Hearsay Evidence

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Charles Bunch
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Post by Charles Bunch » 30 Oct 2002 15:17

Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:That gets us to a more interesting question -- why would affidavits from liberated British POWs have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits taken from Soviet functionaries and indefinitely detained German captives in Stalinist Russia facing potential war crimes charges?
In either case the affidavits are entered into evidence without cross-examination or challenge.
So what!

The defendants had every right to request the witnesses be called for cross examination and had every right to challenge the evidence. They did neither. That's how the system works.

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Post by Dan » 30 Oct 2002 15:22

Admitting evidence and then subjecting it to the rigors of the judicial process doesn't compromise the trials integrity. The Katyn evidence was discredited.
Then I have learned something, not that you care. Does anyone have the tribunal's statement rejecting the Katyn evidence? I was under the impression that the tribunal simply desided not to try the case.

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Post by Charles Bunch » 30 Oct 2002 15:23

Scott Smith wrote:You're a Human Soap Believer, Chuck, and you are at an impasse to support your claim without the text of Neely and Witton. Perhaps you should fill out the ILL forms and get us the "affidavits."
Smith is the believer. He believes the witnesses lied. He believes the affidavits don't exist. He believes the Nazis couldn't have done something so awful. What he doesn't do is base his belief on evidence.

That's because deniers can't hold on to their cherished beliefs about Nazi Germany if they allow evidence to dictate, as in the Danzig soap experiments.

There is no impasse at all. Smith has ungrounded suspicions about the evidence. Suspicions based on his intent to deny the atrocity no matter what the evidence shows. It is up to him to get off his ass and exercise something above his shoulders besides his mouth.

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Post by Scott Smith » 30 Oct 2002 15:25

Charles Bunch wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:That gets us to a more interesting question -- why would affidavits from liberated British POWs have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits taken from Soviet functionaries and indefinitely detained German captives in Stalinist Russia facing potential war crimes charges?
In either case the affidavits are entered into evidence without cross-examination or challenge.
So what!

The defendants had every right to request the witnesses be called for cross examination and had every right to challenge the evidence. They did neither. That's how the system works.
Except in witchcraft trials or Inquisitions for heresy, which is the case with most of the Nuremberg and related trials. In this case, however, we don't even have any defendants charged--just the machinery of the Allied Victors collecting Greuelpropaganda to stamp it with a supposed seal of legitimacy.
:)

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Post by Charles Bunch » 30 Oct 2002 15:34

Charles Bunch wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:That gets us to a more interesting question -- why would affidavits from liberated British POWs have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits taken from Soviet functionaries and indefinitely detained German captives in Stalinist Russia facing potential war crimes charges?
In either case the affidavits are entered into evidence without cross-examination or challenge.
So what!
The defendants had every right to request the witnesses be called for cross examination and had every right to challenge the evidence. They did neither. That's how the system works.
Except in witchcraft trials or Inquisitions for heresy, which is the case with most of the Nuremberg and related trials.


That statement is devoid of meaning.

Smith complained that the evidence is somehow tainted because the defendents did not challenge it, or request cross examinations!!! That is obviously nonsense.


Smith is running out of things to say.

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Post by Charles Bunch » 30 Oct 2002 16:02

Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:That gets us to a more interesting question -- why would affidavits from liberated British POWs have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits taken from Soviet functionaries and indefinitely detained German captives in Stalinist Russia facing potential war crimes charges?
In either case the affidavits are entered into evidence without cross-examination or challenge.
No affidavits were introduced by the Soviets on the Katyn matter. Any comparison is faulty.

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Post by Roberto » 30 Oct 2002 18:11

Dan wrote:
Admitting evidence and then subjecting it to the rigors of the judicial process doesn't compromise the trials integrity. The Katyn evidence was discredited.
Then I have learned something, not that you care. Does anyone have the tribunal's statement rejecting the Katyn evidence? I was under the impression that the tribunal simply desided not to try the case.
I found an assessment of the handling of the Katyn killings at Nuremberg on a German web site under

http://www.h-ref.de/ar/misc/katyn.shtml

My translation:
In April 1943 German units found mass graves with the corpses of more than 4,100 murdered Polish officers next to the village of Katyn. Examinations revealed that the shootings had taken place in March and April 1940. During the Nuremberg Trials the Soviets tried to blame these mass murders on the Germans.

The other prosecutors urged Rudenko to do without this accusation which – whatever it was that had happened in reality – would give the German defense the right to reject it and thereby to implicate the powers charged with carrying out the trial in a horrible atrocity.
T. Taylor, The Nuremberg Trial [German translation by Heyne editors, 1996], page 148 and following.

But the Soviets would not give in. They insisted in changing the indictment accordingly and charging the Germans with the murder of 11,000 captured Polish officers ( Taylor, p. 157), which seems to more or less correspond to the number of those actually murdered. The Russians for this purpose submitted an "expert report" that dated the murders to the autumn of 1941, when the area was already controlled by German troops.
Taylor points out that the question who was to blame for these mass murders did not constitute a "tu quoque" – argument, for in the case of Katyn

the circumstances were such that only the Soviet Union or Germany could have committed the atrocity. Thus there was only one way for one of these countries to prove its innocence: it had to prove that the other was guilty.
Taylor, p. 541

Thus, as Taylor goes on explaining, a strange situation had come about. Until now the prosecutors had always tried to prove the defendants guilty of concrete deeds. In this case, however, as Taylor presumes, the Soviets were out not so much to incriminate a given defendant as to provide for their own relief.
With a procedural trick and a self-serving interpretation of the statutes General Nikitshenko tried to block the German objections against the unjustified accusations,

but Biddle rightly recognized that he and the others could not give in this time, for if the tribunal allowed the Soviet prosecution to pronounce the Germans guilty of the Katyn massacre but blocked every German counter-argument, this would render the trial an absurdity.
Taylor, p. 543

Against the vote of Soviet judge Nikitshenko German witnesses for the defense were admitted. Thereupon Soviet prosecutor Rudenko submitted to the tribunal another petition in which he accused the tribunal of not fulfilling its duty. Biddle, the American judge, called this submittal "outrageous" (Taylor, p. 543) and instructed his assistant Herbert Wechsler […] to clarify the issue.

When the tribunal on 6 April discussed the petition, Biddle had armed himself with an opinion prepared by Herbert Wechsler, which was as full of dignity as it was convincing and swept Rudenko’s petition off the table.
Taylor, p. 543

Rudenko’s petition, Biddle declared, was defamatory and could in the US have led its author to be charged with disrespecting the court.

The he turned to Nikitshenko and asked him what he thought was to be done. The completely flabbergasted general murmured something that could not be understood. Biddle thereupon read the opinion to his listeners and said that it could be "read in open session before we arrest general Rudenko".
Taylor, S. 543

After some negotiations the issue was off the table, and besides three German three Soviet witnesses were interrogated. As the Soviets stuck to their version, the question who was responsible for the Katyn massacre could not be finally clarified, but Taylor remarks: "According to all indications the guilt for Katyn lay heavily on the Soviet Union ..." (Taylor, p. 546). Rudenko had through his insistence only made things worse, Taylor states at the end.

At that time there was not yet a clear proof that the Russians rather than the Germans were responsible, but many thought so and thus the tribunal had a hot iron on its hands. Cleverly it allowed both the Russians and the Germans to make their depositions about the Katyn massacre, but did not mention this tremendous occurrence with a single syllable in the judgement.
Taylor, pages 738 and following
A sort of in dubio pro reo decision, in other words.

Indeed you will find nothing about Katyn in the IMT’s judgement, which is transcribed under

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/judcont.htm

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Post by Dan » 30 Oct 2002 19:25

Thanks for the very interesting work.

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Post by Erik » 30 Oct 2002 20:25

Mr Thompson,

You have just provided ”trbooks” [”(I'm researching for a book)”] information on Auschwitz SS personnel, and now you provide this thread with some excerpts on the Soap issue.

(Roberto has done the same later on - Wed Oct 30, 2002 1:48 pm – from some Holocaust History sites.)

This thread concerns Hearsay Evidence and its use in juridical proceedings and Real History (the Capital variety).

It is a continuation of the closed thread Mengele dumps kids into fire (continuation), that reached 9 sides.

Here is a quote from side 9:
Roberto wrote:
Smith wrote:
We looked at the evidence for this case-study in Believer mythology and it was little more than hearsay--the evidence that "existed" anyway--one affidavit from Mazur supplied by the Soviets and a picture of "Human Soap" presented by the Soviets as exhibit USSR-393, not subjected to any testing whatever!

As far as I remember, there were three affidavits provided independently of each other, two of them made before British and not Soviet criminal justice authorities. All three coincided in the essential details, and none of them was "hearsay", because every witness spoke from personal experience.
The prodigious memorial capacity of Roberto is probably right, as it usually is.

But he has earlier stated his judgement of the Soap issue : it is a “piss in the ocean”, in a “realm of madness”. He can’t find any interest even to remember it very “far”, it seems.

Mr Mills is less “pissed” at the Soap issue than Roberto, but has on the other hand recommended it to a wanker’s tissue in the bathroom, where it belongs – or something like that.

It seems to have little historical interest, in other words. Folklore for the rabble-readers.

But folklore is also history. Hearsay is history-hearing and –saying. The world of myth and primal history is not easily debunched. It has its advocates.

When I read your excerpts I have a view of the world of Frankenstein – beheaded corpses arriving from hideous quarters ( dungeons of torture and hills of gallows!!) in coffins by cars with red crosses on them, in the midst of nightly thunder and lightning.

But an anatomical institute has a sort of legitimacy outside the realm of madness, too? The going-on’s are not necessarily madness and necrophily?

Can the English speaking prisoners of war at such a place during a war, seeing the world of Frankenstein before their eyes daily, provide “independent” testimony?

Did they remember the Greuel folklore concerning the German Huns during WW1?

Were they educated physicians, in agreement with the scientific legitimacy of the proceedings at such a place? Were they conversant with the “why” of an “anatomical institute”?

Mr Bunch wrote:
A laboratory assistant gave detailed testimony about the making of human soap.

Two British POWs corroborated the activities.
Did they partake in the soap experimentations personally? Follow the way from corpse to soap? See every link in the “procedures”?

No “hearsay”?
"Owing to the preservative mixture in which they were stored, this tissue came away from the bones very easily. The tissue was then put into a boiler about the size of a small kitchen table.... After boiling the liquid it was put into white trays about twice the size of a sheet of foolscap and about 3 centimeters deep."-These were the basins which I have already shown the Tribunal-"Approximately 3 to 4 trayfuls per day were obtained from the machine."
(My emphasis.)

“This witness”..(Witton?)..” himself did not witness the application of the soap…”

But he knew it was soap?

Did ANY witness witness the “application of the soap”?

The witness describing the following machine for the manufacture of soap – i.e., not the same as the above?(see emphasis) – did apparently see the application…
"A machine for the manufacture of soap was completed some time in March or April 1944. The British prisoners of war had constructed the building in which it was housed in June 1942. The machine itself was installed by a civilian firm from Danzig by the name of AJRD. It consisted, as far as I remember, of an electrically heated tank in which bones of the corpses were mixed with some acid and melted down.”
[(My emphasis.)It is easy to forget such a "machine", isn’t it? In a world of madness!]

"I cannot estimate the quantity produced, but I saw it used by Danzigers in cleaning tables in the dissecting rooms. They all told me it was excellent soap for this purpose."

The proof of the Soap is in the cleaning. He believed what he saw. Did the “Danzigers” see what he saw? And believed what he saw? The same Soap? Cleaning tables?

[You are reminded of the three polish/ukrainian girls working at the SS-mess at Treblinka – going home to their families on holidays!! (Sereny: Into that darkness”, s. 166) Just cooking, right?]

“The British prisoners of war” mentioned as building constructors, were they the same that provided the affidavits?
Finally, since both men worked in the Danzig Institute, their statements are not "hearsay."

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/soap06.html
(From Roberto's posting, above).

So they must have known everything from personal experience?

The date given for the “completion” of the machine(March and April 1944) is a bit puzzling. Did the engineers of a civilian firm in German Danzig occupy themselves with such “experiments”, with Soviet troops well into Poland?

Tables must be cleaned? Soap produced?

Must we postulate a “world of madness”? Or was the “machine” meant for other “manufactures”?

Is this “machine” extant?

Now I will perhaps be adviced to go to Dantzig and look for myself (by those showing this forum at its best) if I’m all that interested.
That gets us to a more interesting question -- why would affidavits from liberated British POWs have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits taken from Soviet functionaries and indefinitely detained German captives in Stalinist Russia facing potential war crimes charges?


Why DID they have the same credibility problems as the Katyn affidavits? Were soap making experiments considered a “piss in the ocean” already then? The charge was laid to Mazur, but not brought to trial?
As has already been pointed out several times above, the IMT did not "uphold" or "confirm" the soap allegations that these revisionists are talking about. Nor does it really matter whether or not the Nazis actually made human soap -- it does not affect, in any way whatsoever, the facts of the Holocaust.


http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/soap06.html

Why does it not matter? Why does it not “affect, in any way whatsoever, the facts of the Holocaust”?

Why must a "realm of madness" be postulated? Why is folklore so valuable, when we have the "facts"?

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Post by David Thompson » 30 Oct 2002 22:41

Erik --
It is true that, in answer to a request from "trbooks", I provided information to him on personnel at KL Auschwitz. It is also true that I provided some information on this "hearsay" topic. So what?

You dismiss the "soap" issue as "folklore." However, then you go on to say: "But an anatomical institute has a sort of legitimacy outside the realm of madness, too? The going-on’s are not necessarily madness and necrophily?" and " Can the English speaking prisoners of war at such a place during a war, seeing the world of Frankenstein before their eyes daily, provide “independent” testimony? Did they remember the Greuel folklore concerning the German Huns during WW1? Were they educated physicians, in agreement with the scientific legitimacy of the proceedings at such a place? Were they conversant with the “why” of an “anatomical institute”?"

Are you trying to tell me that the "human fat = soap" incident is folklore and didn't happen at all, or that it did happen but there's a legitimate explanation for it which the British POWs didn't understand?

If you can settle on a version of what happened, it would be easier to answer your questions.

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Bosch and soap of Danzig.

Post by Erik » 31 Oct 2002 00:34

Erik --
It is true that, in answer to a request from "trbooks", I provided information to him on personnel at KL Auschwitz. It is also true that I provided some information on this "hearsay" topic. So what?


Sorry.

I forgot the “thanks!”

Now you have it!
You dismiss the "soap" issue as "folklore."
On the highest authority : Roberto has done so, too!!

[Qualification : he distinguishes between experiments (=true) and production (= untrue). But the word has a “prejudicate”, so it’s no “prejudice” on my part.]

However, then you go on to say: "But an anatomical institute has a sort of legitimacy outside the realm of madness, too? The going-on’s are not necessarily madness and necrophily?" and " Can the English speaking prisoners of war at such a place during a war, seeing the world of Frankenstein before their eyes daily, provide “independent” testimony? Did they remember the Greuel folklore concerning the German Huns during WW1? Were they educated physicians, in agreement with the scientific legitimacy of the proceedings at such a place? Were they conversant with the “why” of an “anatomical institute”?"
You have posted more than 200 postings here, and I presume you remember the old Skalman, and maybe posted there too! So you must be conversant with the subjects of Zyklon B and the Diesel Exhaust in the death camps.

I will therefore try to be succint, against my habits :

Zyklon B, the death gas producer in Auschwitz, had a legitimate purpose as well(to fight typhus). Some say that Zyklon it was developed for this legitimate purpose by American chemists in the twenties. (There is controversy concerning the version dubbed ‘B’ – unless I misremember. It is described as a “specific” murder weapon developed for murder of humans in the Nazi death camps, by some investigators (Hilberg?).)

Zyklon B has this legitimate purpose, too, it seems.

Diesel motors could do other things than producing exhaust for gas chambers in extermination camps. (Electricity, drive water pumps.)

An anatomical institute has a legitimate purpose. It still exist such institutes. There is a science called “anatomy”.

But the proceedings are easily to be misunderstood, if your knowledge of the science is perfunctory. It looks a bit “sinister”. It is therefore not well published, for obviouos reasons. Study tours for school classes are not encouraged.

You may spend a lot of your life unaware of the proceedings of both concentration camps and anatomical institutes.

I was completely unaware of the legitimate purpose of Zyklon B before Internet.

Diesel exhaust I remember debated during a strike in Swedish iron mines decades ago. The mining company had changed electric engines to diesel driven engines, and they were “stinking”, according to workers. Nobody claimed health dangers, if I remember it rightly.(The strike was about more than this, to be sure.)

But diesel exhaust certainly looks unhealthy.

To my mind, an anatomical institution would appear to be a Bosch (not the German company!) hell. I would find it hard to understand the “machines”. I would have to muster some “good will” to see any meaningful purpose of the proceedings.

Compare cutting of heads at Danzig/ hair at Auschwitz!

Are you trying to tell me that the "human fat = soap" incident is folklore and didn't happen, but there's also a legitimate explanation for it which the British POWs didn't understand?
“Human fat=soap” has prejudicates in Greuel from WW1. That is considered folklore now.

An anatomical institution is Greuel in it self. So is war.

Soap isn’t. Soap from human fat postulates a realm of madness. Such postulates are produced during War propaganda – still.

And we can learn from history without such postulates.
If you can settle on a version of what happened, it would be easier to answer your questions
.

The version hinted at above. An anatomical institute without “postulates”.
Last edited by Erik on 31 Oct 2002 04:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 31 Oct 2002 03:44

Erik -- You're welcome.

Your post provides a more agreeable interpretation of the British POWs' statements, but to establish that this interpretation is also the truth requires:
(a) Mazur's story to be demonstrably false; and
(b) a provable, or at least plausible, alternative explanation for what the POWs saw.

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Post by Scott Smith » 31 Oct 2002 09:32

David Thompson wrote:Erik -- You're welcome.

Your post provides a more agreeable interpretation of the British POWs' statements, but to establish that this interpretation is also the truth requires:
(a) Mazur's story to be demonstrably false; and
No, it requires Mazur's story to be demonstrably true.
(b) a provable, or at least plausible, alternative explanation for what the POWs saw.
We don't even have the text of what Witton and Neely said so that we can compare the claims line-by-line to see if they support Mazur. So far we have little more than rumor and hearsay collated by Allied authorities and not subject to cross-examination or any other form of critical analysis. This is the most likely explanation of all, because confabulation does not require conspiracy.

We want to believe in Nazi mad-scientists, though, so we are easily suckered by a good story.
:)

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Post by Roberto » 31 Oct 2002 10:57

Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:Erik -- You're welcome.

Your post provides a more agreeable interpretation of the British POWs' statements, but to establish that this interpretation is also the truth requires:
(a) Mazur's story to be demonstrably false; and
No, it requires Mazur's story to be demonstrably true.
The burden of demonstrating that something is wrong with a coherent and detailed eyewitness testimonial lies with who so alleges, in my opinion.

And the more strongly that testimonial is corroborated by other evidence pointing in the same direction, the more difficult that task becomes.
David Thompson wrote:(b) a provable, or at least plausible, alternative explanation for what the POWs saw.
Scott Smith wrote:We don't even have the text of what Witton and Neely said so that we can compare the claims line-by-line to see if they support Mazur.
Who is "we", Mr. Smith?

Who has assessed the three affidavits obviously had them at their disposal, and from what I've seen you have been given several indications as to where you may obtain the text of the mentioned affidavits, if you're really interested.

Which means that this "we don't have" - crap is sounding sillier with every repetition.
Scott Smith wrote:So far we have little more than rumor and hearsay collated by Allied authorities and not subject to cross-examination or any other form of critical analysis.
From what I've seen, we have the assessment of the evidence by criminal justice authorities and historians.

If you disagree with that assessment, it is up to you to obtain access to the records of the evidence and explain on hand of those records that and why you think the assessment is wrong.

But repeating your hollow rhetoric over and over again will not get you anywhere.
Scott Smith wrote:This is the most likely explanation of all, because confabulation does not require conspiracy.
Confabulation has to demonstrated, my dear boy.

You need to show indications that such a thing as confabulation is likely to have occurred.

So far you have shown none.

And with Mazur's affidavit before Soviet criminal justice authorities coinciding with an account he provided to a non-Soviet entity before and the affidavits of Witton and Neely having been provided independently of each other and before British and not Soviet criminal justice authorities, the possibility of three accounts coinciding in their essential features being the result of "confabulation" is rather remote.
Scott Smith wrote:We want to believe in Nazi mad-scientists, though, so we are easily suckered by a good story.
:)
Again, who is "we", Mr. Smith ?

From what I've seen on this forum, only the "Revisionist" true believers attach any importance to the trivial question whether or not the Danzig experiments were a reality, and while their opponents draw the conclusions warranted by the existing record of evidence and assessments thereof, the true believers keep throwing around hollow rhetorical phrases to disguise their woeful inability to demonstrate that anything is wrong with the evidence they challenge.

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Post by Roberto » 31 Oct 2002 11:10

Erik wrote:The prodigious memorial capacity of Roberto is probably right, as it usually is.

But he has earlier stated his judgement of the Soap issue : it is a “piss in the ocean”, in a “realm of madness”. He can’t find any interest even to remember it very “far”, it seems.
I can understand that I haunt your nightmares and you therefore feel the urge to constantly bring up my name, philosopher.

But how about providing some clear-cut assertions and arguments in support thereof instead of puking around your resentments and frustrations in confused and dreary pseudo-philosophical monologues ?

How about telling us in a concise and intelligible manner what exactly you think is wrong with the evidence or assessments of evidence that don't fit into your moronic dreamworld ?

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