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Mattogno and Graf on Babi Yar

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed.
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Mattogno and Graf on Babi Yar

Postby Sergey Romanov on 23 Oct 2004 17:23

(This is a copy of RODOH posting; insulting epithets exactly mirror the ones used by M&G to refer to their opponents)

Ball's bogus arguments were used by Mattogno and Graf in their book "Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?".

P. 211:
"e. Babi Yar
In the “Activity and Situation Report no. 6 of the Einsatzgruppen of the Securty Police and the SD in the USSR,” we read this concerning the time period from October 1 to 31, 1941:595 “In Kiev all the Jews were arrested and on September 29 and 30, a total of 33,771 Jews were executed.” This deals with the (in)famous ‘Massacre of Babi Yar.’ However, as Udo Walendy and Herbert Tiedemann have proved, this did not happen, at least not remotely in the scope claimed.596 Presumable near Kiev, as in Simferopol, several hundred people were shot. We will come back to the case of Babi Yar.
595 102-R. IMT, Vol. XXXVIII, pp. 292f.
596 Udo Walendy, “Babi Jar - Die Schlucht ‘mit 33,771 murdered Jews’?”, in: Historische Tatsachen
no. 51, Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, Vlotho 1992. Herbert
Tiedemann, “Babi Jar: Critical Questions and Comments”, in: Germar Rudolf (ed.), op. cit.
(note 81), pp. 501-528."


Of course, Tiedemann did no such thing.

Pp 220-224:

"A no less typical case is Babi Yar. As we have already emphasized, a report of the Einsatzgruppen speaks of 33,771 Jews shot there. According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, the bodies were exhumed and burned by a 327-man ‘Sonderkommando’ between August 18 and September 19, 1943.635 On November 9, 1944, Major Lavrenko, member of the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Kiev, questioned the Jewish witness Vladimir K. Davidov. The latter stated that on August 18, 1943, he, along with 99 other prisoners, for the most part also Jewish, had been selected from the Siretzki concentration camp 5 km from Kiev. The 100 prisoners were taken to Babi Yar and there were forced to dig up the bodies of the Jews shot in 1941. According to him, 70,000 bodies had been in the mass graves of Babi Yar. The prisoners had exhumed these and burned them on ‘ovens’ afterwards, which consisted of granite blocks - procured from the Jewish cemetery of Kiev - with train rails laid upon them. On these a layer of wood was piled and on top of this the bodies, so that an enormous stack of bodies 10 to 12 m high resulted! In the beginning there was merely a single ‘oven,’ but then 75 of them (literally seventy-five) were built.

635 Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, op. cit. (note 18), vol. I, p. 134f.

The bones did not completely burn; they were ground up and tossed into the trenches, from which the bodies had been taken. The witness reports:
“On September 25 and 26,[636] when the work was nearly finished, the construction of another oven was ordered, upon which we ourselves were supposed to be cremated. We deduced this from the fact that there were no more corpses in Babi Yar, but we had built an oven nevertheless.”
In order to escape their own murder, Davidov and a number of his comrades (35 to 40) escaped during the night of September 29, in which attempt at least ten of them were killed.637
The Black Book of Ilja Ehrenburg and Vassily Grossman summarizes this witness testimony, but alters a few numbers.638 The statements made in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust quite obviously have their origin in this source.
This Vladirmir K. Davidov is apparently the only witness who claims to have participated in the cremation of bodies of Babi Yar. His tale is wholly unbelievable. The number of bodies - 70,000 - is more than double the number shot according to the Event Report, which in itself is already hugely excessive.
The tale of the 10 to 12 m tall mountain of bodies is technically absurd, as we pointed out in the fourth chapter. The claim, according to which 75 ‘ovens’ of the kind first described by the witness are supposed to have been built, stands in contradiction to the number of victims given by him, since there then would have been (75 × 3,000 =) 225,000 bodies to be burned! Insofar as the date is concerned, the witness maintains that the cremation of the bodies was finished on September 25 or 26. On this day, the prisoners had built the last ‘oven’ for themselves. On September 26, the Luftwaffe took an aerial photograph of the area, in which Babi Yar was located. John Ball has published it with the following commentary:639

“Photo 2 - September 26th, 1943: This photo was taken one week after the end of the supposed mass cremations in the ravine.[640] If 33,000 people were exhumed and burned evidence of vehicles and foot traffic to supply the fuel should be evident in the area where the Jewish cemetery meets Babi Yar ravine, however there is no evidence of traffic either on the end of the narrow road that proceeds to the ravine from the end of Melnik Street, or on the grass and shrubbery within or on the sides of the cemetery.”

636 The word “August” appears in the text, which however is an obvious error. Four lines later
September is mentioned in connection with the escape of the prisoners.
637 GARF, 7021-65-6.
638 I. Ehrenburg, V. Grossman, Le Livre Noir, op. cit. (note 24), pp. 80f. According to the Black
Book, not 100 but 300 prisoners were employed in excavating the bodies; the ‘ovens’ held
2,000 bodies instead of 3,000; not 10 but 280 escapees were killed.
639 John Ball, Air Photo Evidence, op. cit. (note 102), p. 107.
640 “Yar” is Russian for ravine.

Regarding an enlarged section of the same photograph, Ball says:641

“Photo 3 - September 26th, 1943: An enlargement reveals no evidence that 325 people were working in the ravine finishing the cremation of 33,000 bodies just one week earlier, for many truckloads of fuel would have had to be brought in, and there are no scars from vehicle traffic either on the grass and shrubs at the side of the Jewish cemetery or in the ravine where the bodies were supposedly burned.”

Ball deduces from this:641

“1943 air photos of Babi Yar ravine and the adjoining Jewish cemetery in Kiev reveal that neither the soil nor the vegetation is disturbed as would be expected if materials and fuel had been transported one week earlier to hundreds of workers who had dug up and burned tens of thousands of bodies in one month.”

These findings have all the more value since, according to the sole witness, the cremation of the bodies in Babi Yar is supposed to have been completed on September 25 or 26, corresponding to the same day or the day before the air photos were taken. The Black Book mentions an even later date:642

“On September 28, when the work was just completed, the Germans ordered the prisoners to light the fire.”

With the data specified in the fourth chapter, the cremation of 33,771 bodies would have required approximately 4,500 tons of firewood and approximately 430 tons of wood ashes and about 190 tons of human ashes would have been generated by the process. Moreover, several dozen tons of granite (gravestones and monuments) would have had to have been transported from the Jewish cemetery to Babi Yar and back again in order to construct the supports for the 75 ‘ovens.’ If the claims put forward about Babi Yar were true, all of this would have had to leave behind unmistakable traces on the air photo of September 26, 1943.

After the Soviets had reconquered Kiev, an investigatory commission made its way to Babi Yar and took some photographs, which were immortalized in an album. Three of the photos supposedly show a first and a second “zone where the bodies were burned.”643 In another, the “remnants of the ovens and the grotto, into which the prisoners who had cremated the bodies had escaped” are allegedly shown.644 The captions to these pictures are absurd; the only actual, clearly recognizable objects are a few rotted shoes and some rags, which were painstakingly photographed by the Soviets and were described as follows:643

641 John Ball, Air Photo Evidence, op. cit. (note 102), p. 108.
642 I. Ehrenburg, V. Grossman, Le Livre Noir, op. cit. (note 24), p. 81.
643 GARF, 128-132. Photo album without pagination.
644 Enzyklopädie des Holocaust, op. cit. (note 101), Vol. I, pp. 13f. This picture does not seem
to be included in the English edition, op. cit. (note 18).

“Remnants of shoes and pieces of clothing from Soviet citizens shot by
the Germans.”

Thus, the most important material evidence for the shooting of 33,771 (or 70,000) Jews and the later excavation and cremation of their bodies, which was discovered at the scene of the crime by the Soviets, consisted of a few shoes and some rags! If, however, the Soviets took such great pains to document things, which had no connection with the charges, what a propaganda circus would they have put on if they had really discovered mass graves with a total of far more than a million murdered Jews (as well as countless non-Jews)? Yet such a propaganda circus failed to occur, since the Soviets found nothing, which would have been comparable to the discoveries made by the Germans in Katyn and Vinnitsa! The objection that they had not been in the position to locate the murder sites would be wholly untenable. Lastly, the Germans, with the assistance of the civilian populace, had discovered 97 mass graves of murdered Ukrainians. As we saw in the third chapter, the Soviets pinpointed three mass graves and 13 individual graves in the area around Treblinka I, and the Poles found 41 mass graves of victims of an epidemic. If, therefore - to take the number given by Raul Hilberg - the bodies of the barely one-and-a-half million Soviet Jews - killed chiefly by the Einsatzgruppen, but also by Wehrmacht, SS, police units, and Rumanians - as well as the countless non-Jewish victims were not able to be found, they must have been eliminated, i.e. cremated. For that reason, the legal system and historiography needed the ‘Aktion 1005’ (Operation 1005) or ‘Sonderaktion 1005’ (Special Operation 1005), about which we have already briefly written in the fourth chapter. This is implicitly conceded even by the official historiography:645 “Although burning the bodies from the mass graves did not efface the Nazi crimes, it did cause difficulties in determining the facts of the crimes and in drawing up statistics on the numbers of victims. In many cases, the commissions investigating Nazi crimes in the USSR and in Poland found no trace of the mass graves, and they encountered difficulty in reaching estimates.” In other words: material evidence for the mass murder of an enormous number of people, the ‘corpus delicti,’ was not found, but this is a mere ‘detail’! The most recent investigations have also led to negative results in this respect. Here is an example. According to a report of December 1, 1941, of the Commander of the Security Police and the SD Einsatzkommando 3, the following persons were shot in Mariampole (Lithuanian: Mariyampol) on September 1, 1941:646

645 Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, op. cit. (note 18), p. 14.
646 RGVA, 500-1-25/1, p. 151.

“1,763 Jews, 1,812 Jewesses, 1,404 Jewish children, 109 mentally ill, 1 German female national who had married a Jew, 1 Russian female.” Referring to a notice, which appeared in the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas, Germar Rudolf reports:647
“In the summer of 1996 the town of Marijampol, in Lithuania, decided to erect a Holocaust Memorial to the tens of thousands of Jews allegedly slaughtered and buried there by German Einsatzgruppen. In order to build the Memorial at the correct location, they tried to find where the mass graves are. They excavated the site described by the witnesses, but did not find a trace.”

647 Dissecting the Holocaust, op. cit. (note 81), p. 44f."


It is obvious that our dilettantes did not take time to study the history of Babij Jar. They simply parrot what idiots like Tiedemann feed to them. Aside from using Ball's arguments, their grave errors are as follows:

1) "This Vladirmir K. Davidov is apparently the only witness who claims to have participated in the cremation of bodies of Babi Yar."

Had they really researched this issue, they would come upon a wealth of sources, among them:

- the 1993 book with the Russian, English and German versions of the testimonies of Babij Jar SKs Jakov Kaper and David Budnik, edited by the Babij Jar expert Erhard Roy Wiehn and published by Hartung-Gorre Publishers, D-78465 Konstanz/Germany (E:mail = Hartung.Gorre@t-online.de) under the international book-number ISBN 3-89191-666-3 (last time I checked it was still available).

- the English translations from this book, available at http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/content.htm

- the Russian edition of Babij Jar SK Zakhar Trubakov's memoir, available at http://www.geocities.com/svr_2000svr_us/bkv/

- Anatolij Kuznetsov's excellent "Babij Jar", from which these inexperienced persons could learn that when Kuznetsov was writing the book, at least nine SKs were alive and living in Kiev: Jakov Stejuk, Vladimir Davydov, Vladislav Kuklya, Jakov Kaper, Zakhar Trubakov, David Budnik, Semyon Berlyand, Leonid Ostrovskij and Grigorij Iovenko.

- Since it is almost certain that the aforementioned Sonderkommandos gave their testimonies right after the war, our sagacious gurus should have been able to find these testimonies in the Central Commission's papers or, at least, in the Ukrainian archives.
Indeed, we know that Budnik, Kaper and Davydov testified at the Stuttgart SK1005 trial and that means that German authorities learned about them through their testimonies to the Central Commission or some other Soviet body.
Indeed, Jakov Kaper writes:
On New Year's day we all met at the apartment of Nina Ivanovna who was the head of the Extraordinary State Commission for research of German occupants atrocities in the city of Kiev.
There was much joy and tears. Davidov, Budnik, Ostrovsky, Kuklya, Trubakov, myself and some ten other people came to the meeting. Then some of them were called to the front.

David Budnik:
The war was still on but it was already clear that the fascists would answer for their crimes. We gave evidence and testimony to the Extraordinary Commission on Research of the Fascist Massacre in Kiev. In the prosecutor's office we told everything in detail about what had happened to us. Everything was written down and the materials were prepared to be sent to Moscow. Then Davidov and I were taken to Moscow. All the time we were escorted by a man we called Tenyn, or the shadow, since he followed us everywhere. I did not know if he was supposed to guard us or spy on us.
In Moscow our documents were inspected and our testimonies reviewed. Some facts were elaborated on. We stayed in Moscow for about one month. Together with us there were about 60 people from different towns and cities of the country and other former prisoners of the concentration camps. After a thorough check-up, we were sent back to Kiev.


- In case they did not find these files, they should have been able to find the interrgations of Budnik, Davydov and Kaper during the aforementioned Stuttgart trial.

- In case they did not have access to these interrogations, they should have looked for the testimony of Budnik at the Nuremberg proceedings (he did not give the testimony _during_ the trial, but the affidavit should be in the files):

At the end of February, 1946, we were again summoned to Moscow. We were informed that we would be going for a long trip. Again there were talks checking details. Suddenly, Davidov said he was going back to Kiev. He did not know what was the matter or what was happening since no one told you anything. Nobody would ever ask about such things. Volodya left and I was left alone among the Kievites.
Once when I was at my bride's apartment a messenger came and said that they were looking for me. We went to some storehouse where there were shirts, underwear, suits and other clothes. I was allowed to choose whatever I wanted and told to put it on at once. It was done, so I thought, so I would get used to it. I lived with all the rest who had been through the check-up, in the hotel Moskva in suite 207 or 217. Once we were woken very early, put into two cars and taken to an airfield. With us was a colonel and we were supposed to fly to Nuremberg. Judging from the long side route we took, the people responsible for our safety were afraid of some kind of accident that could delay the trip. We ourselves could not guess the value our testimony could have and that somebody might try to interfere with our trip.
Our plane landed in Minsk because of a snow storm and we were held over there. All the documents and our testimonies had been forwarded to Nuremberg a long time before and awaited us.
In Minsk we were housed by the government at the so-called White Villa. The furnishings with wood paneling, comfortable beds and tasty meals seemed extravagant to me, especially after two years in the barracks. All our needs were taken care of. If, for example, somebody opened a bottled of vodka and drank only one shot from it, the bottle was taken away and replaced with a new one.
I do not remember everyone in our group, but there was the academician Orbeli, the writer Sutskover, the author of a book about the Vilnius ghetto and Volynsky Kivilsha, a doctor from Novograd. There was also a clergyman of high rank.
At last the snow let up and the runways were cleared by German captives, so we could continue with our journey. After a short lay-over in Poland, we arrived in Germany late at night. We were greeted warmly and taken to the hotel where there were already many Soviet military men and reporters from different countries.
To get into the session hall, you needed 4 special passes. The building security was very tight. When entering into the session hall you had to pass by the dock, where the charged were sitting. American wardens stood behind their backs. The letters MP were written on their helmets.
Since we were a few days late for the trial, we did not get a chance to speak before the court. The Senior Investigator for Extraordinary Cases had already read out our testimonies.
I was asked to give an interview to an American news reporter and address the American people. I was very nervous and wrote down my speech in advance and showed it to him. I was told not to change anything and to tell the story in my own words. I was given 7 or 8 minutes. I first congratulated our allies on the victory and then said what I felt and thought.
Undoubtedly, my reminiscences were not comparable to the materials of the trial that were collected in three volumes. But they are mine. I was there and I saw and felt the mood. One could forget certain details, but it was impossible to forget that it was in Nuremberg that for the first time in history and international court sat and judged international aggression to be an international crime and punished the culprits.


Any of these options would spare them the embarassment.

2) "The number of bodies - 70,000 - is more than double the number shot according to the Event Report, which in itself is already hugely excessive."
"Thus, the most important material evidence for the shooting of 33,771 (or 70,000) Jews ..."

This again shows that these two incompetents did not study even the basics of the Babij Jar history, since, according to it, 33,771 Jews were shot in just two days. And during the two years that followed, many more tens of thousands were shot (Jews, Communists, POWs, mental patients, seamen, Gypsies, etc. - and even some Ukrainian nationalists!). Thus there might have been up to 100,000 bodies, maybe more.

As for Marijampol, I included it just as an icing on the cake, see the RODOH thread appropriately called "Shameless stupidity":

http://pub86.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm ... D=44.topic
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Postby David Thompson on 23 Oct 2004 17:57

Your research work on this topic is very helpful, Sergey. The insulting language used by M&G is often seen from proponents of third-rate arguments -- as is the tactic of countering facts with vapid and irrelevant slogans.
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Postby David Thompson on 24 Oct 2004 20:56

The one thing about John Ball's Babi Yar article which I have never understood is its premise. Even assuming for the sake of argument that it's true (and Sergey has shown that it isn't) that Luftwaffe photographs don't show evidence of corpse-burning in the late summer of 1943, how does that disprove a massacre that happened almost two years earlier, and is mentioned in at least seven German documents which are contemporaneous with the killings?

For easy reader reference:

"Operational Situation Report USSR No. 6" at:
viewtopic.php?p=552687#552687

"Operational Situation Report USSR No. 97" at:
viewtopic.php?p=561550#561550

"Extracts From Operational Situation Report USSR No. 101," at:
viewtopic.php?p=561534#561534

"Extracts From Operational Situation Report USSR No. 106, 7 October 1941," at:
viewtopic.php?p=560934#560934

"Extracts From Operational Situation report USSR No. 111, 12 October 1941: Security Police Measures," at:
viewtopic.php?p=560934#560934

"Extracts From Operational Situation Report USSR No. 128," at:
viewtopic.php?p=561528#561528

Report of the 454th Security Division dated 12 October 1941, at:
viewtopic.php?p=555398#555398

(subsequently edited to add other contemporaneous German documents, for ease in reference).
Last edited by David Thompson on 25 Oct 2004 04:09, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby White Rose on 25 Oct 2004 00:02

David Thompson wrote:The one thing about John Ball's Babi Yar article which I have never understood is its premise. Even assuming for the sake of argument that it's true (and Sergey has shown that it isn't) that Luftwaffe photographs don't show evidence of corpse-burning in the late summer of 1943, how does that disprove a massacre that happened almost two years earlier, and is mentioned in at least four German documents which are contemporaneous with the killings?


I think the main thrust of Ball's article is that there should be ground scarring from either the fires or the support for them, such as the "bulldozers, trucks or horses" that would be needed to excavate all those bodies. Of course, no support for this theory (other then his assertion) is needed, even though the evidence suggests that some mass graves were dug by the victims themselves. I guess the thinking is it's more difficult to dig up something that is buried then it is to dig a hole.

There is a caption "Soviets lied about mass cremation" (it's a tooltip, not a statement on the page anywhere), so I guess his contention is that the air-photos should support the cremation theory, and if they don't, then the cremations didn't happen. No cremations, and then the evidence should be there, which it isn't, so ergo there were no murders.

Documents or testimony that aren't in line with this theory can be either dismissed as "coerced", "lies" or "forgeries". It's amazing what can be done when you control what proof can be presented. :)

I do have to give Ball some credit, though. He is a pretty good artist, and his drawings are quite good. What we should be wary about is that a compelling presentation with pretty art can distract from a serious scientific examination to delude a reader into buying a dishonest representation of what may have occured.
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Postby michael mills on 25 Oct 2004 03:01

Do the contemporary German reports actually nominate Babyn Yar specifically as the place where massacres took place and bodies were buried?

The EG report on the massacre of the Jews remaining in Kiev on 29 and 30 September 1941 do not say where the massacre took place, simply that a stated number of Jews from Kiev was killed.

Testimony by observers describes a massacre taking place somewhere in the complex of ravines known as Babyn Yar, but I understand that there some disagreement as to its precise location, or the location of the place were bodies were buried. For example, I have read that the Soviet-era memorial was somehow located at the wrong place.

Arguments about whether a particular photograph does or does not show bodies being exhumed in the area of Babyn Yar may well arise from lack of precise knowledge about the sites of massacres or mass-graves.
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Postby David Thompson on 25 Oct 2004 03:26

Michael -- I haven't seen any contemporaneous German documents which mention Babi Yar by name. As I understand it, it's a huge meandering dirt ravine very near or in Kiev, and it was chosen for ease of burial because the mass graves only had to be covered, and not excavated first. There were multiple massacres, so the bodies may not have been (and probably weren't) all buried in one place either.
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Postby White Rose on 25 Oct 2004 05:58

michael mills wrote:[...]
Arguments about whether a particular photograph does or does not show bodies being exhumed in the area of Babyn Yar may well arise from lack of precise knowledge about the sites of massacres or mass-graves.


Mr. Mills, while I agree with your thought in this paragraph in general, I have to disagree in this paticular instance.

Mr. Ball has a date on his drawing of March 1993. At that time, there may have been some confusion or oversight on his part in identifying the exact location of the massacre. However, by his own claim, he is an air photo expert, so should have made sure. Regardless of that, it's now going on more then 10 years since his initial claim, and if there is some dispute, then he should note it on his site, or remove the disputed material. His site lists a copyright of 2000-2004, which suggests it is still somewhat current, and he has done neither neither of the above, which suggests that either he has another agenda or is intellectually dishonest, or both.
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Postby David Thompson on 25 Oct 2004 06:13

White Rose -- You remarked:
Mr. Ball has a date on his drawing of March 1993. At that time, there may have been some confusion or oversight on his part in identifying the exact location of the massacre. However, by his own claim, he is an air photo expert, so should have made sure. Regardless of that, it's now going on more then 10 years since his initial claim, and if there is some dispute, then he should note it on his site, or remove the disputed material. His site lists a copyright of 2000-2004, which suggests it is still somewhat current, and he has done neither neither of the above, which suggests that either he has another agenda or is intellectually dishonest, or both.


This example is not unique. For another, unrelated instance involving 4 different "Revisionist" sites see paragraph (4) of:

viewtopic.php?p=292004#292004

If there is more interest in posting examples of knowing misrepresentations or deceitful omissions of material fact on sites of this sort I'll open a thread on the subject.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 25 Oct 2004 11:46

WHITE ROSE
I think the main thrust of Ball's article is that there should be ground scarring from either the fires or the support for them, such as the "bulldozers, trucks or horses" that would be needed to excavate all those bodies.


True. However, he has not shown that there is no such scarring in the relevant places. Maybe there is, these photos still await real experts. He should also show how such scarring should look like. BTW, the bodies were dug up manually by more than 300 people. The wood and fuel, however, were brought on trucks.
Ball's point is not even about cremation (though about that too), it's that the ravine has not been touched _for years_. And that may be true for the part of the ravine which he "analyzed".

MILLS
but I understand that there some disagreement as to its precise location, or the location of the place were bodies were buried


That's because bodies were buried in many places and the whole area is under many meters of dirt (i.e. Babij Jar does not exist now). The bitter debates about where the bodies were buried were sparked only recently, in connection with the proposal to build a Jewish cultural center in that place.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 25 Oct 2004 11:53

DAVID
Even assuming for the sake of argument that it's true (and Sergey has shown that it isn't) that Luftwaffe photographs don't show evidence of corpse-burning in the late summer of 1943

Just for the sake of accuracy: I demonstrated that the photos are not necessarily incompatible with the witnesses' claims. Whether there is positive evidence on these photos - remains to be seen. One place on all the photos looks awfully like smoke to me (note that it looks differently on different photos; compare it to smoke on the Auschwitz aerial photos), but it might be something else.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 25 Oct 2004 13:06

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