Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

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TankCommander600
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Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by TankCommander600 » 18 Aug 2008 18:37

I am inclined to believe that no more than 5 or 6 thousand people ever died in Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec combined. The facts simply do not support the claim that 1.5 million were killed.

- For a start, on the plan of Treblinka there is a well:

Image

Now, we can also see on this map the burial pits surrounding the camp. Surely the well would have been contaminated surrounded by all these rotting bodies?

Now, let's take a look at the burial pits themselves. In Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Yitzhak Arad says, regarding Treblinka:

"East of the gas chambers, and close to them, were huge ditches for burying the dead. The ditches were 50 metres long, 25 metres wide, and 10 metres deep"

"To save space, the bodies were arranged head to foot; each head lay between the feet of two other corpses, and each pair of feet between two heads. Sand or chlorine was scattered in between the layers of bodies"

Now, if we take the height of the average person to be 5 foot (factoring in children here as well), 2.3 feet in width, and 9 inches deep (these are fairly standard measurements and nothing over the top), but add 7 inches of sand/chlorine to be scattered in between each layer, but take off 10 inches of height (because the head and feet overlap) we get:

50 inches x 26 inches x 16 inches= 20800 inches, or 0.3408 cubic metres.

Now, looking at what Arad mentioned about the pits, we can multiple 50x25x9 (Arad mentioned the top layer is dirt only, so take off a metre) to get 11250 cubic metres per pit. Divide 11250 by 0.3408 (to see how many bodies each pit can hold), and we get 33010.

Treblinka shows 5 pits, however, the two on the left are smaller than the 3 of the right, so we'll combine those 2 and say they make up one full sized pit. So we have 4 full sized pits.

33010x4= 132040.

132040 is therefore the maximum number that could have possibly been buried in Treblinka. History would tell us it was 650000-700000, which as you can see, is quite obviously nothing more than a lie. You would need 21 burial pits to bury the 700000 number.

Even if we halved the "depth" of each person (i.e. removed the sand/chlorine layer), and so got a depth of 8 inches per person, you would still need 10.6 pits for Treblinka.

On page 173 of the same book (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka)) Arad writes:

"During Himmlers' visit to the camp at the end of February/beginning of March 1943, he was surprised to find that in Treblinka the corpses of over 700000 Jews who had been killed there had not yet been crimated".

This shows that there were 700000 bodies there, at the Treblinka site. (according to Arads and Himmler's claims anyway). Now, the only logical explanation is that 1) There was no mass killing on the scale as to what the Allies and the Jews said there was, or 2) The bodies were buried outside the camp.

Now, let's look at a couple of models of Treblinka (from [url]deathcamps.org[/url]):

The Laponder model:

Image

The Peters model:

Image

It doesn't look like they have space for another 17 pits outside the camp, does it? Bearing in mind these pits are close to the size of olympic swimming pools, except much deeper. There is also no mention by Arad of bodies been buried outside the camps. Therefore, we return back to logical explanation 1)

Videos about the Reinhardt camps, and the inconsistancies of the Jewish/Allied claims can be found at http://www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com. While I would not go as far as to deny any were killed in the Reinhardt camps, I would say it is more along the lines of a few thousand, rather than 1.5 million.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 18 Aug 2008 23:39

TankCommander600 -- (1) You wrote:
For a start, on the plan of Treblinka there is a well:

There are a number of plans of KL Treblinka, not just one. They're not all the same shape, either:

Mapping Treblinka
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/maps.html
Treblinka
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_nm.php?l ... ediaId=447

There are a number of models of the camp as well:

The 2004 Laponder Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/laponder1.html
The Peters Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/peters.html
The Sztajer Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/sztajer.html
The Wiernik Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/wiernik.html

(2)
Now, we can also see on this map the burial pits surrounding the camp. Surely the well would have been contaminated surrounded by all these rotting bodies?

Several questions come to mind: What was the topography of the camp -- was it built on a hill, or was it flat? How deep was the well? Did it tap a spring? Was this the only well? Was it used for drinking, or just for irrigating?

(3)
On page 173 of the same book (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka)) Arad writes:
"During Himmlers' visit to the camp at the end of February/beginning of March 1943, he was surprised to find that in Treblinka the corpses of over 700000 Jews who had been killed there had not yet been crimated".

This shows that there were 700000 bodies there, at the Treblinka site. (according to Arads and Himmler's claims anyway). Now, the only logical explanation is that 1) There was no mass killing on the scale as to what the Allies and the Jews said there was, or 2) The bodies were buried outside the camp.

There is also another explanation -- that burning bodies and cremation don't mean the same thing. At p. 121 of the same book, Arad quotes from the testimony of SS-Oberscharfuehrer Heinrich Matthes, to the effect that the bodies of gas camp victims were being burned in 1942. Burning the bodies of the dead reduces their mass considerably, while cremation involves turning bones into ashes.

(3)
132040 is therefore the maximum number that could have possibly been buried in Treblinka. History would tell us it was 650000-700000, which as you can see, is quite obviously nothing more than a lie. You would need 21 burial pits to bury the 700000 number.

Your calculations do not take into account the reduction in mass from burning the bodies, or the possibility that there were mass graves outside the boundaries of KL Treblinka.

Also, your use of the expression "quite obviously nothing more than a lie" is interesting. Just as burning bodies is not necessarily the same thing as cremation, a lie and a mistake are not synonymous either. if you have miscalculated here, does that make your post a lie? Or should we consider that since a lie is a knowing falsehood, perhaps you have only made a mistake?

(4)
It doesn't look like they have space for another 17 pits outside the camp, does it? Bearing in mind these pits are close to the size of olympic swimming pools, except much deeper. There is also no mention by Arad of bodies been buried outside the camps. Therefore, we return back to logical explanation 1)

Unlike the models, KL Treblinka wasn't built on a table for indoor display. In fact, there was a Treblinka labor camp just down the road, which the models don't show. This leaves all three possibilities open, except that your possibility #1 is contradicted by the testimony of camp guards, administrators, inmates, and Nazi records.

(5)
While I would not go as far as to deny any were killed in the Reinhardt camps, I would say it is more along the lines of a few thousand, rather than 1.5 million.

What do you make of the trial testimony of the non-Jewish/Allied camp commander, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Stangl, quoted at pp. 120-121 of Arad's book?:
Regarding the question of what was the optimum about of people gassed in one day, I can state: according to my estimation a transport of thirty freight cars with 3,000 people was liquidated in three hours. When the work lasted for fourteen hours, 12,000 to 15,000 people were anniihilated. There were many days that the work lasted from the early morning until the evening . . . .


For interested readers:

Treblinka Eyewitness Accounts (put together by Roberto Muehlenkamp for the RODOH forum)
http://rodohforum.yuku.com/topic/2454/t ... ounts.html
Treblinka (Aktion Reinhard(t) Camps)
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/tr ... rview.html

Other discussion threads on this forum:

Excavators at Treblinka
viewtopic.php?t=49187
Treblinka I/II
viewtopic.php?t=43
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! [Treblinka]
viewtopic.php?t=2285
Information regarding Deportatitions to Treblinka
viewtopic.php?t=2585
The Nazi Concentration Camp System and the SS-WVHA
viewtopic.php?t=16879
Concentration camp administration
viewtopic.php?p=428197
The Camps from the SS perspective
viewtopic.php?t=10752
Question about Dr. Konrad Morgen
viewtopic.php?p=422901
Testimony of Dr. jur. Konrad Morgen (Who was in charge of the holocaust?)
viewtopic.php?p=50653

TankCommander600
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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by TankCommander600 » 19 Aug 2008 02:18

[quote=David Thompson]There are a number of plans of KL Treblinka, not just one. They're not all the same shape, either:

Mapping Treblinka
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/maps.html
Treblinka
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_nm.php?l ... ediaId=447

There are a number of models of the camp as well:

The 2004 Laponder Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/laponder1.html
The Peters Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/peters.html
The Sztajer Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/sztajer.html
The Wiernik Model
http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/wiernik.html[/quote]

Very well.

Several questions come to mind: What was the topography of the camp -- was it built on a hill, or was it flat? How deep was the well? Did it tap a spring? Was this the only well? Was it used for drinking, or just for irrigating?


In Arads book, p289, he writes: "Every afternoon would be allowed out of the barracks area to the well, some 20 metres from the gate in the barracks fence, to fetch water for the barracks kitchen for preparing supper"

We can quite clearly see he is talking about the well I mentioned (the one near the burial pits) with the "20 metres from the gate in the barracks area" comment. I would presume preparing supper (and he later mentions washing dishes as well) with contaminated water would be somewhat dangerous, no?

I'm not sure whether Treblinka was built on flat ground or not. That's no reason to assume the well was on a hill, however, expecially as, as far as I can see, Arad never mentions it in his book.

There is also another explanation -- that burning bodies and cremation don't mean the same thing. At p. 121 of the same book, Arad quotes from the testimony of SS-Oberscharfuehrer Heinrich Matthes, to the effect that the bodies of gas camp victims were being burned in 1942. Burning the bodies of the dead reduces their mass considerably, while cremation involves turning bones into ashes.


I have looked around for this page online (I don't have access to the book at the current time, been away from home- I will have access to it by tommorow night however) and I found a quote from it on a questionable website, so I'm not sure whether this is indeed the correct quote, or even the one you were refering to:

"During the entire time I was in Treblinka, I served in the upper camp. The upper camp was that part of Treblinka with the gas chambers, where the Jews were killed and their corpses laid in large pits and later burned."

If this is the quote you mean, then I would argue that "later" means from 1943 onwards. You don't throw bodies into a burial pit THEN burn them, as bodies don't burn like wood, and thus would not ignite. It would also contradict the whole sand/chlorine layer idea (can you imagine laying down a layer of bodies, burning them, adding sand, setting down another layer, burning them...the idea is preposterous, if they were going to do it this was the Germans would have burned the bodies then put them into the pit, not the other way round).

Also, your use of the expression "quite obviously nothing more than a lie" is interesting. Just as burning bodies is not necessarily the same thing as cremation, a lie and a mistake are not synonymous either. if you have miscalculated here, does that make your post a lie? Or should we consider that since a lie is a knowing falsehood, perhaps you have only made a mistake?


The difference between 130000 (the number the pits could hold) and 700000 is so great as to make me believe it was deliberately exaggerated or outright made up. There's no way someone could calculate so badly. At any rate, the 700000 (and by extension the 5.5-6 million figure) should not be presented as fact when they are in fact a mistake. If the mistake was smaller (i.e. 600000 rather than 700000) I could accept it as a mistake. But a difference of 470000? Sorry, but that's a deliberate exaggeration.

Unlike the models, KL Treblinka wasn't built on a table for indoor display. In fact, there was a Treblinka labor camp just down the road, which the models don't show. This leaves all three possibilities open, except that your possibility #1 is contradicted by the testimony of camp guards, administrators, inmates, and Nazi records.


We have to factor in the inherent bias of the inmates- the Nazis didn't like the Jews, the Jews would have resented having their wealth and belongings taken from them and been shoved into a camp, so they can hardly be thought of as "reliable". Don't have a go at me for this, everything else is history is looked at whether it is biased or not, and the holocaust eyewitnesses should be no different. Then we must remember many of the Nazi officials were captured by the allies and will have given their cofessions under duress- see Kurt Gerstein inVoices and Views, by Deborah Dwork.

In this book, page 391, Gerstein mentions "veritable mountains of clothing and underwear, 115 to 130 feet high". On page 390, he says (about Belzec and Treblinka) "The figures given on the radio by the British Broadcasting Co. are not correct; in actual fact, the total number of people involved was 25,000,000! Not Jews alone, but Poles as well as Czechs, who, so the Nazis said, were biologically valueless."

Obviously clothing piled 115 feet high is rediculous- A 6 foot tall man, standing on his tiptoes can maybe reach 8 feet, and throwing the clothes high in the air to maybe reach 20 or 25 feet is the maximum the clothes could possible have been piled.

Obviously the 25 million figure for Belzec and Treblinka combined is absurd. The Gerstein report was written from a French prison in Paris. So Gerstein would have been under the supervision of the allies. Looking at the outlandish claims, it would seem Gerstein was forced to give such a statement. He also claims 750 people could fit into 1590 cubic feet of space in the same book: "four times 750 persons in four times 1590 cubic feet of space"- giving only 2.12 cubic feet of space per person (people take up much more than 2.12 cubic feet of space).

What I'm saying is that eyewitness testimony cannot be wholly relied upon.

What do you make of the trial testimony of the non-Jewish/Allied camp commander, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Stangl, quoted at pp. 120-121 of Arad's book?:


Given that it's a trial, this guy has obviously been captured by the allies, and thus maybe well have exaggerated in the same way Gerstein obviously did.

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Adam Carr
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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by Adam Carr » 19 Aug 2008 02:37

I thought there was a rule against Holocaust denial at this forum.

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Ranke
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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by Ranke » 19 Aug 2008 06:45

This is Holocaust Denial of the most pathetic, yet disturbing kind, as there might well be one or two people in neo-nazi land who believe this nonsense. The website you link http://www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com/ is a holocaust denial video.

We have to factor in the inherent bias of the inmates- the Nazis didn't like the Jews, the Jews would have resented having their wealth and belongings taken from them and been shoved into a camp, so they can hardly be thought of as "reliable".


F**K me.

Sorry, don't care if I'm banned. Can't take this crap.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by Jon G. » 19 Aug 2008 08:32

This thread is locked pending review by this section's host.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 19 Aug 2008 15:17

Adam Carr wrote:
I thought there was a rule against Holocaust denial at this forum.

and Ranke wrote:
This is Holocaust Denial of the most pathetic, yet disturbing kind, as there might well be one or two people in neo-nazi land who believe this nonsense.

Holocaust denial is not permitted here. AHF does permit discussion of various aspects of the Holocaust, including this one. See the section rules:

B. Holocaust Denial

Holocaust denial is not permitted by the second rule of this forum. The policy, and the reasons for it, may be seen at:
A note on denial
viewtopic.php?t=10881

The essential aspects of the holocaust are well-known. They have been established through more than fifty years of court proceedings in a large number of countries. The evidence consists of eyewitness testimony from victims and bystanders, the confessions and admissions of perpetrators, photographs, an abundance of documents, physical evidence, forensic studies and judicial findings.

Legitimate questions may be raised about the veracity of individual witnesses or their motives, or isolated items of evidence, or matters of interpretation of policy, etc. These questions do not affect the fact that millions of persons were deliberately murdered, nor does it alter the cumulative and overwhelming evidence of who committed the murders.

The rules of this forum regarding holocaust denial also apply, for example, to the mass murders of Armenians during WWI, and the interwar famine in the Ukraine. It is permissible to question whether these and similar events were the result of a deliberate government policy, and legitimate questions may be raised about the veracity of individual witnesses or their motives, individual items of evidence, or matters of interpretation of policy, but it is not permissible to deny that the events occurred.

Nonconforming posts are subject to deletion without warning. Serious breaches of these rules are punishable by banning the poster.

H&WC Section Rules
viewtopic.php?t=53962

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 19 Aug 2008 16:12

TankCommander600 -- Here are some comments to your post at viewtopic.php?p=1241518#p1241518 ; more will follow:

(1) In regard to the well shown on Mr. Arad's Treblinka map and your assertion about contaminated water, I remarked:
Several questions come to mind: What was the topography of the camp -- was it built on a hill, or was it flat? How deep was the well? Did it tap a spring? Was this the only well? Was it used for drinking, or just for irrigating?

You replied:
In Arads book, p289, he writes:
"Every afternoon would be allowed out of the barracks area to the well, some 20 metres from the gate in the barracks fence, to fetch water for the barracks kitchen for preparing supper"


We can quite clearly see he is talking about the well I mentioned (the one near the burial pits) with the "20 metres from the gate in the barracks area" comment.

I don't think you're correct here. Mr. Arad's map (posted at viewtopic.php?p=1241422#p1241422 ) shows three wells at KL Treblinka:

(a) One well -- the well you're apparently talking about, near the burial pits -- is at the bottom of the map, in the extermination area, over by the mass graves (marked #34 on the map) and the old gas chamber (marked #33 on the map). There's only one gate into KL Treblinka shown on the map, and this well is nowhere near it.

(b) Another well, which fits the description given by Mr. Arad, is at the upper left hand corner of the map, close to the only gate at Treblinka camp (marked #1 on the map) and next to the guard house (marked #2 on the map) and the SS living quarters (marked #3 on the map). This other well is located a considerable distance from the mass graves sites – in fact, it's diagonally across the camp from them.

(c) There is a third well -- about 1/5 of the way down Mr. Arad's map and also a considerable distance away from the mass graves -- in the "Ghetto" area, immediately west of the prisoners' kitchen (marked #18 on the map). This well is not particularly close to the camp gate.

(2)
I would presume preparing supper (and he later mentions washing dishes as well) with contaminated water would be somewhat dangerous, no?

The first question is, was the water contaminated? – we don't have an answer to that question yet. The second question is, if the water was contaminated, how badly and with what? The third question is, who was consuming the possibly contaminated water? – was it the SS personnel running the camp? If not, the camp administrators might not have been overly concerned with the purity of the prisoners' water supply, since the prisoners were going to be killed anyway.

(3)
I'm not sure whether Treblinka was built on flat ground or not. That's no reason to assume the well was on a hill, however, expecially as, as far as I can see, Arad never mentions it in his book.

As it turns out, the camp was built on a hillside. See the note on the "Aktion Reinhard(t) Camps" website:
In addition the camp was purposely situated on a slight hillock inside the remains of a forest area (for camouflage and deception reasons) making it impossible for interns to determine whether the camp was square, rectangle or trapezoid (it was in fact an irregular trapezoid).

http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/maps.html

See also the topographical map of the KL Treblinka site (enlargement at http://www.death-camps.org/treblinka/pic/bmap7.jpg )
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LWD
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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by LWD » 19 Aug 2008 16:20

Here's a link to the current google map.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
Hopfully it has the contours in not click on the appropriate tab.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 19 Aug 2008 17:30

TankCommander600 -- Here are more some comments to your post at viewtopic.php?p=1241518#p1241518

(1) In regard to the distinction between burning bodies and cremation, I wrote:
There is also another explanation -- that burning bodies and cremation don't mean the same thing. At p. 121 of the same book, Arad quotes from the testimony of SS-Oberscharfuehrer Heinrich Matthes, to the effect that the bodies of gas camp victims were being burned in 1942. Burning the bodies of the dead reduces their mass considerably, while cremation involves turning bones into ashes.

You replied:
I have looked around for this page online (I don't have access to the book at the current time, been away from home- I will have access to it by tommorow night however) and I found a quote from it on a questionable website, so I'm not sure whether this is indeed the correct quote, or even the one you were refering to:

"During the entire time I was in Treblinka, I served in the upper camp. The upper camp was that part of Treblinka with the gas chambers, where the Jews were killed and their corpses laid in large pits and later burned."


Here's the full quote from p. 121 (I scanned it for our readers, since I have a copy of the book):

SS Oberscharführer Heinrich Matthes, who was in charge of Camp III (with the gas chambers), described the killing operations there:

During the entire time that I was in Treblinka, I served in the Upper Camp. The Upper Camp was that part of Treblinka with the gas chambers, where the Jews were killed and their corpses laid in large pits and later burned.

About fourteen Germans carried out services in the Upper Camp. There were two Ukrainians permanently in the Upper Camp. One of them was called Nikolai. The other was a short man, I don't remember his name. . . . These two Ukrainians who lived in the Upper Camp served in the gas chambers. They also took care of the engine room when Fritz Schmidt was absent. Usually this Schmidt was in charge of the engine room. In my opinion, as a civilian he was either a mechanic or driver. He came from Pirna. . . .

I carried out the roll calls of the working Jews in the Upper Camp. There were about 200-300 such working Jews. They took away the corpses and later burned them. There were also working Jews who had to break out the gold teeth from the corpses. When I asked whether a special working group examined the corpses for hidden jewelry and valuables, I answered: "About this I don't know." In the Upper [Camp] in the area of the gas chambers were stationed about six to eight Ukrainians. These Ukrainians were armed with rifles. Some of them also had leather whips. . . .

The people who were brought through the passage were forced to enter the separate [single] gas chamber. Later, in summer 1942, the new gas chambers were built. I think that they became operational only in the autumn. All together, six gas chambers were active. According to my estimate, about 300 people could enter each gas chamber. The people went into the gas chambers without resistance. Those who were at the end, the Ukrainian guards had to push inside. I personally saw how the Ukrainians pushed the people with their rifle butts. . . .

The gas chambers were closed for about thirty minutes. Then Schmidt stopped the gassing, and the two Ukrainians who were in the engine room opened the gas chambers from the other side.'


(2) You added:
If this is the quote you mean, then I would argue that "later" means from 1943 onwards.

Ok, but what is the factual basis for your argument?

(3)
You don't throw bodies into a burial pit THEN burn them, as bodies don't burn like wood, and thus would not ignite.

We don't know how the bodies were burned yet, or whether the burning conformed to your description or was done in a different manner.

(4)
It would also contradict the whole sand/chlorine layer idea (can you imagine laying down a layer of bodies, burning them, adding sand, setting down another layer, burning them...the idea is preposterous, if they were going to do it this was the Germans would have burned the bodies then put them into the pit, not the other way round).

Apparently not, judging from this description (at pp. 92-94 of Mr. Arad's book -- note that this account of body-burning also takes place in 1942, not 1943):

94 BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA

[To regain control over the situation,] and first of all to evacuate the thousands of corpses piled in the reception area, Wirth and Stangl asked Operation Reinhard headquarters to stop the transports to Treblinka temporarily. Globocnik agreed, and on August 28, 1942, the deportations from Warsaw and other places ceased.4

With the suspension of the transports to Treblinka, work commenced on clearing the multitude of corpses piled up near the station platform and around the reception area. It was carried out by Jews who had remained from the last transports, left alive by camp command decision until the cleanup was completed. [Abraham] Kszepicki describes the prisoners' living and working conditions at the time:

At seven in the evening there was a roll call; they counted us—we were about 500. They appointed a Jewish commander—a capo, the engineer Galewski. That day, like every day, the roll call lasted two hours. The next morning there was another roll call. Since first counting us they had instituted some order, and the roll calls were held three times a day. Food distribution was also organized. A field kitchen was set up near the well, and there they gave us half a liter of soup three times a day. We received no bread, but there was no lack of food, since we could take it from the bundles left behind by the Jews brought for extermination. The kitchen food also came from these bundles. . . . After roll call we were taken to work at the big square, where there were mass graves. This time I worked at transferring corpses to the big ditch near the fence. After a few days, the scoop-shovel stopped working. A new system was instituted—burning the corpses in the ditches. All kinds of articles were used to light the fires, including empty valises and the junk which was collected in the course of cleaning the square. The body-burning continued day and night, and the entire camp was filled with smoke and the stench of burned and burning bodies. Still there were endless quantities of bodies. It was necessary to clean the area fully of the remains of the last transports . . . bodies, dozens of bodies, hundreds, thousands of men, women, and children who had been murdered. Corpses of people of different ages, in different positions, with different expressions frozen on their faces the moment they breathed their last. All around, just earth, sky, and corpses! A factory of horror whose sole product was bodies. Evidently only a German could become accustomed to a place like this. I didn't get used to the sight of corpses until the end. . . .

The quantity of bodies in the large square gradually decreased, until one day the entire field was clear. What will happen to us now? New transports aren't arriving. Our hearts tell us that our last hour has arrived. . . . but a miracle happened.. .. they selected eighty of our group and shot them, while the rest, several hundred, were directed to other jobs.5


See also this description (at pp. 121-122 of Mr. Arad's book):

Another extermination facility in Treblinka was the Lazarett. Near the camp's southern fence were huge pits, where the tens of thousands who had died in the freight cars on their way to Treblinka were buried alongside those who had been shot on or near the camp train platform. At these pits, too, the prisoners who worked in the camp during the first stage of operation were shot and killed after a day or so of work.

The need for these pits had stemmed from the high mortality rate inside the transport trains and the insufficient capacity of the three original gas

122 BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA

chambers. After construction of the new gas chambers and the resultant reduction in the time of the train journey to Treblinka, the need for these pits was sharply reduced. Henceforth, they were used for executing those deportees who lacked the strength to walk to the "showers" on their own, as well as the Jewish prisoners from the camp.

Following these changes, the area set aside for execution by shooting was reduced in size. The camp command decided to give the area the appearance of a hospital, which became known in the camp as Lazarett. The Lazarett covered an area of 150 to 200 square meters and was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence laced with branches. The entrance to the Lazarett area was decorated with a red cross, and next to it was a sign, "Lazarett." Inside was a small hut, and behind it a ditch 12 meters long and 4 meters deep. Next to the ditch was an earth rampart with benches. Those about to die were told to strip and sit on the benches. One of the Germans or Ukrainians shot them. The dead bodies fell or were pushed into the ditch, where a fire was always burning, which consumed the bodies.


(5) I wrote:
Also, your use of the expression "quite obviously nothing more than a lie" is interesting. Just as burning bodies is not necessarily the same thing as cremation, a lie and a mistake are not synonymous either. if you have miscalculated here, does that make your post a lie? Or should we consider that since a lie is a knowing falsehood, perhaps you have only made a mistake?


You replied:
The difference between 130000 (the number the pits could hold) and 700000 is so great as to make me believe it was deliberately exaggerated or outright made up. There's no way someone could calculate so badly. At any rate, the 700000 (and by extension the 5.5-6 million figure) should not be presented as fact when they are in fact a mistake. If the mistake was smaller (i.e. 600000 rather than 700000) I could accept it as a mistake. But a difference of 470000? Sorry, but that's a deliberate exaggeration.

Doesn't this assume the very issue we're discussing here – that the mass graves at KL Treblinka could only hold 130,000 corpses? What if you're mistaken? If I show (as I believe I have) that you have erred in your assumptions and calculations, should the readers assume that you lied?

(6) I asked:
What do you make of the trial testimony of the non-Jewish/Allied camp commander, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Stangl, quoted at pp. 120-121 of Arad's book?:

You replied:
Given that it's a trial, this guy has obviously been captured by the allies, and thus maybe well have exaggerated in the same way Gerstein obviously did.

Actually, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Stangl was arrested and put on trial by the West German authorities, not the allies. His trial took place in 1970-71, more than 20 years after the allied occupation ended:

Stangl, Franz Paul (1898 or 1908-1971) [SS-Hauptsturmfűhrer] -- police superintendent, Health Care Institute (HuPa - Heil- und Pflegeanstalten) Schloss Hartheim euthanasia facility 1940; commandant, concentration camp (Konzentrationslager - KL) Sobibor May-Sept 1942; commandant, KL Treblinka Sept 1942-Aug 1943; service, Action Command "Reinhard" (Einsatzkommando Reinhard) at Trieste, Italy {captured by American troops 1945; turned over to Austrian court at Linz for prosecution for euthanasia activities; escaped from Glaisenbach POW camp in late 1947 or 1948; fled to Italy; fled to Syria 1948; to Brazil 1950 or 1951; arrested by Brazilian police 28 Feb 1967 at Sao Paolo (NYT 3 Mar 1967:1:8; NYT 5 Mar 1967:21:1); extradition requested by Austria 3 Mar 1967 (NYT 4 Mar 1967:7:2); extradition requested by West Germany 14 Mar 1967 (NYT 15 Mar 1967:25:1); extradition requested Apr 1967 by Poland (NYT 19 Apr 1967:17:3); extradition contested (NYT 25 Apr 1967:3:2; NYT 28 Apr 1967:19:1; NYT 30 Apr 1967:21:5); impending extradition to West Germany announced by Brazilian government 7 Jun 1967 (NYT 8 Jun 1967:9:1); extradited 23 Jun 1967 to West Germany (NYT 24 Jun 1967:5:4); arrested 24 Jun 1967 by West German authorities at Duesseldorf and held for trial on charges of complicity in the murders of 700,000 persons (NYT 25 Jun 1967:5:1); put on trial 13 May 1970 by a West German court at Duesseldorf on charges of complicity in at least 400,000 murders of Bulgarian, Greek, Yugoslavian, Dutch, Austrian and Polish Jews and gypsys (Zigeuner) between Apr 1942 and Aug 1943 (NYT 14 May 1970:4:4; NYT 30 May 1970:13:4); convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 22 Dec 1970 (NYT 23 Dec 1970:1:5; JuNSV Verfahren Lfd.Nr.746; LG Düsseldorf 701222); died in prison 28 Jun 1971 (NYT 29 Jun 1971:40:4). (Into That Darkness 21; Who's Who pps. 295-7; Encyclopedia of the Third Reich pps. 910-1; Camp Men p. 228; SS: Roll of Infamy pps. 162-3).}

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by steve248 » 20 Aug 2008 11:54

Historical facts fly in the face of the pretentious twaddle peddled by Tankcommander600.

Did the West German courts who held one trial involving Belzec extermination camp personnel, 7 trials involving Sobibor extermination camp personnel and 3 trials involving Treblinka extermination camp personnel really waste the West German taxpayers money on a grand scale? Does the mountain of historical documentation they acquired about the Aktion Reinhard extermination program for these 11 trials, proving that well over one million Jews were killed on these three sites, really mean nothing? Did the convicted perpetrators who admitted the enormity of these crimes, really lie?

What about the Korherr Report of 14 April 1943 where he mentions 1,274,166 persons were "passed through the camps in the General Government"? A strange exact number that also appears in a German police radio message from the very perpetrators dated 11 January 1943 (intercepted by British intelligence on that day) where the 1,274,166 is broken down among the "Einsatz Reinhardt" camps for the year ending 31.12.1942:
L (Lublin) 24,733
B (Belzec) 434,508
S (Sobibor) 101,370
T (Treblinka) 713,555
TOTAL 1,274,166

(Note: The T/Treblinka figure is quoted in the decoded message as "71355" but to make the final 1274166 this figure should naturally be 713555.)

That same decoded radio message shows that during December 1942 alone, Treblinka received 10,335 persons. Further details in: Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, "A New Document on the Deportation and Muder of Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhardt' 1942", publ. Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2001, pp 468-486.

Thus, after the end of 1942 the Aktion/Einsatz Reinhard/Reinhardt camps with both Sobibor and Treblinka still in operation the subsequent deportations of other Jewish populations - see Arad, Scheffler and others for details - meant the 1,500,000 figure was undoubtedly exceeded. Belzec was closed down just before the end of 1942 so its final total of murdered people was the 434,508 mentioned in the decoded message. This final figure for Belzec is also accepted by US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Tankcommander600 should be aware that his "friend" David Irving also accepts this radio message as genuine and indicative of 1,274,166 persons (they may not all have been Jews - some were probably gypsies) being murdered at Lublin, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.

Stephen Tyas (steve248)

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by steve248 » 20 Aug 2008 12:36

On the question of burning the bodies of the victims, there is another intercept of a German police message dated 15 Sept 1942. This time between KL Auschwitz and WVHA, the former seeking permission to visit Litzmannstadt (Lodz) where there was a "Research Station for Field Ovens, Aktion 'Reinhard' " (Versuchsstation für Feldöfen,Aktion 'Reinhard'). The original message exists in the present-day archives of the KL Auschwitz.

What is the relevance of this message? The answer is that even as late as mid Sept 1942 the burning of bodies after extermination was still not usual so therefore, they were buried. Part of the problem at Auschwitz was the buried bodies began affecting the local ground water at Auschwitz-Birkenau (testimony of Pery Broad).

On 16 Sept 1942, Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss, with SS-Ustuf Hössler and SS-Ustuf Dejaco visited Litzmannstadt where SS-Staf Paul Blobel was experimenting with burning dead bodies. The "Research Station" was using some of the long dead victims of Chelmno (the first executions began in December 1941) and Aktion Reinhard personnel were conducting the trial burnings. Putting practice into operation began just two days later.

Digging out bodies would involve a lot of personnel and with KZ prisoners being used, this operation would entail guarding, feeding and accommodating them. As the Aktion Reinhard camps did not have large camp staffs it was probably for this reason that SSPF Lublin (SS-Brig Globocnik who controlled the Reinhard camps) on 18 September 1942, in another decoded German police message, began making enquiries in Holland for the supply of an earth excavator (Bagger für Erdarbeiten) - possibly the one shown in private photos of Reinhard personnel somewhere on this Forum. I believe the paltry figure of victims Tankcommander600 suggests would not justify such a financial outlay, unlike the bodies of over one million victims already buried.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 21 Aug 2008 02:26

A few thousand victims wouldn't account for the 2,000 railroad boxcars of textiles (clothes) confiscated in the Aktion Reinhard(t) operations, either. See item "f" in SS-Gruppenfuehrer Odilo Globocnik's undated report to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler at viewtopic.php?p=578546#p578546 .

Mr. Arad, at p. 139 of his work, quotes from a 20 Jun 1942 German police report on a deportation of Viennese Jews to Sobibor, in which a shipment of 1,000 deportees yielded 3 railroad boxcars of food and luggage. Extrapolating the ratio of 3 cars per thousand deportees to the 2,000 railroad boxcars of textiles (no food included) suggests a minimum of 666,000 persons who weren't going to need their clothes anymore after arriving at the camps. The Jews deported from other countries may not have carried as much luggage as the Viennese Jews.

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by Adam Carr » 21 Aug 2008 03:28

Indeed, the Jews sent from all over Poland to these camps carried very little luggage, because (a) they were much poorer than western European Jews, particularly after spending time in the various ghettoes (b) they were travelling shorter distances (c) they were in general more harshly treated and (d) they under fewer illusions about where they were being sent and why.

More than 300,000 people were deported from the Umschlagplatz railhead in the Warsaw ghetto during 1942 and 1943. Where does TankCommander think they went? Madagascar?

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Re: Did 1.5 million really die in the Reinhardt camps?

Post by David Thompson » 21 Aug 2008 22:34

Mr. Arad quotes (at p. 57) a deportation order for Lublin dated 17 Mar 1942, stating
"Those who are deported may take with them one handbag weighing 15 kg, all their money and valuables . . . . They should be prepared to walk about 3 kms on foot; from then on, there will be transport."

The 3 km deportation hike pretty much rules out small children and the elderly hauling their own 33 lbs. of luggage, unless they had family members to help them carry it.

It looks like the deportees who were able, or could find someone able, to carry their baggage were restricted to a single medium-sized suitcase each for all their money, valuables, and clothes. It would take a lot of medium-sized suitcases to fill up a railroad boxcar at that rate. Of course, it would take even more to fill up 2,000 railroad boxcars, especially after the money, valuables, mementos, food and the suitcase itself had been removed by the Aktion Reinhard(t) administrators.

The fact that the Aktion Reinhard(t) administrators took all their belongings leaves me skeptical about the notion (which of course ignores the German, Polish and Jewish witness accounts of mass murder) that the Jewish deportees were "resettled" somewhere -- without their clothes. The "deportees" didn't get to keep their money, valuables or mementos, either -- see the booty lists in the "Documents relating to Aktion Reinhard(t)" thread at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=64269 and those for the Jews of Galicia at viewtopic.php?p=554279#554279

And what's with the NS-regime stealing folks' clothes, like laundry thieves?

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