Sobibor Commandant testifies to the impossible

Published: 2002-01-01

The conclusion of this treatment is that according to the Holocaust story's own numbers and descriptions a Holocaust body could be cremated with a quantity of wood barely the size of a shoe box.

So say the laws of nature.



From the book Escape From Sobibor by Richard Rashke, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982, pp. 52f.:

"To make Sobibor run still more smoothly, the Nazis built a high-powered generator that provided enough light so that they could gas Jews at night, and a small train with dump cars like those used to haul coal in the mines south of Krakow. ... The miners' train toted suitcases from the boxcars to the sorting sheds, bundles of clothes from the warehouses to the empty cars sitting on the spur inside the camp, wood to Camp III, and corpses from the gas chambers to the burial pits."


Up to late summer, the bodies of the gassed Jews were buried in mass graves two hundred feet long, thirty to forty-five feet wide, and fifteen to twenty feet deep. Covered with lime, the corpses would swell six to ten feet in the sun like mounds of dough. Once the gas from decomposition was released, they would sink back down, and the Jews would cover them with dirt. The Nazis found that burying the corpses caused three major problems.

The summer of 1942 was one of the hottest on record, ... Furthermore, the water table at Sobibor, only a few miles from the Bug River, was high. After the snow melted in the spring, the southern tip of the camp just outside the fences turned into a swamp. ...

So the Nazis dragged in a steam shovel and forced the Camp III Jews to dig up and burn all the corpses. The Jews stacked them like sacks of rotten potatoes on train tracks resting on concrete pillars. Then they sloshed the mounds with gasoline or kerosene and set fire to the wood piled underneath. They worked in crews around the clock. ..."

The vital components there would be:

Buried in water-soaked mass graves; the summer was one of hottest on record; covered with lime, bodies swelled up 6 to 10 feet like dough, then collapsed, rotting; steam shovel; train tracks.

From Israeli writer Arad, The Rheinhard Camps; Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka:

"Franz Stangl, the commander of Sobibor and Treblinka, was stationed in northern Italy, in the areas of Fiume and Udine, from the autumn of 1943 and engaged in actions against partisans and local Jews. After the war he escaped to Brazil; in 1967 he was discovered there, arrested, and extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany. He was tried in Dusseldorf in 1970 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison a few months after the end of the trial."

Stangl was sent to command Sobibor after construction fell behind schedule in the Spring of 1942. His commanding officer sent him to meet with Wirtz at Belzec, and he described his visit thus:

"When asked during his trial how many people could be murdered in one day, Stangl answered:

Regarding the question of what was the optimum amount 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 about fourteen hours, 12,000 to 15,000 people were annihilated. There were many days that the work lasted from the early morning until the evening."

[…] The cremating structure consisted of a roaster made from five or six railroad rails on top of three rows of concrete pillars each 70 cm high. The facility was 30 meters wide. The bodies were removed from the pits by an excavator. Stangl, the camp commander, relates:

"It must have been at the beginning of 1943. That's when excavators were brought in. Using these excavators, the corpses were removed from the huge ditches which had been used until then [for burial]. The old corpses were burned on roasters, along with the new bodies [of new arrivals to the camp. […] Wirth told me that according to the Standartenführer's experience, corpses could be burned on a roaster, and it worked marvelously. I know that in the beginning [in Treblinka] they used rails from the trolley to build the cremation grill. But it turned out that these were too weak and bent in the heat. They were replaced with real railroad rails."

[…] The cremation took place in such a way that railway lines and concrete blocks were placed together. The corpses were piled on these rails. Brushwood was put under the rails. The wood was doused with petrol. In that way not only the newly accumulated corpses were cremated, but also those taken out from the graves.


After the cremation installation had been constructed, the process of removing the bodies of the pits began. The work was initiated by a single excavator; later, a second excavator was brought in. The shovel's scoop removed six to eight corpses with each dip into the pit and dumped them on the edge of the pit. A special team of prisoners, working in twos, transferred the corpses to the crematorium on stretchers. There, another special team, called the "burning group" (Feuerkolonne), removed the corpses from the stretchers and arranged them in layers on the roaster to a height of 2 meters. Between 2,000 and 2,500 bodies- sometimes up to 3,000 -would be piled on the roaster. When all was ready, dry wood and branches, which had been laid under the roaster, were ignited. The entire construction, with the bodies, was quickly engulfed in fire. The railings would glow from the heat, and the flames would reach a height of up to 10 meters.

We should take note that the passage says the bodies were piled to a height of 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) on the grill. Actually, if we used the figures given to arrive at how high the pile would be we would divide the length of the grill into the number of bodies. For 2000 bodies it would be 20 bodies per foot. For 2500 bodies we would have 26 per foot. At 3000 it would be 31 bodies per foot. Selecting an estimated 9 inches as the average thickness of a body we would have the pile 15 feet high for 2000 bodies, 19 feet high for 2500 bodies and 23 feet high for 3000 bodies. Considering the average body to weigh 100 pounds we would have considerable weight pressing down on the grill. At 2000 bodies it would be 1 ton per foot, at 2500 bodies it would be 1 1/4 tons and at 3000 bodies it would be 1 1/2 tons per foot.

"At first flammable liquid was poured onto the bodies to help them burn, but later this was considered unnecessary; the SS men in charge of the cremation became convinced that the corpses burned well enough without extra fuel.

The body-burning went on day and night. The corpses were transferred and arranged on the roasters during the day; at nightfall they were lit, and they burned throughout the night. When the fire went out, there were only skeletons and scattered bones on the roasters, and piles of ash underneath.

The points here are:

Five to six rail tracks on three rows of concrete pillars, 70cm high (off the ground), the grid was 30 meters wide, excavators (steam shovels), bodies piled on tracks, brushwood, 6 to 8 corpses removed with each scoop, bodies stacked 2 meters high, dry wood and branches. Skeletons and bones still on the grid after the fire went out, had to be removed.

Recap summary of pertinent 'facts'

The combination of tales tells us the bodies were first placed in large pits dug in water soaked ground and covered over with lime, a caustic material that accelerates decomposition. The bodies then swelled up 6 to 10 feet like "dough" and then collapsed. The mass was then covered over by dirt. Then excavators were brought in to scoop out the bodies later. They could take 6 to 8 bodies with each scoop. This we must assume would have resulted in further mutilation of the collapsed doughy, lime dissolved bodies with arms, legs and heads being severed in the process. Whatever was remaining was transported to the "roaster" and "arranged" on 3 parallel train rails on concrete pillars running for 30 meters (97.5 feet) and 70cm (2.5 feet) off the ground. After the fire went out skeletons and bones remained on the tracks and had to be removed.

In order to arrive at how much wood would have been available to cremate each body we need to know how much wood the described space would have been able to hold and divide that by the number of bodies. We are given two absolute numbers, one for the height of the grill off the ground and the length of the grill. The one dimension we don't have is the width of the grill. But we do have common sense and we do have a description of the what condition the bodies would have been in.

We reasonably conclude:

  • The rails couldn't have been so far apart that the pre-cremated bodies would have fallen through.
  • The rails couldn't have been so far apart that any disintergrating remains during cremation would have fallen through to smother the fire.
  • The rails would had to have been close enough to hold the remains said to have been still in place after the fires went out.

The stated absolute measurements of the "roaster" is "30 meters" (97.5 feet) and "70cm" (2.5 feet) off the ground.

The indefinite is the spacing of the rail tracks on the three rows of concrete pillars.

Since we have a description of what condition the remains would have been in, we would have reasonable opportunity to consider a limit as to how far apart the tracks could have been and thus a reasonable opportunity to consider the girth of the alleged system.

What with the cumulative description we could say the rail spacing couldn't have been much more than one foot.

Law of nature: Width by length by depth = volume.

The tales have it three rails. The system with three parallel tracks can only have two spaces between them, one track on either side with the space between divided by the third rail.

One foot spacing of two spaces would be 2 times 96 feet long times 2.5 feet off the ground equaling 480 cubic feet.

The area at the same time defines where the wood would have been placed, thus we have a reasonable opportunity to consider what amount of wood would have been available which would have been within the 480 cubic feet.

The tales have it 2000 to 3000 bodies at a time were cremated on the grill.

Thus we can reasonably determine how much wood would have been available per body.

Law of nature: Volume divided by quantity = the amount of volume per each component of the quantity.

For the purposes of simplification we can use the average between the two numbers 2000 and 3000: 2500.

For the sake of avoiding the appearance of absolutism by settling on one spacing between rails we can consider a few spacing options, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 feet.

Thus we would have at 1 foot spacing between rails a two foot over-all width and at 2 foot spacing 4 feet etc.

Considering the first option of a two foot over-all cross dimension we have 2 x 96 feet by 2.5 off the ground = 480 cubic feet of area for the wood divided by 2500 bodies = .19 cubic feet of wood available to cremate one body.

At a spacing of two feet between each rail we have .38 cubic feet of wood available per body. At a 3 foot spacing we would have .57 cubic foot. At 4 feet it would be .77 and at 5 foot spacing between tracks we would have .96 cubic foot of wood per body.

Of course all this is based on the full volume of area where the wood would be and not taking into any consideration the necessity for air space.

Law of nature: Fire requires oxygen (air).

This would include the space between the constituents of the combustible material and a space for flames to develop between the top of the piled wood and the grill. Since the material is said to have been "brushwood" and "branches" we might consider 50% to be a reasonable amount. Of course we could use other options, like 25% or 75%, but for the sake of simplicity we can use the 50% since any way we figure it the results are a fatal blow to the Holocaust story.

Thus at a one foot spacing between rails and considering air space we would have .095 cubic foot of wood per body. At two foot spacing between rails we would have .19 cubic feet of wood, at 3 feet we have .28, at 4 feet .38 and at 5 feet .48.

Even if the bodies were not subjected to the alleged conditions of lime covered pre burial in wet ground and removal by excavators we can recognize that anything over two feet spacing would require science fiction accounting to keep them from falling through the grill. Since we do have the pre-condition of the bodies claimed we can recognize that 1 foot spacing between rails would be about the maximum limit.

Of course even at a 5 foot spacing, regardless of accounting for air space or not, .96 cubic feet, we can see the amount of wood that would be available per body is super insufficient to cremate a human body.

What we are left with is the story has it that a human body could be cremated with a piece of wood about the size of a carton of cigarettes.

No matter how we figure it, even if we multiply everything by 4 we get an absurd conclusion. A grill 96 feet long or 4 times that at 400 feet, one foot spacing between rails or 4 feet, 2.5 feet off the ground or 10 feet, the simple mathematics shows us that cremating people on grills over wood pyres is totally impossible in a feasible way and never happened.

A grill 400 feet long x 10 off the ground x 8 feet wide = 32,000 cubic feet of space for wood. 32,000 divided by 2500 bodies = 12.8 cubic feet of wood per body. Considering the necessary air space, say at 25 percent instead of the more likely 50 percent we end up with 9.6 cubic feet of wood per body. A piece of wood about 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 1/2 feet.

In fact no matter how we figure it by whatever dimensions, we can see that cremation on grills over wood fires is totally impossible in a feasible way. The bigger and higher the "roaster" the more improbable it gets. Feasibly incorrect.

So say the laws of nature.

The simple mathematics destroys the credibility of the cremation tales at Sobibor. The amount of wood available as determined with the 'facts' of the Holocaust story itself is not even enough to cremate one forearm of a human being.

Thus by extension we cannot consider the rest of the Sobibor tales infallibly true. Since the mathematically endorsed conclusions show the cremation tales to be so beyond absurd we must seriously consider the rest of the Sobibor accounts to be thoroughly false.

Like the domino effect, whither goes Sobibor so goes Chelmno, Belzek and Treblinka for they too are said to have had the same kind of cremation procedure. And as the Effect continues, so goes Majdanek and Auschwitz, for if the first three are lies - then the rest is a lie.

The story has as its authority wild tales told by "eyewitness" accounts and SS confessions. The laws of nature prove them to be total nonsense.

Laws of nature are the arch enemy of the Holocaust lie.

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Author(s) Tom Moran
Title Sobibor Commandant testifies to the impossible
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Dates published: 2002-01-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 2002, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a
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