Having been rereading some of the books on the David Irving – Deboral Lipstadt libel case, I was recently remind just what extraordinary things Holocaust Fever can do to otherwise sane individuals. One of the courtroom stoushes was whether or not the lift from the basement of Krema II and III to the ground floor would represent a bottle-neck in operations. James Dalrymple, in a momentarily lapse in faith, wrote:
How could 500,000 bodies — the number estimated to have died in that one crematorium — be transported up a single lift-shaft, only about 9ft square. Irving demanded that Van Pelt now do the arithmetic of nightmares. How much could the lift carry? 750 kilos, 1,500 kilos, 3,000 kilos? How many bodies would that be at, say 60 kilos a body? Were they in gurneys or were they just squeezed in, like people squashed into a telephone box? How long to take each batch up to the ovens? Ten minutes, or more, each batch? Twenty corpses at a time, or 25? (more…)
The Auschwitz myth revolves around the claim that everyone on an arriving transport that was not selected for labour and entered as a registered prisoner was gassed. This claim is usually enforced by strident demands of where are all the transport records for departing trains from Auschwitz. The fact that this questioned can not be answered depends on two factors; a) the documentation in question has probably been deliberately destroyed, b) in all other cases professional historians are supposed to exercise self-censorship and not call attention to any lacunae in historical data.
However, even the most reliable of historians can sometimes slip up and amusingly I have found one from Yitzhak Arad, who ought to have known better, showing off by quoting a document that would have been best left gathering dust in whichever file he found it. (more…)
Krema Denial claims that the buildings today known as Krema II to V were in fact not crematoria but had other functions, so the question must be asked where was the camp crematorium located and what evidence can be shown for it? While hard evidence is of necessity not abundant, there are some intriguing indications that the site of the new and only Birkenau crematorium may well have been what is today labelled as Bunker II. The aerial photograph of May 31 1944 as enlarged and annotated by the CIA in 1978 shows this building (see below arrow labeled “BUILDING”:)
A perfect example of the movable feast that is Holocaust History and the very cynical way some (but not all) archives show to the integrity of their collections is the supposed plans to build a 10 oven (30 muffles) capacity crematorium in Mauthausen in early 1945. The legion of dedicated followers of this blog will be aware that there are some answered questions about the very simple Topf facility existing there today ( discussed here and here ).
These plans was first revealed in an exhibition in Germany called The Engineers of the “Final Solution” : Topf and Sons – Builders of the Auschwitz Ovens. The curators produced a letter dated 10 February 1945 from J.A Topf and Sons to SS Construction Management in Mauthausen, which can only be read as a proposal to rebuild the evacuated ovens from Birkenau of “Krema II” and “Krema III” in Mauthausen. A reproduction of the first page of the letter is below:
It is common knowledge that Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, was initially beaten heavily in giving his initial statements to the British. However, it is usually assumed that he was beaten into telling things that he already knew. In fact, there are a couple of indications that suggest he was signing off on information that his interrogators were supplying him.
This is most obviously the case when he deals with the Aktion Reinhardt camps. He states he visited Treblinka sometime after being given his commission by Himmler in the summer of 1941 to turn Auschwitz into an extermination camp – yet Treblinka II (the death camp) didn’t open until July 1942. NO-1210:
I visited TREBLINKA in Spring 1942 to inform myself about the conditions. The following method was used in the process of extermination. Small chambers were used equiped with pipes to induce the exhaust gas from car engines. This method was unreliable as the engines, coming from old captured transport vehicles and tanks, very often failed to work. Because of that the intakes could not be dealt with according to the plan, which meant to clear the Warsaw Ghetto. According to the Camp Commandant of Treblinka 80000 people have been gassed in the course of half a year.
Half a year after the opening of Treblinka would be December 1942 – in fact supposedly Treblinka had killed 700000 in its first half year and about 300 000 in the first six weeks of operation – a far greater alleged through-put than Auschwitz is ever alleged to have achieved. Elsewhere in his “memoirs’ he states this trip was on the same when he visited Globocnik in Lublin to pick up some machinery – again repeating the date of spring 1942. This suggests he has no knowledge of Treblinka’s location as being in the locality of Warsaw, it is very far from Globocnik’s empire around Lublin. Were a camp to have been visited during this trip (once we ignore the wrong date), surely Belzec or Sobibor would have been a more likely choice? The reason, of course, was that in 1946 Treblinka was the only camp with a public profile. (more…)
One of the constant search terms which attracts transient visitors to this blog are terms relating to Lazar Wiesel, Elie Wiesel and his missing tattoo.
On this blog I have given a brief overview of the facts and documents collected by Auschwitz survivor Niklos Grüner here, but these are essentially available elsewhere on the web. What I want to do here is propose a possible solution to this mystery. The reasons for believing Elie Wiesel may have taken the identity of another older Auschwitz survivor, Lazar Wiesel, can be summarised as follows
1. The fact that Auschwitz survivor Niklos Grüner knew Lazar Wiesel and his brother Abraham in Auschwitz and failed to recognise the Nobel Prize Winner on meeting him. The description of his surprise as he writes it sounds credible
2. Mr Grüner then went through the Buchenwald archives and uncovered a number of documents that confirmed his memory of an older Lazar and Abraham Wiesel A-7713 and A-7712 respectively
3. Despite testifying under in court that he possesses a tattoo, A-7713, numerous footages and public photos of a bare-armed Elie Wiesel fails to reveal a tattoo.
To this might be added a fourth reason: there seems to be long-standing suspicion of Elie Wiesel in the Survivor community, to the extent that as far back in the 1980s survivor of the Mengele twins experiment and founder of the Candles museum Eva Kor wrote privately to the Auschwitz museum seeking the registration details of A-7713 and then, years later, privately supplied that information to Mr Grüner by fax.
Mr Grüner believed that his friend Lazar Wiesel wrote Un di Velt Hot Geshvign and this text was changed and adapted by the younger Elie Wiesel and re-released as Nuit. And although there are some significant differences in text and tone between the two to make this plausible, it also leaves some problems. The first is why did Lazar Wiesel write his 1954 memoir from the point of view of a teenager not exactly Elie Wiesel’s age but close to it, and why did Lazar Wiesel not object when his work was plagiarised. As to the first, I have no idea; as to the second, one possibility is that there is familial connection between Lazar Wiesel and Elie Wiesel and permission to use of Lazar Wiesel’s work were freely gifted.
Elie Wiesel is the offspring of two well-established and multi-branched Sighet’s families, the Wiesels and the Feigs. Survivors of these two families (which I am happy to report seem numerous) have loaded extensive geneaologies on Rootsweb. A sample output can be seen here. (The database seems to be the responsibility of a one Leslie Gyi, email: email@example.com). What interests us is the appearance of 3 nameless living Wiesels in this listing – children of Mendel and Golda Wiesel (allegedly Elie Wiesel’s Uncle and Aunt).
Prominent amongst oral testimonies from Birkenau in 1944, particularly of Hungarian Jews, is the role of the Weaving Mill or Weberei of Birkenau in camp employment. Although the literature tends to be vague as to where the Weberei was actually located, inmates employed there seemed, according to extensive oral testimony, mostly to spend their time producing fuses for armaments out of old rags. Locations suggested in the literature the Weberei range from BIII to the Familienlager Theresienstadt sector BIIb, to BIIc. No Weberei building exists in any of the available lists of building projects for Birkenau (which all mention BW 30, BW 30a, BW 30b, BW 30c – allegedly the codes for the various crematoria). Yet according to the documents of the Frankfurt trial a DAW Weberei opened in March 1943. Coincidently or not, March 1943 more or less the date that Krema IV is supposed to have been finished. From the wealth of oral testimony and camp employment lists we know a Weberei was in Birkenau. My suggestion will be the Weberei was one or both of the building sites we today know as Krema IV and V, that is next to the Effeketen lager – a convenient source of textiles.
Immediately after the liberation of Auschwitz, the Soviets sent a film crew in to make an extensive newsreel documentary. This documentary was later shown at the Nuremberg Trials. In the last few years it has been released on DVD (and can be downloaded in various places on the Internet by googling the terms “The Liberation of Auschwitz” avi). Curiously, although there was extensive coverage of clearing away the ruins of Krema V, it appears on first viewing to contain no images of Krema II and III (allegedly the main gassing facilities) or Krema IV at all.
The thought occurs that given Krema II and III were supposedly the epicenter of the extermination program, perhaps the reason they did not appear on film is because they were not ready yet to be shown to the public.
Curiously, shortly after I made this claim regarding the lack of Krema II and III images in the Liberation footage, the following still from the DVD was pointed out to me which was claimed to represent either Krema II or III. It is footage that appears for a few seconds only, immediately after the Krema V section is shown, so the suggestion that it represents Krema II or Krema III is quite reasonable. However it represents a view of Krema II or III that it is impossible to find today at the memorial site. In the background there is a building that is obviously in ruins – limiting the number of sites it could be at Auschwitz-Birkenau to one of the demolished crematoriums.
The presence on the blueprints of Krema II and III of a stairway from an external door has lead to claims that this demonstrates that these two buildings must have had a homicidal function. This argument, chiefly run by JC Pressac and later Professor Robert van Pelt goes somewhat along the lines that the original design had a chute to be implemented at this location which would be consistent with a normal morgue but the later addition of a stairway in this location implies that victims were intended to walk down this structure into a lethal gas chamber.
From the Judgement of Justice Grey at the trial of Deboral Lipstadt, the significance was summed up as follows:
“Meanwhile, Professor van Pelt also explained that when the plans of crematoria II and III were redesigned in late 1942 and early 1943, the corpse-slides or chutes appearing on the original plans were removed, and the entrance to the basement moved to the other side of the building. Thus, if the re-design was intended to facilitate the gassing of corpses, people who are already dead, it had only succeeded in compelling those who were carrying the corpses to negotiate a series of small rooms, narrow passages, and staircases to reach the gassing-space.”
At best it is a fairly weak argument, and rather a side issue because Krema Denial holds that these two buildings were most likely bakeries – and hence by definition these blueprints cannot be genuine – but lets examine what we can find out about this feature in more detail.
This is the first of a sporadic series on posts showing how the sites at Birkenau known today as “Krema” II and III originally had a much different purpose and and layout than that shown in what are alleged to be the construction blueprints of these buildings. For reasons which I will not elaborate here, it is my belief that these two buildings were in reality bakeries. Whether that is in fact the case, is irrelevant besides the demonstrable fact that they were not crematoria, or at least not crematoria as were detailed by the blueprints. My own realization of this fact came some years ago when I noticed the complete absence of underground flues at “Krema” II, underground flues which would be required to connect the ovens to the smoke-stack. Fortunately there are plenty of other indications for people unwilling to immediately take a trip to Poland (more…)
Back in 1999 a Holocaust Denier using the pseudonymous name of Knud Baecker cast doubt on some of the materials used to evidence the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was particularly skeptical of some of the interior construction shots which he suggested may have originally been paintings which were then photographed to give a suitable patina. See here
[UPDATE: More up-to-date details and suggestions concerning the mystery of Elie Wiesel’s tattoo can be read on this site here: https://littlegreyrabbit.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/of-feigs-and-wiesels-a-solution-to-the-mystery-of-elie-wiesels-tattoo/ ]
Its not my wish to recount in detail the story of Miklos Grüner, survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, who believes that Elie Wiesel has stolen the identity of a 31 year old man he knew at Auschwitz as Lazar Wiesel. This can be found in number of places, including Carlo Mattogno here http://www.revblog.codoh.com/2010/03/elie-wiesel-new-documents/. What I want to do is allow Miklos Grüner to have his say and to present the documents he uncovered. (more…)
Much discussion has taken place in recent years on why the Allies chose not to bomb Auschwitz. In point of fact they did bomb Auschwitz (or rather Monowitz, Auschwitz III) a number of times, but made no effort to target alleged extermination places. This despite that fact that since May 1944 they were in possession of excellent aerial photos of Auschwitz-Birkenau and sketch maps from escapees detailing alleged extermination sites. (more…)