Previous I have described how two of the supposed crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau were in fact bakeries, and I located the site of the genuine crematorium as most likely being located just outside the camp, behind the Central Sauna. This left a problem of the function of the Buchenwald crematorium, a building that shared very many structural features with Krema II and III of Birkenau. Simply put, its central location in the camp and structural similarity to the bakery/crematorium at Birkenau meant it in all probability was also a bakery (the crematorium ovens being installed after liberation from the 2 ovens found in Birkenau). So where, therefore, was the real crematorium located? Through a rather surprising series of steps this mystery is now also close to being solved. (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:
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 a post that I will use both to illustrate the odd behaviour of people who see it as their duty to “defend history” and also to show some rather odd features of the Topf ovens at Mauthausen and the questions it raises about the politicised nature of these memorial sites.
People get all kinds of strange ideas that these was something uniquely brilliant in the design of Topf ovens. Comments range from “a special oven designed to run on human fat” to JC Pressac’s “a technological little marvel.” Partly this is to justify the absurdly inflated corpses they were supposed to have processed every hour of every day. In fact, they were very basic and unsophisticated designs. In one online discussion I had, a person claiming engineering and physics expertise said that Topf ovens possessed a “gasifier unit” where producer gas was collected and piped off to be combusted in jets beneath the corpse. To prove his point he circled on the Mauthausen Topf diagram of 1940 where he believed this unit was.
Lets look further. (more…)
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…)
In Part I and Part II I discussed evidence that suggests that the Soviets constructed large parts of the New Crematorium at Majdanek on liberation in July 1944. Confirmation of hypothesis has come from the Nuremberg Interrogations of Arthur Liebehenschel, who was demoted to Majdanek for having a romance with a girl considered inappropriate by Himmler. This interview took place on 18 September 1944 by an interrogator more interested in the function of the WVHA then esoteric details of Majdanek and therefore had no pre-conceived ideas of what answers should be in this regard.
Here is a portion of the interview: (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
In part one of this series regarding the crematorium/gas chamber of Majdanek, I looked at the liberation photos of the New Crematorium of Majdanek and showed that there were incriminating signs of recent construction and deceit on the part of the Russians. In part three, at some future date, I intend to look at the various plans of the New Crematorium and in Part IV I will look at the alleged gas chambers and their documentation and demonstrate that these are consistent with nothing more sinister than a normal hygiene and disinfection block. (more…)
The story of Jedwabne is well enough not known not to need to be extensively retold here. It re-emerged into the public sphere after the publication of Neighbours by Jan Gross, chronicling how spontaneously the townsfolk of Jedwabne immediately upon German invasion in 1941 rounded up their Jewish neighbors, drove them into a barn and set it on fire. (more…)
[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…)
While it would not be true that Majdanek was the start of the Allied-Soviet Greul Propaganda drive, Babi Yar perhaps takes that crown, it was by far the biggest publicity event to date and the best choreographed.
Majdanek was equipped with an old crematorium consisting of two mobile ovens dating back close to the camp’s establishment. However, allegedly in 1943 the Germans built a new crematorium with 5 ovens, a gas chamber and a water heating facility (albeit one that was not attached to anything aside from Oberscharführer Mussfeld’s own personal bathtub in the crematorium itself). Strangely the Soviets took a large number of photographs and film footage at liberation in July/August 1944 showing scaffolding up the chimney, very much like it had just been constructed. (more…)
So what is Krema Denial?
In a nutshell it is the belief that our ideas and conceptions of the Nazi concentration camps was deliberately shaped by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, to consciously create a false impression of crematory facilities and gas chambers. Both by the construction of fake facilities or altering genuine ones, and by putting a sinister interpretation on harmless fumigation facilities. But most importantly, Krema Denial holds that this endeavour continues to this day.
What camps were affected?
Majdanek: both construction of fake facility and the misinterpretation of fumigation facilities
Auschwitz-Birkenau : construction of a virtual extermination facility
Sachsenhausen: Expansion of number of crematorium ovens
Possibly: Buchenwald and Dachau: both camps have oral traditions claiming post war alterations to the camp.
Not: Flossenburg, Mauthausen, Natzweiler and Stutthof.
Is there a evidence?
Lots! Hopefully if you read this blog you will get to read some of it for yourself over the months. This is perhaps the closest to a smoking gun:
It shows the aerial photo graphs of May and August 1944 of Krema II from Auschwitz-Birkenau lined up side by side. In the May photo, the underground structure that today we know as the gas chamber (a portion of the building that Krema denial holds was built after liberation) appears sharply outlined by black lines (although what these black lines represent is something of a mystery – the underground portion is too lowset to make such heavy shadows). Unfortunately it is misplaced, the August photo (lower) giving a much more accurate indication of where the underground structure should have been. For reference a model of how these underground chambers were supposed to work; undressing on the left, gassing on the right
Krema Denial holds that prior to release, person or persons unknown, alarmed that the photos appeared to show buildings not consistent with the ruins as we know them today, decided to alter the photos to draw in the lines supposedly delineating the underground gas chamber.