish. Upon systematically searching the Yad Vashem Archives digital collection of Yitzhak Stone, who "was a senior aid to the American prosecutor in the Nazi War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg" for interesting material for the blog (and there sure is, so stay tuned), I stumbled across the English translation of an undated, 60 pages long "declaration von dem Bach" (YVA, O.18/90, p. 20ff.). The declaration contains amongst other things also the passages reproduced in German in Aufbau (Figure 3).

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

On Alison Weir, the CNI, and Holocaust Denial

It is perhaps unsurprising that the international Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM) is fertile ground for anti-Semitism generally and Holocaust denial specifically. Any area in which Jews play a role as villain will lend itself to generalization of anti-Jewish sentiment, and when the Holocaust has been exploited by often cynical Israeli governments to justify occupation, settlement, expansion, and expulsion, the simplistic conclusion that removing the Holocaust as a factor in the creation of Israel could help the Palestinian cause might seem self-evident. To be fair, the PSM has generally done a good job of identifying and censuring anti-Semites when they emerge, going way back to Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish's exposé on Israel Shamir more than a decade ago.

However, the PSM has seen unusually high levels of conspiratorial anti-Semitism in the last couple of years, with a good measure of Holocaust denial thrown into the mix. What's remarkable about this escalation is that a large number of people around whom controversy has emerged have been Jewish: Gilad Atzmon, Paul Eisen, and Henry Herskovitz are among the people who have been censured to some extent by elements of the PSM, in addition to non-Jews like Ken O'Keefe, Greta Berlin, and others.

Eisen and Herskovitz in particular have been explicit in denying the Holocaust. Along with Daniel A.McGowan, Ph.D., a former economics professor (now retired) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, these two men sit on the board of Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), a PSM organization originally founded to draw attention to the massacre of around 250 Palestinian civilians by right wing Zionist militias in 1948. McGowan, for his own part, drew attention a few years ago when he was targeted by colleagues at Hobart and Smith for a defense of Holocaust "revisionism" published in a local upstate New York newspaper. McGowan has since gone on to author material for the CODOH concern Inconvenient History.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

German Document on Gas Van Blown up by Einsatzgruppe D

The available German records from the Third Reich contain a number of references to the infamous homicidal gas vans, which were used by the German paramilitary forces like the Einsatzgruppen to kill people, mostly Jews, without attracting attention and sparing the nerves of the executioners. The vehicles were disguised as special van or s-van in some of the correspondence. However, in the daily usage in the commandos, they were simply known as gas vans or g-vans (as common in this context, the term van is used to translate the more general German Wagen = wagon).

This quite open language was also maintained in a report of Einsatzgruppe B on its motor pool, e.g. "both smaller gas vans will be sent to SK 7a and SK 7b after completing the operation at EK 8", which was already featured in the posting Mattogno and the Activity & Situation Report of Einsatzgruppe B on its Gas Vans.

Another case is a radio message from the head of Einsatzgruppe D to the RSHA, which reports a "g-van" in its motor pool and that another "g-van has been blown up and burned" upon the retreat of the group from Stavropol in the North Caucasus region to Rostov in early 1943. The destruction of the gas van was confirmed by several former members of Einsatzgruppe D in 1962 - 1970 in West-Germany, many years before the document became available to researchers and investigators after the German reunification. The independent corroboration is strong evidence on the existence of the German homicidal gas vans.

Attached below are extracts of the document and supplementary sources.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Rudolf on Holocaust Handbooks

Germar Rudolf has kindly responded to a CODOH Forum user on my posting "Holocaust Handbooks" Updating Policy - Cosmetic Changes and Recycling Instead of Engaging With Critique and provided this pointed summary of the "Revisionist" problem these days:
"Carlo Mattogno cannot revise 30 books every year and write thirty more on top of it."
The Holocaust Handbooks series is essentially a three man show of Mattogno, Graf and Rudolf, who are the main authors of 3/4 of the books, and it is especially dependent upon Mattogno:

The fact that he is the main author of 2/3 of the Holocaust Handbooks even underestimates his impact as his writings have occupied the most relevant issues of "Revisionism". Mattogno had been hyperactive for years, publishing at a pace where the level of research has to leave a lot to be desired, as amply demonstrated on this blog. At his age of 65 years, this source will likely run dry in some years.

The lack of authors and diversity is symptomatic for the poor state of Holocaust "Revisionism". This is not limited to printed media, the Inconvinient History Blog has seen just three postings this year - one remembering the dead Bradley Smith, one reviewing the journals' year 2015 and one announcing the publication of the journals' articles from 2015 - thus none adding anything new to advance "Revisionism". Anyone following the blog would think the movement is close to clinically dead.

We have not heard from Santiago Alvarez since February 2016, Thomas Kues left the scene, Jansson's blog is idle since almost 18 months and the theblackrabbitofinl has become sceptical of denial. The recycling of Mattogno's decades old Italian pamphlets on Miklos Nyiszli and Rudolf Höß (Holocaust Handbooks 36 & 37) and his forthcoming Einsatzgruppen book, which will ask for the stunning mental gymnastics to explain the extermination of the Jews in the occupied Soviet Union within the hypothesis that there was no policy to exterminate the Jews, will keep the patient in a vegetative state for the time being, but that's not exactly a promising perspective for 2017 and further.

"I'd appreciate it if everybody reading this start publishing yourself -- in print -- serious research rather than bickering about somebody having forgotten over overlooked something. Some nagging on an internet blog isn't exactly what can be taken all that seriously anyway."
Obviously, Rudolf did not check out and examine the links to the rebuttal of Mattogno on Auschwitz Open Air Incinerations if he reduces this comprehensive critique to "nagging". In general, the Holocaust Controversies blog addresses specific, fundamental, systematic and methodological flaws in "Revisionist" works. The publication on the medium internet blog does not affect the validity of the arguments. Conversely, not much substantial is gained from compiling related postings (such as the series on Mattogno on Auschwitz and Alvarez on Gas Vans) to print-on-demand books on Publishing a book has become meaningless at latest since Fritz Berg has done it (see also Rudolf's own review of the book), but the Holocaust Handbook series is another example that publishing something in print does not establish quality of content (only quality of form, if there is a proper editor).

Incidentally, the lack of "serious research" is actually the reason why "Revisionists" are ignored by Holocaust historians. The difference is that Holocaust historiography can afford to freeze them off.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Remains Found in Pskov, Russia

A new article was published last week concerning the completion of a grave and memorial for 14 Jews, consisting of "two newborns, two teenagers, one old man and 9 women" found near Pskov, a Russian city just east of the Estonian border. The remains were found by Poisk (Search), an organization that searches for the remains of soldiers in known areas of heavy WWII fighting. Poisk could ascertain that these were civilians because, as stated by the Poisk spokesperson, Rachim Dzhunusov, "The remains were of children, women and old men, some [skulls] were shattered by rifle-butt blows [and] we had to collect them piece by piece” and the dead "were stripped naked, there wasn’t a single buckle, a button, nothing,” The article infers from a witness statement that the Jews had been captured after fleeing Latvia, but there are also sources stating that Sandberger's Einsatzkommando had relocated 400 women and children from Estonia to Pskov, where they were executed on Jeckeln's order in January 1942. Yad Vashem has online resources concerning five murder sites around Pskov.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Demographics of Hungarian-Jewish Auschwitz Survivors Debunks Holocaust Denial

In Summer 1944, more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. According to Holocaust deniers, the people selected as unfit for work at ramp in Birkenau were not killed, but interned at other places. Don't ask where, as they have no idea where this is supposed to be. But if the Revisionist "transit camp" hypothesis were historically true, there should be literally train loads of evidence for it by now, starting from contemporary sources to countless testimonies. Yet, there is no evidence that the Hungarian Jews unfit for work were systematically brought away from Auschwitz and interned in alleged "family camps".

The "Revisionist" fantasies on the survival of unfit Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz is refuted by available demographic data, like that collected by Hungarian National Relief Committee for Deportees (hereafter as its Hungarian abbreviation DEGOB), which suggests a survival rate of close to or equal zero and strongly supports their systematic extermination by the Nazis.

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.

Update of 26/12/2016: Follow-up posting Rudolf on Holocaust Handbooks

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".