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Revisionist Reflections on the Upcoming Holocaust Demjanjuk Trial in Germany
John Demjanjuk and a US Judge’s Ruling
After losing a long legal battle to stay in the US, John Demjanjuk was deported to Germany on May 12 to stand trial for alleged war crimes. He is charged with helping to murder 29,000 Jews.
In 2002, US District Court Judge Paul R. Matia claimed in his ruling that Demjanjuk served as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp, circa March 27, 1943 to October 1, 1943. In regard to this alleged “extermination camp,” Matia asserted that the guards “assigned to Sobibor met the arriving transports of Jews, forcibly unloaded the Jews from the trains, compelled them to disrobe, and drove them into gas chambers where they were murdered by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide.” Matia charged Demjanjuk with a specific crime: “In serving at Sobibor, Defendant [John Demjanjuk] contributed to the process by which thousands of Jews were murdered by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide.”
The “Holocaust affirming” Judge further claimed that the “guards assigned to Sobibor also guarded a small number of Jewish forced laborers kept alive to maintain the camp, dispose of the corpses, and process the possessions of those killed.”
Further on in his ruling, Matia made this most important statement: “This [case against John Demjanjuk] is a case of documentary evidence, not eyewitness testimony.”
What Matia wrote is misleading. The current case about Demjanjuk allegedly serving at Sobibor is based upon purportedly authentic documents. But what Matia asserts about Sobibor being an “extermination camp” is based exclusively upon eyewitness testimony and nothing else.
Indeed, Holocaust historian Robert Jan van Pelt conceded the evidence for the mass killings of Jews at Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec—where allegedly millions were murdered—is very meager. In reference to these three camps, he wrote: "There are few eyewitnesses, no confession that can compare to that given by [Auschwitz commandant Rudolf] Höss, no significant remains, and few archival sources." The statements by Sobibor historian and former inmate of the camp, Thomas Toivi Blatt, harmonize with Professor van Pelt, for he admitted: “Sobibor was the most secretive of the extermination camps, and very little official documentation survives. Most of what was written in the camp or by [German officials in the Lublin district of Poland] was destroyed.”
Clearly, the only support for the traditional Sobibor extermination story is the testimony of former inmates and the post war statements of German officials who were on trial for alleged war crimes. Let’s examine this “evidence.”
Matia claims that Jews were murdered in gas chambers at Sobibor, and carbon monoxide was the death-gas. Yet, there are former prisoners who claimed that chlorine was the death-gas.
Sobibor witness Hella Fellenbaum-Weiss told the story of how Jews on their way to Sobibor were gassed with chlorine. We let her pick up her narrative here: “The arrival of another convoy distressed me in the same way. It was thought to come from Lvov, but nobody knows for sure. Prisoners were sobbing and told us a dreadful tale: they had been gassed on the way with chlorine, but some survived. The bodies of the dead were green and their skin peeled off.”
The allegation that Jews were gassed on their way to Sobibor with chlorine has been quietly discarded by the Holocaust promoters—an implicit admittance that it must be false.
In his thorough study of Belzec concentration camp, Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, Revisionist historian Carlo Mattogno cited Sobibor inmates who specifically stated that chlorine was a gas used to asphyxiate Jews at Sobibor. We give you Zelda Metz in her own words: “They [the alleged ‘gas chamber’ victims] entered the wooden building where the woman’s hair was cut, and then the ‘Bath’, i.e., the gas chamber. They were asphyxiated with chlorine. After 15 minutes, they had all suffocated. Through a window it was checked whether they were all dead. Then the floor opened automatically. The corpses fell into the cars of a train passing through the gas chamber and taking the corpses to the oven.”
The mainstream historians of Sobibor have quietly abandoned the “chlorine death gas” and “trap-door-in-the-gas-chamber” stories—once again, an implicit admittance that they are both false.
Leon Feldhendler also declared chlorine was a “death-gas,” although he also claimed the Germans experimented with other gases. Alexander Pechersky alleged that some type of “heavy, black substance” was the death-gas. Chlorine is a greenish-yellow gas. Stanislaw Szmajzner believed the Germans used exhaust fumes, but also Zyklon B gas. Alterations in the story abound.
The chlorine gas, Zyklon B gas and “other un-named” gas stories have clearly been discreetly dumped by the “official history” of the Holocaust—an implicit admittance that they are false. At this point Judge Matia should ask himself this question: since the stories of Jews being gassed with chlorine, Zyklon B and other un-named gases at Sobibor are false, isn’t it also possible that his claim of Jews being asphyxiated with carbon monoxide is also false?
I again call the reader’s attention to Matia’s precise wording about the alleged method of murder at Sobibor. He claims the guards “drove them [the Jews] into gas chambers where they were murdered by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide.” Notice that Matia did not mention the specifics of the murder weapon. Did the Germans use a diesel engine or a benzene engine to generate the carbon monoxide?
Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg and the statement of SS officer Kurt Gerstein claimed a diesel engine was used. Nevertheless, Sobibor expert Yitzhak Arad cites the testimony of the German soldier Erich Fuchs, who testified that a benzene engine was used. These are no minor discrepancies. In any murder investigation the nature of the murder weapon is of prime importance.
Matia did not say if the Germans used a diesel or benzene engine to generate the carbon monoxide, because if he did, he would have involved himself in another dilemma that casts serious doubt on the traditional Sobibor extermination story. And of course, in this short article I will not even mention all of the contradictions regarding the number, dimensions and capacity of the Sobibor “gas chambers.”
I call attention to Matia’s statement about what allegedly happened to the bodies of the murder victims. He wrote that the guards “assigned to Sobibor also guarded a small number of Jewish forced laborers kept alive to maintain the camp, [and] dispose of the corpses…”
Once again, notice how vague Matia’s wording is. He only refers to the “disposal of corpses.” By failing to note that the “official history” claims that 167, 000 to 250,000 were burned in mass graves, he avoids entering into all of the problems associated with this allegation. For example, one Sobibor survivor, Kurt Thomas, claims the bodies were burned with coal. Yet, this is conflicts with Sobibor historian Jules Schelvis, who says that wood was used. Another, Thomas Toivi Blatt, also says that wood was used, but the funeral pyres were sometimes doused with kerosene. Still another, Alexander Pechersky, says the bodies were burned with gasoline.
The burning of bodies in open mass graves leaves behind bones and teeth. Sobibor historian Arad realizes this problem, and he cites a Sobibor “eyewitness” who claimed that the bones were smashed into dust with hammers! Imagine that! The bones and teeth of hundreds of thousands of burned Jewish corpses were manually smashed into dust by Sobibor inmates with hammers! The forensic evidence was thus destroyed. The highly questionable nature (to put it mildly) of this allegation should be intuitively obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense.
The Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland asserted that 250,000 people were murdered at Sobibor. Yet, Israeli and Polish archaeologists, who are firm believers in the Holocaust ideology, admit that it is hard to imagine how this could be so. In their own words: “The camp was destroyed by the Germans after the prisoner revolt, so it is very difficult to imagine that the killing of 250,000 people took place here.”
The pre-eminent Holocaust authority, the late Raul Hilberg, engaged in “Holocaust denial.” He denied that 250,000 people were murdered at Sobibor. He reduced this figure by twenty percent, as he claimed that up to 200,000 people were murdered at Sobibor. Sobibor historian Jules Schelvis engaged in an even more serious form of “Holocaust denial.” He even denied that 200,000 people were slaughtered there! He minimized the number of alleged Sobibor deaths down to 167,000! How come they are not on trial for “Holocaust denial?”
If a true believer in the orthodox Sobibor “extermination story” like Judge Matia would make a thorough study of this issue, even he will find enough evidence to be very skeptical of the “gas chamber” claim. The contradictions, story changing, falsehoods and improbabilities that I’ve enumerated here are exactly what one should expect from a historical propaganda myth. One wonders if Judge Matia has the courage to publicly face up to the evidence that undermines what he wrote in his ruling against John Demjanjuk.
The reader should keep this in mind during the future trial of John Demjanjuk for the crime of “leading Jews to the gas chambers.” Indeed, as I’ve shown in another of my essays, the promoters of the Holocaust mythology want to use a show trial to fight the phenomenal growth of “Holocaust denial.” This is precisely the ulterior reason for the further prosecution of the hapless Demjanjuk.
The testimony of Thomas Blatt: A Witness Against Demjanjuk?
After John Demjanjuk was deported to Germany, German television reported that a survivor of the Sobibor camp could help confirm Demjanjuk's identity. The witness, 82-year-old Thomas Blatt, is a somewhat well-known Sobibor survivor who authored a book about his experiences at the camp during WWII. He described the state of affairs at Sobibor akin to a death factory.
Here is what Blatt told the German magazine, Der Spiegel: “"They abused us. They shot new arrivals who were old and sick and could not go on. And there were some who pushed naked people into the gas chambers with bayonets…Sobibor was a factory. Only a few hours passed between arrival and the burning of a body."
Blatt provides one with a very obvious reason to be skeptical of his story. It says on the back cover of his book that Blatt survived a total of six months at Sobibor. If what Blatt says is true—that Sobibor was a death factory where people were murdered and their bodies burned within a few hours of arrival—then it is logical to infer that Blatt himself should not be around to tell his story. How did Blatt survive a whole six months in the camp? Blatt makes it perfectly clear in his memoir that he never worked in the area that housed the alleged “gas chambers.” Since he was never needed for this job, why would the Germans allow him to survive a half of a year in the camp if “only a few hours passed between arrival [of Jewish prisoners] and the burning a body?”
By the mere fact that Blatt was allegedly at Sobibor for six months and was not murdered, is consistent with the Revisionist hypothesis that Sobibor was not an extermination center for Jews, but rather a transit camp where Jews were deported further east.
But just as importantly, one is led to conclude that his most important claims about the “gas chambers” are just “hearsay” or word of mouth gossip. Blatt claims that inmates such as himself were not allowed to see inside the “top secret” area of Sobibor that contained the “gas chambers.” In his own words: “Prisoners from the other lagers [areas that did not have “gas chambers”] were never allowed to see the inside of Lager III [the area of Sobibor that harbored the “top secret gas chambers”].” His friend who did peek inside the “gas chamber” area was presumably killed. This is consistent with the official Sobibor extermination story. According to the Polish and Israeli archeologists who investigated the camp, prisoners who survived Sobibor never saw the “gas chambers,” because “seeing it implied instant execution.”
Thus, if Blatt would have actually seen “naked people being driven into the gas chambers,” he should have been killed by the Germans–according to the official story.
Elsewhere Blatt says the Nazis made it difficult to collect “any direct evidence” of the alleged mass exterminations in gas chambers. After the war, the information about the “gas chambers” allegedly came from inmates who spoke with other inmates who worked around the gas chambers or from “limited observations” of the extermination area from a different area of the camp. The testimony of Ukrainian and German guards filled in the rest of the story.
Nevertheless, Blatt offers some “detailed knowledge” of the Sobibor “gas chambers.” He says they were “decorated with flowers, a Star of David, and the inscription ‘Bathhouse.’” How did he get this “information?” Did he actually see the “gas chambers?” If he did, then how come he was not killed by the Germans, as “seeing” implied instant execution? Or did he get these “facts” by word of mouth from other prisoners or from former guards?
Nowhere in his 1997 book does Blatt claim he actually saw, with own two eyes, “naked people being pushed into the gas chambers with bayonets.”
Finally, another of Blatt’s claims is inconsistent with the official lay out of Sobibor. We let Blatt pick up his story here: “Our job in this section done, SS Oberscharführer Karl Frenzel randomly chose four prisoners, myself included, and led us to the hair-cutting barrack, less than twenty feet from the gas chambers.” Notice what Blatt is saying: the barracks where the hair of the female victims was cut (before they went to the gas chambers) was less than twenty feet (6.1 meters) from the gas chambers. Elsewhere he again states that the special barrack where the women’s hair was cut before entering the gas chambers was “just steps away from the gas chambers.”
Yet, Sobibor historian Yitzhak Arad claims the path (the “tube”) that led from the reception area for Jews (Lager II) to the extermination area (Lager III) was 150 meters long. Arad adds: “Halfway through the ‘tube’ was the ‘barber shop,’ a barrack where the hair of the Jewish women was cut before they entered the gas chambers.”
If the path from Lager II to the gas chambers was 150 meters long, and the “barber shop” was halfway through the “tube,” then the “barber shop” was 37.5 meters from the gas chambers, not 6.1 meters from the gas chambers. The “barber shop” was not, as Blatt says, just steps away from the gas chambers.
Does the reader see the dilemma here? If Blatt is correct, in that the “barber shop” was just steps away (6.1 meters) from the gas chambers, then Arad’s official story that the “barber shop” was 37.5 meters from the “gas chambers” is false. But if Arad is correct, then this calls into question the veracity of Blatt’s testimony.
Once again, inconsistencies like this should make even the most hardcore believer in the Sobibor extermination story to be very skeptical.
- See page 27 of Judge Paul R. Matia’s Ruling on the Demjanjuk case. Online: http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:c7ONQ2VeCzkJ:news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/demjanjuk/
- Ibid, p. 97.
- Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial (Indiana University Press, 2002), p. 5.
- Thomas Toivi Blatt, From the Ashes of Sobibor: A Story of Survival (Northwestern University Press, 1997), pp. 227-228.
- Miriam Novitch, ed., Sobibor: Martyrdom and Revolt (Holocaust Library, 1980), p. 50.
- See Carlo Mattogno, Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2004), p.10. Online: http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/b/index.html
- Jules Schelvis, Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp (Berg, 2007), p. 68.
- Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews: Student Edition (Holmes & Meier), p. 229. See Gerstein’s testimony in Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (Indiana University Press, 1987), p.101.
- Arad, p. 31.
- For these contradictions, see Paul Grubach, “The Sobibor ‘Death Camp’ in the Context of the Demjanjuk Case.” Online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vppgsobibor.html
- Novitch, p. 78.
- Jules Schelvis, Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp (Berg, 2007), p. 112.
- Thomas Toivi Blatt, From the Ashes of Sobibor: A Story of Survival (Northwestern University Press, 1997), p.232.
- See Mattogno, p. 10.
- Arad, p. 172.
- Novitch, p. 13.
- See the “News and Reports” section of http://www.undersobibor.org/
- Hilberg, p. 338.
- Schelvis, back cover. On page 1, he says that approximately 170,000 were gassed at Sobibor.
- See Paul Grubach, “Hunting Demjanjuk: Injustice, Double Standards, and Ulterior Agendas.” Online: http://www.codoh.com/revisionist/tr08demjanjuk.html
- “Demjanjuk vows to fight death camp charges,” The Local: Germany’s News in English, 12 May 2009. Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20090512-19237.html
- See Blatt, footnote 15.
- Ibid, p. 103.
- Gilead, I.; Haimi, Y.; Mazurek, W., "Excavating Nazi Extermination Centres." Present Pasts, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010. Online: http://www.presentpasts.info/articles/10.5334/pp.12/
- Blatt, p. 232 n7.
- Ibid, p. 231 n2.
- Ibid, p. 101.
- Ibid, p. 230 n2.
- Arad, p. 33.
Additional information about this document
|Title||Revisionist Reflections on the Upcoming Holocaust Demjanjuk Trial in Germany|
|Dates||published: 2009-01-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 2009, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a|