Fellow ATS user PeopleVSNWO has presented Mattogno’s (holocaust denier) claim that there was simply not enough fuel (coke) delivered to Auschwitz
in order to cremate the number of people claimed by the “official” story.
I have already made the following points regarding this claim:
- That coke consumption is not a definitive indicator of how many corpses could be burned, since i) there was the extended use of open-pit burning and
ii) the exact conditions of how the corpses were handled, what fuel was used were not easily established.
I would wish to add the following after my reading:
Mattogno’s claim is that coke consumption needed in order to burn one corpse fully is around 15kg, while traditional historians like Zimmerman
operate with numbers around 3.5 kg
Even supposing that the second muffle did not consume heat, the cremation of two cadavers would on average have needed 15 [=30 ÷ 2] kg of coke.
Zimmerman imagines that the average coke consumption of "about 3.5 kilograms per body" depends on "multiple" cremations, which, according to the
data in Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943, means that the Birkenau ovens cremated four cadavers in a single muffle in one hour.
Mattogno claims that a coke consumption of 15 kg/corpse is not consistent with the documents he has in his possession regarding coke deliveries to
I would like to add the following things:
- Mattogno does not share these documents. No one else has ever seen them; though he does quote them on request. This is not to say that they don’t
exist. But in science, reproducibility is one of the fundamental tenets. As long as Mattogno does not openly share these documents there is no
possibility to take a look at them and determine how convincing his interpretation of them is. Traditional historians share their materials openly
after publishing in order to allow other historians to look at the materials and determine their scientific merit. Only by such discussion and peer
review is there true progress in science.
- The baseline against which we are able to compare the cremation methods implemented by the Nazis at Auschwitz is principally skewed. This skewdness
stems from the following points:
i) The uniqueness of the ovens at Auschwitz
ii) The uniqueness of the situation at Auschwitz
iii) The uniqueness of the state of the corpses burned at Auschwitz
Now this may seem like a simple cop-out but this is an immensely important point. Never again in history has anything along these lines been done
again. There was no subsequent event that involved the burning of corpses in the manner the Nazis did nor in those quantities.
Our baseline for cremations are cremations that are done in a manner dictated by piety and an oven-to-corpse-ratio that is never tilted to the corpse
side as it was at Auschwitz. The goal of such cremations is to respectfully reduce a corpse to a neat pile of ashes that is aesthetically acceptable
to the recipients of the urn. Utmost care is made in the designs of the ovens to prevent i) direct contact with the corpses by flames and ii) the
remaining of bone and other residue in the ash pile.
The Nazis faced no such restrictions. They did not want to cremate their victims but simply to reduce the corpses to a state more suited for easy
disposal. Arguably, you can transport the remains of thousands such corpses with one truckload while you can only transport hundreds of corpses in
one. This point is especially pertinent when it comes to the question of the burning of multiple corpses per muffle.
Fellow ATS user PeopleVSNWO has made the suggestion that using such a method would not reduce the overall fuel consumption of the crematoria. It is
very hard to find materials on this question, and my contacting the local national association of the crematoria industry didn’t yield big results
up to now because all of the ovens used here are power electrically, not by other fuels. They were nice enough to direct me to an expert of them that
is old enough to be familiar with older procedures, such as coke-fired-ovens. I’m bent on questioning him more thoroughly and will try to secure his
cooperation with answering these questions.
So far I can only elaborate on the preliminary points I was able to clear. Accordingly. Coke consumption can be reduced by putting multiple corpses
into one muffle if the goal is not cremation (i.e.: having a nice pile of clean ashes) but simply reducing the corpse to a kind of blob. This is
especially interesting because it coincides with testimonies of putting up to 4 corpses in one muzzle.
As to the uniqueness of the situation: Of course there were other cases where the need arose to cremate many corpses with limited crematoria capacity.
But in those situations piety and the question of remains were still central inhibitors to implementing such drastic measures as used by the Nazis.
Never again were so many corpses disposed of in such a way. The technical and psychological knowledge the Nazis acquired by implementing these methods
are by definition quite restricted: Who else would know about the exact details when no one ever reproduced their efforts?
And one word to the uniqueness of the corpses. The majority of graphic and oral evidence as to the facts of every-day life in Auschwitz lead us to the
conclusion that everyone safe for the SS guards, other personnel and selected inmate populations like those of “Kanada” were severely
malnourished, even those forced laborers that held jobs deemed “essential for the war”. It is reasonable to assume that the average corpse weighed
no more than 80 to 120 pounds. Such corpses will necessarily have a different “burning rate” than what subsequent crematoria have had to deal with
in situations of peace. In this respect it is simply dishonest to compare Auschwitz-“cremations” to a baseline derived from civilian, peace-time
data. Documentary and oral evidence also points us to the fact that the majority of those inmates selected for gassing were women and children. It is
quite clear that fuel consumption in these circumstances necessarily differs from the baseline used by deniers and traditional historians.
A last word on eyewitness evidence: Some members have alluded to the apparent lack of eyewitness testimony regarding the gassings and the cremation
process. From what I have learned this weekend, the corpses in the crematoria were handled by a special selection of inmates, called the
"Sonderkommando". Their names were not separately documented and probably this unit was subject to the same fluctuations as other special inmate
units. From the few testimonies that are available, their number is estimated around 100 people.
According to them, only 4 SS guards supervised this process at any given occasion. So there really aren’t that many witnesses to go around;
especially when the testimony of the occasional visitor who witnessed such goings-on (like, f.e. Himmler) is disregarded as “coerced testimony after
[edit on 16-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]