Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

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The Black Rabbit of Inlé
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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 26 May 2017 12:58

Image
Image
These Buchenwald photos are frauds. They're from a set of three depicting this scene that were taken with US soldiers looking on, the guard was forced to pose for the photo apparently. Nevertheless, the photos were passed off as genuine for decades at both the Buchenwald and Dachau memorial museums, and are found in countless books.


Here's another fake Buchenwald photo [top] with the original below.

Image
Two men walk over a large space, probably deep in conversation, others sunbathe on the grass. It's Sunday, a Sunday in the summer of 1944 in the Buchenwald concentration camp. People are surprised, bemused, incredulous: these are not the images of concentration camps we are familiar with; no mountains of corpses, no emaciated survivors on their bunks staring with hollow dead eyes. These men appear to be free to do what they want.

Georges Angeli had difficulties getting anyone to take interest in these images after liberation. They didn't fit with the images which documented Nazi atrocities in anyone's mind. In the picture of the smouldering crematorium, Angeli retouched it to remove the prisoners lying in the sun. "They might have given the wrong impression," he says somewhat sheepishly.

- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20 March 2002, p.58

Further details and sources for all pics:
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=84683#p84683

The Black Rabbit of Inlé
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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 26 May 2017 14:03

Michael Kenny wrote:Good enough for me. If you say so then it must be true.
Holm Kristen, head of the photo archive at the Buchenwald memorial museum said so at the June 2010 Conference of Thuringian Archivists.

I did post a link to my sources, you must have missed that. :roll:

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 26 May 2017 14:21

Michael Kenny wrote:Your word is good enough for me. Your track record for being fair and balanced in regard to Holocaust issues tells me all I need to know about your claims........
Oh yes, of course, you're that always off-topic guy from the Dresden thread.
Holm Kristen wrote:
Um das sogenannte Baumhängen-Foto, ein im Gedenkstättenbereich bekanntes und kontrovers diskutiertes Bild, das eigentlich Teil einer Serie aus drei Fotos ist, ranken sich viele Legenden.[1] Seit Mitte der 1990er Jahre haben sich Historiker mit dem Bild befasst, doch die wichtigsten Fragen zur Herkunft, zum Zeitpunkt der Aufnahme und zu den abgebildeten Personen konnten nicht geklärt werden. In der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald wird das Foto aufgrund seiner unklaren Provenienz bereits seit den frühen 1980er Jahren nicht mehr ausgestellt.

Eines dieser Bilder befindet sich seit langem im Altbestand der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald; der Abzug, über dessen Herkunft nichts bekannt ist, weist eine äußerst schlechte Qualität auf.

Erstmals wurde dieses Foto im Oktober 1950 in der sozialistischen belgischen Tageszeitung „Volksgazet" veröffentlicht. Die Bildunterschrift lautete „So behandelte die SS ihre Schlachtopfer in den Todeslagern". Im Vorfeld des Prozesses gegen den Buchenwalder Arrestzellenaufseher Martin Sommer tauchte das Bild erneut auf. Der Bundesverband österreichischer Widerstandskämpfer hatte es dem Landgericht Bayreuth als Beweisfoto mit dem Kommentar zugesandt, dass das illegal von einem Häftling aufgenommene Foto den SS-Mann Sommer „bei seiner Arbeit" zeige.

Sommer selbst soll, nachdem ihm das Bild vorgelegt wurde, mit der Bemerkung „Das bin ich nicht, und außerdem hängen die Häftlinge falsch" reagiert haben. Dass es sich bei dem abgebildeten SS-Mann tatsächlich nicht um Sommer handelt, ergibt sich aus einem Vergleich mit Fotos aus seinen SS-Akten.

Im Fotoarchiv der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald befinden sich seit wenigen Jahren zwei weitere Fotos vom Baumhängen. Beide zeigen einen ungewöhnlich großen Ausschnitt des Geschehens. Sie stammen aus dem Besitz eines niederländischen Besuchers, der eine Serie von elf Abzügen von seinem Vater erhielt. Dieser entwickelte im Juni 1945 auf Wunsch eines ehemaligen Arbeitskollegen einen Film aus dem KZ Buchenwald und stellte Abzüge her. Inzwischen lässt sich auch der Name des Fotografen benennen. Es handelt sich um den ehemaligen niederländischen Häftling Willem Hoogwerf, der mit einer von einem US-Soldaten geschenkten Kamera die Baumhängen-Fotos sowie weitere Bilder aus dem befreitgen Buchenwald aufnahm.

Die überlieferte Bildunterschrift zu diesem Foto lautet: „Rekonstruktion einer der ‚leichten Strafen'. Der SS-Mann wurde von den Amerikanern gezwungen, seine Mitarbeit zu gewähren. Später wurde das SS-Personal erschossen, genau so wie in Dachau, Neuengamme, usw."

Noch deutlicher wird die Rekonstruktion dieser Szene am Beispiel des nächsten Fotos.

Erstmals ist eine genaue Verortung der Aufnahmen möglich: Links im Hintergrund ist die 1943 entstandene Kläranlage des Konzentrationslagers zu sehen. Damit wäre eine zeitliche Eingrenzung der Aufnahmen möglich, gäbe es da nicht die Schirmmütze des SS-Mannes, die seit 1941 nicht mehr im Lager getragen wurde. Die Soldaten trugen im Dienst ab diesem Zeitpunkt ein sogenanntes Schiffchen; die Schirmmütze war Teil der Ausgeh-Uniform.

Auch die Annahme, dass es sich bei dem Bild um ein heimlich von einem Häftling angefertigtes Foto handelt, wirkt angesichts eines direkt in die Kamera schauenden SS-Mannes mehr als absurd. Alle drei Fotos entstanden unmittelbar nach der Befreiung, zwischen dem 15. und 26. April 1945. Die zu sehende Lagerstrafe des Baumhängens wurde von ehemaligen Häftlingen und einem gefangenen SS-Mannes unter Aufsicht amerikanischer Soldaten inszeniert. Die Gründe dafür liegen auf der Hand. Bilder der SS-Verbrechen gab es nach deren Abzug nicht mehr. Die SS hatte versucht, so viele Spuren ihrer Gewalttaten wie möglich zu beseitigen. Diese Bilder wurden aber benötigt, um eine realistische Vorstellung von den Zuständen im Konzentrationslager zu vermitteln. Was lag also näher, als derartige Szenen nachzustellen?

Im Krematoriumshof des KZ Buchenwald entstand Mitte April 1945 mindestens eine weitere Aufnahme, die aufgrund verschiedener Details deutlich als Inszenierung erkennbar ist.

Aufgrund der dilettantischen SS-Verkleidung wirkte das Bild offenbar nicht authentisch genug. Denn es fand im Gegensatz zu den Baumhängen-Fotos keine größere Verbreitung. Aber auch dieses Bild zeugt vom unbedingten Wunsch, das Leiden der Häftlinge für Außenstehende vorstellbar zu machen.

http://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/servlets/MC ... a1b-22.pdf

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by David Thompson » 26 May 2017 14:44

Two posts from Michael Kenny, which did not address the thread question or the issue of whether particular photographs were fake or not, and containing "ironic" personal comments about another poster, were removed.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé -- Our forum language is English. Please do not post lengthy German passages without providing a translation.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 26 May 2017 14:51

Sorry, won't do it again.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 26 May 2017 20:59

From the book by "a founder of the CIA's national photographic interpretation center":
False Captioning

The falsely caption photo differs from other groups of fake photos in that, although the photography has not been altered, the context of what the photograph purportedly conveys is simply falsified.

Dino Brugioni, Photo Fakery: The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation, Dulles, VA: Brassey's, 1999, p.22.
There's countless examples of this type of fakery if we get into the notorious "War of Annihilation: Crimes of the German Armed Forces, 1941-1944" exhibition from the '90s, but leaving that aside for the moment:

Image
Enlarged version
Ghetto Fighters House wrote:Image

A soldier of the Soviet Red Army in a Nazi camp following its liberation, standing beside a wagon loaded with corpses.

http://www.infocenters.co.il/gfh/notebo ... g&site=gfh
Yet that photo was already Washington D.C. as early as 22 December 1942, and was claimed to have been taken in Poland [presumably Belzec] and depicted the bodies of Jews who had been electrocuted and were going to be made into soap:

Image
Image
http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/_resou ... l00183.pdf

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by PHILDHB » 27 May 2017 00:32

The Black Rabbit of Inlé wrote:Image
Image
These Buchenwald photos are frauds. They're from a set of three depicting this scene that were taken with US soldiers looking on, the guard was forced to pose for the photo apparently. Nevertheless, the photos were passed off as genuine for decades at both the Buchenwald and Dachau memorial museums, and are found in countless books.


Here's another fake Buchenwald photo [top] with the original below.

Image
Two men walk over a large space, probably deep in conversation, others sunbathe on the grass. It's Sunday, a Sunday in the summer of 1944 in the Buchenwald concentration camp. People are surprised, bemused, incredulous: these are not the images of concentration camps we are familiar with; no mountains of corpses, no emaciated survivors on their bunks staring with hollow dead eyes. These men appear to be free to do what they want.

Georges Angeli had difficulties getting anyone to take interest in these images after liberation. They didn't fit with the images which documented Nazi atrocities in anyone's mind. In the picture of the smouldering crematorium, Angeli retouched it to remove the prisoners lying in the sun. "They might have given the wrong impression," he says somewhat sheepishly.

- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20 March 2002, p.58

Further details and sources for all pics:
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=84683#p84683

The photographs above, of the prisoners hanging with their hands behind their back, shows a scene that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, "Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt," in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8) This photo was removed from the Dachau Museum because it is a recreation, not an authentic photo.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 27 May 2017 10:30

PHILDHB wrote:The photographs above, of the prisoners hanging with their hands behind their back, shows a scene that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, "Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt," in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8) This photo was removed from the Dachau Museum because it is a recreation, not an authentic photo.
Obenaus was flat wrong and his article has been superseded by Holm Kristen's.
BRoI wrote:These images [actually from a set of 3] have been suspected of being post-war fakes for several decades already. Usually they're claimed to be stills from—or photographs taken during the making of—a movie by the East German film company DEFA; a theory propounded by Herbert Obenaus in an article published in 1995.

Turns out Obenaus was wrong. Holm Kristen, a researcher at the Buchenwald memorial museum, revealed in 2010—based on as yet unpublished research by Sandra Starke—that they are actually photos taken in April 1945 by a former prisoner using a camera belonging to someone in the US Army. The SS-man in the photos was forced to pose for the pictures by American soldiers and was later shot. In the mid-1950s West German prosecutors preparing a case against Martin Sommer were sent a copy of one of the photos by a former-prisoner group who claimed it had been taken in secret and showed the SS-man Sommer torturing prisoners.

Following is a rough translation of an excerpt from "The Photo Archive of the Buchenwald Memorial Museum", an article based on the presentation Kristen gave at the June 2010 Conference of Thuringian Archivists.
Holm Kristen wrote: ... the so-called tree-hanging photo is actually one of a series of three different photos which have long been a matter of controversy at the Buchenwald memorial museum; it has not been used or displayed at the memorial museum since the early 1980s because of its unclear provenance. Since the mid-1990s, historians have dealt with the image, but the most important questions about its origin, time of recording, and the depicted persons could not be clarified.
Image
Unknown SS-Unterscharführer with a bullwhip alongside three prisoners subjected to the camp's tree-hanging punishment.
- Photographer Unknown, between 1937-1945
One of these images was displayed in older exhibition at the Buchenwald memorial museum, the print—the origin of which is unknown—is of an extremely poor quality.

This photo was first published in the socialist Belgian daily newspaper Volksgazet in October 1950 with the caption "How the SS treated their victims in the death camps". The photo reappeared prior to the [1958] trial of Martin Sommer, the former overseer of the Buchenwald holding cells; the National Association of Austrian Resistance Fighters sent a copy to the Bavarian district court claiming it showed SS man Sommer "at work", and that the photo had been taken secretly by an inmate.

After being shown the photo, Sommer stated: "That is not me and prisoners weren't strung-up like that." The fact that the photo does not depict Sommer emerges from comparing the man with other photos of Sommer in his SS personnel file.

Two more photos of the tree-hanging scene have been discovered in the Buchenwald memorial museum archives with the last few years; both show far more of the landscape than the previously known one. The photos were donated by a Dutch visitor who had inherited a total of 11 photos from his father who in June 1945 had made these prints from original photographs a work colleague had taken in Buchenwald. Now we can at last name the photographer: the former Dutch prisoner Willem Hoogwerf, who took the tree-hanging photos as well as other photographs at Buchenwald with a camera he was given by an US-Army soldier.
Image
A member of the SS in the uniform of a Unterscharführer alongside three prisoners in a reenactment of the tree-hanging punishment.
- Photo: Willem Hoogwerf, between 15 and 26 April 1945
The traditional caption for this photo reads: "Reconstruction of a 'light punishment'. The SS man was forced to co-operate by the Americans. Later the SS personnel were shot, just like in Dachau, Neuengamme, etc."

Further details can be discerned from the additional photos of the reconstructed scene.

Firstly, pin-pointing the location in which they were taken is possible: in the background on the left the water-treatment plant built in 1943 is visible. Although the cap the SS-man is wearing was not then part of uniform; since 1941 the solders wore the so-called "Schiffchen" [literally: "small ship", side caps].
Image
Two prisoners hanging from trees with their arms tied behind their backs. A third prisoner lies on the floor in front of the SS-Unterscharführer who stares at the camera. On the far left a person in running out of the picture.
- Foto: Willem Hoogwerf, between 15 and 26 April 1945
The claim that the photographs were taken in secret by a prisoner are rendered absurd by the fact the SS man is looking directly towards the camera. The three pictures were taken immediately after liberation; between the 15 - 26 April 1945. The tree-hanging scene was staged by former prisoners and a captured SS man under the supervision of American soldiers. The reasons for it are obvious: the SS had tried to eliminate as many traces of their violence as possible and photographs of their crimes were no longer available. But photographs were needed to convey the conditions in the concentration camps. So why not just recreate such scenes?

Various details in a photograph taken in the courtyard of the Buchenwald crematorium in mid-April 1945 show clearly that it was another reconstruction.
Image
An unknown captured SS-man dressed in a white coat stands in the rear courtyard of the crematorium with a doll dressed as an inmate hanging from the gallows.
- Photographer unknown, between 15 and 26 April 1945
Due to the amateurish SS uniform the picture doesn't look authentic and was never widely reproduced like the tree-hanging photos, although it's further confirmation of the desire to show outsiders how prisoners had suffered.
- Proceedings of the June 2010 Conference of Thuringian Archivists, p.26f
http://www.homepage-nico-thom.de/Archiv ... ringen.pdf
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=84683#p84683

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Gorque » 27 May 2017 11:56

To me it appears that the SS man and the prisoners' faces, in the tree hanging photos, should be in shadows based upon the long shadows cast by the trees. Unless the tree shadows have been faked.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 May 2017 12:08

The Buchenwald "torture" pictures are not fakes since they were not created as fakes. If someone misuses footage from Schindler's List to claim it's documentary, that doesn't make Schindler's List a fraud.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 May 2017 12:12

Also, isn't this thread about the alleged *Holocaust* fakes rather than any random (alleged) fakes made by whomever whenever?

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Re: Do any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 May 2017 12:57

The Black Rabbit of Inlé wrote:
Skyderick wrote: I don't think you fully appreciate the utter ridiculousness of the [completely unevidenced] theories that the NYT and Mel Mermelstein doctored the same photo, in the same way, 34 years apart, and for totally different reasons!
The Rabbit's usual intellectual dishonesty is on a show here. Despite being utterly and decisively debunked on the obviously authentic Buchenwald photo he simply repeats the crazy conspiracy theory (without citing *any* evidence for it - but that's why it is a CT) that the photo was doctored in Pentagon which conspired to suppress the "original" which nevertheless somehow got out.

The simpler explanation, that the NYTM retouched the photo, would win even if we didn't see any sign of retouching simply on parsimony.

And yet it is an established fact that the NYTM retouched the photo since the retoucher forgot to draw in one bank post; and so did whoever designed Mermelstein's cover, separately from the NYTM, since a gray smudge can be clearly seen instead of the standing man on the photo (and there are signs of removal of the man's hand on the wooden post).

These are *facts*. The only fraud here is the Rabbit's unhinged conspiracy theory.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Gorque » 27 May 2017 17:37

Gorque wrote:To me it appears that the SS man and the prisoners' faces, in the tree hanging photos, should be in shadows based upon the long shadows cast by the trees. Unless the tree shadows have been faked.
Then again, in the first torture picture, the building wall in the background is not in shade, while in the second photo, there is a shadow coming from behind the photogrpher of another building. The building shadows/lighting in both of these photos infer the exact opposite of what the tree shadows are suggesting.

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Re: Do any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 29 May 2017 22:21

Sergey Romanov wrote:The Rabbit's usual intellectual dishonesty is on a show here. Despite being utterly and decisively debunked on the obviously authentic Buchenwald photo he simply repeats the crazy conspiracy theory (without citing *any* evidence for it - but that's why it is a CT) that the photo was doctored in Pentagon which conspired to suppress the "original" which nevertheless somehow got out.
If evidence ever surfaces which proves the NYT dun did it, I will be happy to concede I was wrong to insist the US Army doctored the photo. So far no one has offered even a stitch of proof to implicate the NYT in the absurd conspiracy theory that they painstakingly doctored a US Army photo when they could have simply cropped it IF the alleged motive is true.
The Signal Corps Photographic Laboratory at the Army War College in Washington processed still picture negatives (as well as motion picture footage) until February 1943, when a branch of the still picture laboratory was opened in the Pentagon, where, in 1944, all still picture laboratory operations were consolidated.

- G.R. Thompson, D.R. Harris, The Signal Corps: The Outcome (Mid-1943 Through 1945) Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History U.S. Army, 1991, p.563.
- The Still Picture Library that Army Pictorial Service [APS] maintained in the Pentagon received over 10,000 photos per month in 1944 and 1945
- 142,264 photos were received at the Pentagon between 30.10.44 and 31.09.45
- By the end of the war over 500,000 photos were held at the library
- The library employed 30 civilian staff and two officers
- Signal Corps photographers shot 50 percent of all still pictures published in newspapers, magazines, and books in 1944
- The APS Pentagon library furnished a total of 645,979 prints between 30.10.44 and 31.09.45

- In the combat zone, exposed negatives usually were developed at collecting points to the rear and then rushed to the United States

- The US Signal Corps began transmitting photos back to Washington by radio [radio-photos] in 1943
- Photos took seven minutes each to transmit
- 601 photos were transmitted to Washington via a temporary station in Normandy during the invasion; a total of 11,455 radio-photo prints of invasion scenes were processed in Washington

The Toncman-present version of the photo first appeared in US newspaper on 29.04.45, but it also appears in the PWD/SHAEF's propaganda pamphlet KZ - Bildbericht aus fünf Konzentrationslagern which was commissioned in April 1945 and was ready for "special test sale" in mid-May [1], but due to a serious of delays it wasn't published until July, causing much consternation amongst SHAEF officals [2].

Based on these dates, it seems likely that the photo was doctored, probably in Germany, for the pamphlet KZ and copies of the doctored photo were subsequently distributed to the press and appeared on the front pages of newspapers across the U.S.

The NYTM must have gotten hold of an original version through the usual process of applying to the APS library at the Pentagon for photographs. The unaltered photo was probably radioed to Washington just hours after it was taken and developed in Germany.
And yet it is an established fact that the NYTM retouched the photo since the retoucher forgot to draw in one bank post; and so did whoever designed Mermelstein's cover,
What a coincidence!

The photo in NYTM is a mere 100 x 77 mm in size—smaller that the palm of most people's hand; the magazine was 68 years old in the photos you've seen of it; the photo the NYTM obtained from the APS library was almost certainly just a print from radio-photo. Finally, it was printed from a metal plate like the one below. All these reasons explain the lack of fine detail in the photo.

You need to account for all these details in your "missing post" conspiracy theory.

Image

Here, this 1950 documentary on the printing of newspapers might teach you a thing or three.



1. L.R. Hartenian, Controlling Information in U.S. Occupied Germany, 1945-1949: Media Manipulation and Propaganda, 2003, p.59.
2. B.S. Chamberlin, "Death Mills: An Early American Attempt at Mass 'Reeducation' in Occupied Germany, 1945–1946", in G.O. Kent, ed. Historians and Archivists. Essays in Modern German History and Archival Policy, 1991, p.245.


so did whoever designed Mermelstein's cover, separately from the NYTM, since a gray smudge can be clearly seen instead of the standing man on the photo (and there are signs of removal of the man's hand on the wooden post)..
Mermelstein was an artist, he would have designed the cover. He wrote the book, and it was self-published. I've have previously proved that he was aware of the Toncman-present version prior to the self-publication of his book. Mermelstein knew of both versions but opted to go with the Toncman-absent one on the cover of his book. It would be very interesting to know why he did that.

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Re: Are any of the allegations that some Holocaust photos are frauds true?

Post by Michael Kenny » 30 May 2017 02:08

I got a better copy the original photo. The one with the standing man removed is the fake. No doubt.

The hole just to right of mans shoulder (the lower of 2 holes in the original) has nearly disappeared in the middle image and the wooden post left edge is much softer than in the other pic. .

otu0291_stitch vvv-horz.jpg
Note his 'flash shadow' on the wall and ceiling behind him.
otu0291_stitch2qw.jpg
otu0291_stitch sml.jpg
See that the version I used has the number in a different position to the photo that appears on Stormfront. This shows that there is more than one (duplicate) negative and that I am not so trusting as to accept at face value any pic from a Revisionist Hate Site!
otu0342 storm crap-horzvbn.jpg
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