Chapter IV: The Alleged Extermination Facilities in Treblinka: An Historical and Technical Analysis

1. Planning and Construction of the Eastern 'Extermination Camps'

The planning and construction of the so-called 'extermination camps' Treblinka, Sobibór, and Bełżec, as reconstructed by the official historiography, raises serious problems, which have remained unsolved to the present. The chief problem consists in the absence of a rational planning and in the unbelievably primitive architectural and technical structure of these camps, which stands in the strongest contrast to that of the others, especially of the so-called 'extermination camp' Auschwitz. Raul Hilberg belongs to the very few representatives of the orthodox historiography who have brought up the problem and sought to solve it. He explains:[276]

"Why three camps and not one? Why were they built one after the other, first Belzec, then Sobibor, and lastly Treblinka? Why in the beginning in each camp only three gas chambers, if they did not then suffice? One could be inclined to answer that the planners did not know the entire extent of their task, that they were groping their way toward the goal without having it in sight. That is not totally unimaginable, but it is certainly not the whole explanation and perhaps not even the most important. It was a matter of, in short, a difficult administrative problem.

The Third Reich had neither a particular central authority nor its own budgetary title for a 'Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.' The construction of the camps, the positions for guard staff, and the management of transports all had to be financed in a complex manner. Auschwitz II and Lublin, for example, were designated in the beginning as camps for war prisoners of the SS, and indeed not only for camouflage but for budgetary reasons. Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, on the other hand, were plain and simple killing camps. But they could not be operated that way under any economic role, and there is much to show that the means for their construction and operation were fragmentary and minimal. That is probably the reason why they did not grow as a fully developed building complex up to the sky. They probably had to be built in sequence and step by step, in order to remain financially inconspicuous."

These theses, proposed by a scholar who devoted his magnum opus[277] for the most part to the conflict with the bureaucratic-administrative structure of the Third Reich, are quite simply absurd.

No one who knows the complex structure and manner of functioning of the National-Socialist economic-administrative offices,[278] can seriously believe that camps of any sort whatever would have been able to arise and develop in the General Gouvernement without having been precisely planned and presented with a specific budget.

Regarding construction activities, the General Governor of occupied Poland was, via several intermediates, ultimately subject to Reichsminister Albert Speer, who was the German plenipotentiary for the regulation of all constructions. Speer instructed his local deputy, the SS-Administrator at the office of the Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer (Senior SS- and Police Chief) in the General Gouvernement, who, in turn, instructed the plenipotentiary for the regulation of all constructions in the General Gouvernement.[279]

The SS-Administrators appointed to each Senior SS- and Police Chief (HSSPF)[280] were responsible "for administration of all economic affairs of the SS departments and SS units in the sphere of their respective HSSPF", and indeed specifically "for budgetary, treasury, and accountancy, legal affairs [such as leases, insurance affairs, and the like], preliminary examination, financial commitments, engine transport, management of raw materials, building, economic undertakings, and concentration camps."[281]

In practice, the SS-Administrator represented simultaneously Reichsminister Speer and the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt (WVHA, Economic Administrative Main Office). In accord with the structure of this office, the scope of the work of the SS-Administrator was subdivided into five groups, of which Group C - Construction bore the responsibility for constructions.

Finally, four SS- and Police Chiefs, one for each district: Warsaw (Arpad Wigand), Lublin (Odilo Globocnik), Radom (Carl-Albrecht Oberg), and Lemberg (Fritz Katzmann) were under the Senior SS- and Police chief in the General Gouvernement.

In November 1941, Amt II "Bauten" (Bureau II "Buildings") of the Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten (HHB, Main Office Budget and Buildings) encompassed seven construction inspection units of the Waffen-SS and Police with the Senior SS- and Police Chiefs. The jurisdiction over the General Gouvernement, upon whose territory the camps of Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka were situated, was exercised by the Bauinspektion der Waffen-SS und Polizei Reich Generalgouvernement (Construction Inspection of the Waffen-SS and Police Reich General Gouvernement), which was composed of five Zentralbauleitungen (Central Construction Offices) with nine Construction Offices of the Waffen-SS and Police. The Construction Inspection Office had its seat in Krakow, while the Central Construction Offices were located in Krakow, Warsaw, Lublin, Dębica, and Lemberg (the later belonged administratively to the General Gouvernement[282]). The Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police at Warsaw was thus subject to both the Construction Inspection Office of the Waffen-SS and Police Reich General Gouvernement and also to the SS-Administrator at the Senior SS- and Police Chief in the General Gouvernement.

All construction work carried out in the General Gouvernement in the year 1942 followed normal bureaucratic practice, which appeared to be as follows: instructions from the Department Group C "Constructions" of the SS-WVHA, in correspondence with the directives of Reichsminister Speer, went over the SS-Administrator to the Central Construction Offices and Construction Units, which were in charge with accomplishing the actual constructions.

Insofar as Treblinka was concerned, this practice is fully confirmed by a single known document dealing with the construction of the camp. It is a certification of the work of June 1, 1942, about which the Polish judge Z. Łukaszkiewicz imparts the following:[283]

"The witness Lusjan Puchała, railway technician, has produced a very interesting document: a certification to begin work from the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police, issued on June 1, 1942. According to the information in it, on this day the work of construction of a spur line, which was supposed to lead from the branch line to the camp, was delegated to him. This certificate is valid until the 15th of June 1942,[284] and on this day the construction ended, according to the statement of the witness."

Łukaszkiewicz later completely transcribed the document involved. Its text reads as follows:[285]

"Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police, Warsaw.

Warsaw, June 1, 1942, Koszykowa 8, Post Office Box 214

Tel. 9-21-83

Certificate no. 684

The Pole Lucjan Puchała, born on ..., is employed as technician at the local administrative office of Koszykowa. It is requested that the said person be allowed to pass unhindered and that he not be called in for other work. This certificate loses effect on the 15th of June 1942 and can be extended only by the local administrating office. The card is to be voluntarily returned on its expiration day.

Director of the Central Construction Office.

(Signature illegible) SS-Scharführer."

This document proves that the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police at Warsaw was responsible for the construction of the Treblinka camp and thus was following common practice. According to Y. Arad, two German firms had contracts for the establishment of the camp: Schönbronn in Leipzig and Schmidt-Münstermann.[286] These firms - besides them, still others doubtlessly participated in the construction - received their commissions from the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police at Warsaw, just as did Lucjan Puchała. Thus, this office functioned as employer, and all the norms pertained that applied in the intercourse between the Central Construction Office and the civilian firms acting on its commission, including those of financial aspect. Surely the accounting department of the construction inspection unit of the Waffen-SS and Police Reich General Gouvernement regulated the latter, just as the accounting office of the construction inspection unit of the Waffen-SS and Police of Reich-'Ost' (east) was responsible for Auschwitz.[287] This means that for Treblinka (and, logically, correspondingly also for Bełżec and Sobibór) a specific budgetary title must have existed and that the camp came into being on the foundation of a precise plan.

This applies also to the labor camp Treblinka I. Politically and administratively seen, the labor camp Treblinka I was subordinate to the SS and Police Chief in the Warsaw district, Arpad Wiegand. This man in particular had received the assignment to construct this camp. This is clear from three documents concerning the delivery of various materials - pipes, nails etc. - for the camp Treblinka I.

The first of these three documents is a letter dated June 19, 1942, of the SS- Unterscharführer (sergeant) Dr. Irmfried Eberl at the office of the SS- and Police Chief in the Warsaw district. The letter is addressed to the Commissioner for the Jewish residential district and begins with the sentence:[288]

"For the Treblinka camp the following are still required [...]."

The second of these documents is a letter whose date is illegible, but which probably likewise falls in June of 1942. It was directed by Heinz Auerswald, Commissioner for the Jewish residential district in the office of the Governor of the Warsaw district, "to the Chairman of the Jewish Council of Warsaw" and begins as follows:[289]

"The following objects are required for the construction of the Treblinka Camp [...]."

In the third of these documents, a letter of June 26, 1942, of Dr. Eberl to the Commissioner for the Jewish residential district of Auerswald on the subject "Work Camp Treblinka", it reads at the beginning:[290]

"For the construction of the labor camp Treblinka the following objects are urgently required [...]."

The "labor camp Treblinka" was established by ordinance of the Governor of the Warsaw district of November 15, 1941. The order for building the camp, in which its purpose is also stated, was published on December 16, 1941, in the Amtsblatt für den Distrikt Warschau Generalgouvernement (Official Gazette for the Warsaw district of the General Gouvernement) no. 11-12 on p. 116.[291]

The mining of gravel from the pits at Treblinka I was directed by the "SS-Sonderkommando Treblinka" (SS Special Command Treblinka),[292] which according to Łukaszkiewicz was the official designation of the alleged 'Death Camp' (therefore of Treblinka II).[293] This is confirmed by the fact that the mining of gravel was an operation conducted on the site by a corresponding firm, namely the Deutschen Herd- und Steinwerk GmbH Kieswerk Treblinka (German hearth- and masonry works, ltd., gravel works Treblinka).[294]

Thus the "Sonderkommando Treblinka" possessed a very institutional character and consequently was a component of the administrative structure of the General Gouvernement. Politically, it was subordinate to the SS- and Police Chief in the Warsaw district and to the Senior SS- and Police Chief in the General Gouvernement (Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger), administratively to the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police at Warsaw as well as to the SS-Administrator.

In short: the claim according to which the camps Treblinka, Bełżec, and Sobibór are supposed to have been constructed without any sort of budgetary title is historically false and plainly absurd to anyone familiar with the bureaucratic conventions of the Third Reich.

Now how can the expressly primitive character of these camps be explained? In reality, this question is falsely formulated, for the primitiveness of the three camps does not emerge from any kind of documentation, but merely from witness statements. We have graphically seen in the preceding chapters what sort of value ought to be attached to these. Thus, the primitive character of the camps is no objectively proven fact, but simply a subjective reconstruction. On the contrary: since the camps were constructed in conformity to the usual economic and administrative conventions, as they were applied to the other camps, they could not be primitive at all, and one comes inevitably to the conclusion that the subjective reconstructions based upon testimonies of witnesses cannot reflect the reality.

With these unreal reconstructions, the unspeakably primitive character of the crucially important buildings, for whose sake the camps are supposed to have allegedly been built - namely the killing and corpse cremation facilities - is glaringly obvious. We begin with the killing installations, and we will confine ourselves strictly to Treblinka.

2. The Alleged Killing Installations in Treblinka

In the following, we will dispense with any discussion of the many technical fantasies, like the steam and vacuum chambers, as described by many witnesses. We confine ourselves to those extermination techniques which, according to today's official historiography, are supposed to have been employed in Treblinka. As starting point for this, we choose the verdict of the Jury Court of Düsseldorf[295] of September 3, 1965, against Kurt Franz:[296]

"The gas chambers, in which the Jews were killed by means of exhaust fumes of a diesel engine, formed the center of the death camp. At the beginning of the mass killings there was only the so-called 'old gas house.' The building, solidly constructed out of brick upon a concrete foundation, contained 3 gas chambers, which were approximately 4 × 4 m in area and about 2.6 m high, as well as a machine room for the diesel engine and the lighting plant of the camp. All of the rooms were situated on a wooden corridor which was built off from the masonry structure and which one reached over several steps. From this corridor, doors led into the gas chambers. These doors were about 1.80 m in height and 90 cm wide and were made somewhat in the way that air-raid doors are, so that they sealed the chambers off nearly airtight. Opposite of these, on the exterior wall in each gas chamber, were flap doors made from thick wooden planks. These were approximately 2.50 m wide and about 1.80 meters high and could be tilted upwards when opened in the manner of modern garage doors. They led to a wide concrete ramp, situated about 0.70 m above the level of the ground, which ran around the entire building. The floor of the gas chambers was tiled and was tilted toward the ramp. The walls were likewise tiled, at least to a certain height. On the ceiling of the individual chambers there were several pipes and showerheads. Due to this, the gas chambers were supposed to evoke the impression of shower rooms. However, the piping really served for the introduction of exhaust gases produced by the diesel engine in the machine room. There was no special lighting installation in the chambers.

Very soon after the inception of operations, the capacity of the old gas house proved to be insufficient for smoothly liquidating the daily arriving transports of Jews. For that reason, at the end of August/beginning of September 1942, the construction of a new large gas house was started, which contained more and larger gas chambers and was able to be put in operation after a construction period of about one month.

This building, which was built between the junction of the hose and the old gas house, was also solidly built out of brick on a concrete foundation. Five wide stone steps, decorated with flower bowls at the sides, led to the entrance at the front of the building and opened into a wide corridor, on both of whose sides lay the new gas chambers. Their exact measurements cannot be determined, since neither the defendant L. nor his co-defendants nor even the Jewish witnesses can give precise details about this. All are merely in agreement that the new gas chambers had a holding capacity approximately double that of the chambers in the old building. The new gas chambers were probably about 8 m long, 4 m wide, and 2 m high. [...]

The process of extermination itself lasted approximately 30 to 40 minutes. [...]

An accepted holding capacity of approximately 200 to 350 people per gas chamber in the old house and approximately 400 to 700 people per gas chamber in the new house might safely be said to be most probable according to all [information]."

This description basically corresponds to that given by Łukaszkiewicz, based upon the witness testimonies of Wiernik, Reichmann, Czechowicz, and Finkelsztejn:[297]

"Both structures were built according to the corridor system, in which the entrance to the chambers in the 1st building was on both sides of the corridor, while in the small building the entry to the chambers was only on one side. The entrance was relatively small and closed with exactly fitting doors. On the exterior wall of the chamber was a large flap, which opened upward and which served for removal of bodies. The chambers were tiled; the floor sloped toward the exterior, which facilitated the removal of bodies. In the ceiling there were openings of the exhaust pipes of the engines that were located in annexes. These openings served to supply the exhaust gas, from which the victims suffocated. Witness Wiernik, who was employed as a master carpenter during all of his stay at the camp and had relative freedom of movement, gives the following dimensions of the chamber: in the small building 5 × 5 m, in the large 7 × 7 m."

The data given by the official historiography is, in reality, based almost entirely upon the witness testimony of Jankiel Wiernik, who for his part, as we explained in the second chapter, fell back upon the description of the steam chambers in the report of November 15, 1942.

But even with respect to the structure, indeed, even with respect to the number of the alleged gas chambers of the second installation - likewise based upon witness statements - variations exist, which are not given a whisper of mention in the official historiography.

In Chapter III we cited the witness testimony of Abe Kon, according to whom the second killing facility contained 12 gas chambers. The Soviet report concerning Treblinka of August 24, 1944, in which 12 gas chambers are correspondingly mentioned, is based upon this testimony.[298] As already seen, the current official version speaks of 10 chambers. The witnesses Willi Metz and Otto Horn, who had worked in 'Camp II', declared that the installation had 6 gas chambers.[299] Jankiel Wiernik wrote that at his arrival in Treblinka there had been three gas chambers and that two more were added during his stay in the camp even before the construction of the second extermination facility,[300] so that there had been 15 and not 13 gas chambers in total.

According to the witnesses cited by W. Grossmann, the gas chambers in the second facility measured 7 m × 8 m,[301] according to the witnesses questioned by Łukaszkiewicz, 7 m × 7 m,[302] , according to the witness Abe Kon, 6 m × 6 m,[303] and according to the version accepted today, 8 m × 4 m. The maximum capacity of these chambers varies between 600 (Abe Kon) and 1,000 to 1,200 (Jankiel Wiernik).[304] Lastly, Elias Rosenberg claims that the second killing facility was not constructed between August and October 1942, but rather in March of 1943.[305]

The witnesses are also not in agreement about the location of the small observation windows in the gas chambers. In the front-line report of TASS of September 11, 1944, it says:[306]

"The people in the 'bath' died under horrible tortures after ten minutes. The 'bath-master' recorded this by means of a small glass window in the door."

On the other had, the Polish-Soviet protocol of September 15, 1944, asserted:[307]

"On the roof of this - hermetically sealable - building was a small window, through which the death struggle of the dying could be observed."

E. Rosenberg also claims that this little window was located on the roof of the gas chambers.[308]

At the same time, the military examining judge of the military administration of the 65th Soviet Army, the First Lieutenant of Justice Jurowski, was drawing plans of the first as well as the second alleged killing facilities of Treblinka. The first bears the inscription "Plan of the Building no. 1 of the Treblinka Camp 2, in which the killing of people of Jewish nationality occurred."[309] The drawing is furnished with numbers from one to seven and further with the Cyrillic letters 'a', 'б', 'в'.

According to the key of the illustration, the figures and letters show the following facilities:

  • 1: Annex
  • 2: Room in which the engine was located
  • 3, 4, 5: Chambers
  • 6: Room for employees
  • 7: Ramp
  • a: Pipeline from engine
  • б: Window (= opening) through which gas was drawn off to the roof
  • в: Door

In addition, there is still a note without number or letter on the drawing: "Gas pipe into the chambers."

There is a drawing of a small tractor in Room 2. In Room 3 the measurements are also entered - m 4 × 5 - which also apply to Room 1 and 2. The annex (пристроика=pristroika) is almost certainly a corridor, which one can enter by a two-step stairs (toward the left of the drawing); the ramp can also be reached from both sides by way of two steps. The 'windows' on the ceiling measure approximately 0.5 m × 0.5 m according to the plan, and are supplied with grates.

The second drawing bears the description "Plan of the Building no. 2 of the Treblinka Camp, in which the killing of people of Jewish nationality occurred."[310]

The picture legend furnishes the following designations:

  • 1-10: Chambers
  • 11: Corridor
  • 12: Place where the engine was installed
  • a: Introduction of the gas
  • б: Removal of the gas from the chamber
  • в: Door

A note without number or letter also appears in this drawing: "Pipe which led from the engine to the chambers." A small tractor is here likewise drawn in Room 12.

These two drawings without a doubt depict two facilities with gas chambers, which are fed by engine exhaust gases (or, to put it more accurately, by the exhaust gases from a tractor). But none of the witnesses questioned by Judge Jurowski mentioned such a version of killing. As we pointed out in Chapter II, to be sure they spoke of an engine, but this served merely to operate the pump, by which the air was said to have been sucked out of the chambers and not for filling the chambers with exhaust fumes. This vacuum version was then officially stated in the Soviet report concerning Treblinka of August 24, 1944, as well as in the Polish-Soviet protocol of September 15, 1944. What, therefore, was Judge Jurowski's source?

The answer is simple: Jankiel Wiernik 's expositions of May 1944, because the Soviet investigating judges were in possession of a copy of his text, which is explicitly mentioned in the Soviet report of August 24, 1944. As will be recalled, Wiernik had simply transformed the steam chambers of the report of November 15, 1942, into engine exhaust gas chambers and even copied the drawing of the camp enclosed with that report. On this plan[311] the two alleged killing installations are drawn in, the first with three and the second with ten chambers, whose structure is practically identical with those of the two drawings of Judge Jurowski. But because Wiernik had forgotten to append to the ten gas chambers of his second drawing an eleventh room, in which the engine was installed, Judge Jurowski saw himself forced to draw in the tractor (engine) at the end of the corridor, between chambers 5 and 10. He painstakingly adopted Wiernik 's drawings, yet nonetheless attempted to bring a minimum of order to them and in doing so drew equipment within the installations, which Wiernik had not mentioned. Since the Soviet judge understood significantly more about engineering than that witness, he enhanced the drawing with another element, which would have been indispensable for a hypothetical mass killing with engine exhaust fumes, but of whose necessity Wiernik had not been aware: the openings for the removal of the gas, i.e. of the air-gas mixture. We will come back to this important point in Section 8.

It is clear from all this that Judge Jurowski was technically too well-versed to swallow the nonsense told by the witnesses, but as Soviet military judge he accepted the story of the mass extermination in engine exhaust gas chambers and imbued it with a certain degree of plausibility by virtue of his drawings.[312]

3. Diesel engine or Gasoline Engine?

In his excellent study The Diesel Gas Chambers: Idea for Torture - Absurd for Murder,[99] Friedrich P. Berg investigated the present version of the mass murder in the alleged eastern extermination camps - gassing by means of diesel engine exhaust gases - from a technical standpoint. He particularly emphasizes that according to the laws of toxicology, a person who is exposed to a concentration of 0.4% carbon monoxide (CO) (i.e. 4,000 parts CO per million parts of air), dies in less than one hour. Since the time, in which death occurs, is directly proportional to the percentage of CO, it requires correspondingly a concentration twice as high, thus 0.8%, in order to bring about death within less than a half-hour. Of the two main types of diesel engines, which existed in the forties, Berg examines the one whose exhaust gases contain a larger percentage of CO, that is, the engine with an undivided combustion chamber. In running at idle, this engine produces about 0.03% CO, but under full load approximately 0.4%. Berg says in this regard:[313]

"In other words, here we have a Diesel which looks as if it could have been used to commit mass murder in half an hour."

But a diesel engine cannot continually run at full load, since it would soon break down due to the accumulation of solids compounds on the cylinder walls. On the other hand, a diesel normally operates with a large air surplus. At idle, with an air-fuel ratio of 100:1, the engine emits 18% oxygen, which is insignificantly less than the oxygen content of the air (21%) and suffices for survival. During a homicidal gassing, the oxygen content of the air must be so low that the victims suffocate from lack of oxygen, i.e., at a level of approximately 9%. This is attained by producing an air-fuel ratio of 25:1, which is reached at about 3/4 of full load.

According to the witnesses, the diesel engine of a Russian armored tank was employed at the gas chambers of Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka. The strongest Soviet tank engine was found in the tank type T34: a V12-cylinder diesel with undivided combustion chamber, a maximum performance of 550 HP, a total cylinder volume of 38,860 cm3 = 38.86 liters, and a maximum of 1,900 revolutions per minute.

If the second gassing installation of Treblinka measured a total of 640 m3 and was able to accommodate 3,200 people, Berg concludes from his calculations that the effective volume of air contained in it amounted to 400 m3, if assuming a body volume of 75 liters per person.

If one rounds the maximum number of revolutions per minute to 2,000, since a four-stroke engine empties its piston chamber only every second revolution, it emitted (1,000 × 38.86 =) 38,860 liters or 38.86 m3 of exhaust gases in one minute. Thus, the engine would have exchanged the entire content of air of the gas chambers in (400 ÷ 38.86 =) in something under 10 minutes. The gas chambers had to have openings for the removal of the air-gas mixture; otherwise they would have collapsed from the increased pressure. Berg begins by assuming that it requires 20 minutes under these circumstances until roughly the same percentage of CO is reached in the gas chambers as in the exhaust gases themselves, i.e., realistically, 0.22 vol.% at full load and an air-fuel ratio of 20:1.

As Berg stresses, experiments with guinea-pigs showed the following:[314]

"In the animal experiment previously described with a real CO concentration of 0.22%/vol., which was already established before the test animals were even introduced and which, because of the reduced oxygen content of 11.4%/vol., corresponded to an effective CO concentration of (0.22×21÷ 11.4=) 0.4%/vol., it still took more than three hours to kill all of the test animals. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable and even quite conservative to say that in a similar gassing attempt with humans and with only a gradually increasing CO concentration, the majority of people in the alleged gas chamber would still be alive after one or even two hours. Such a result would have been an utter fiasco."

Had the SS-men wished to carry out mass gassings with engine exhaust gases, Berg argues, they would surely have resorted to a gasoline engine, whose exhaust gases normally contain 7% by volume of carbon monoxide and 1% by volume of oxygen. With corresponding adjustment of the carburetor, the carbon monoxide content can be increased up to 12%. But that would not even have been the 'best' source of CO available during World War II: Due to a lack of gasoline, the German government passed laws that made it compulsory to equip all diesel-driven vehicles with producer gas generators, which generate a gas with up to 35% of CO from wood or coke. Hundreds of thousands of these truly poisonous generators operated in wartime Germany and in the occupied territories, and this technology was well-known to all major German politicians at that time, as Berg shows. It is thus more than justified when Berg concludes:[315]

"How absurd to believe anyone with even a minimum of technical understanding would even try to use the exhaust from [diesel engines] for murder, when the [producer gas] fuel itself was a thousand times more lethal!"

The next question is, whether the Germans in 1941 would have had the knowledge that a gasoline engine would have been far more efficient for the mass killing of human beings in gas chambers. The answer is unequivocally yes. We present a single example.

In 1930, the Reich Office of Health and the I.G. Farbenindustrie company joined forces to perform a series of toxicological and hygienic experiments with combustion products of engines. E. Keeser, Professor and Doctor of Medicine, V. Froboese, Ph.D., and R. Turnau, Ph.D., from the Reich Office of Health, participated in the research project, and as representatives from the I.G. Farbenenindustrie of Oppau and Ludwigshafen E. Gross, Professor and M.D., E. Kuss, Ph.D., G. Ritter, Ph.D., and Professor W. Wilke, with a doctorate in engineering. The result of the study was published as a monograph under the title Toxikologie und Hygiene des Kraftfahrwesens.[316]

The experiments were performed exclusively with gasoline engines because their exhaust gases were regarded as far more harmful than those of diesel engines. First, the scientists conducted preliminary experiments with three different engine types: Hanomag 2/10 HP, Adler 6/25 HP, and Benz 10/30 HP. The average composition of the exhaust gases was as follows:[317]

Conditions Engine Carbon Dioxide
[% CO2]
Carbon Monoxide
[% CO]
Oxygen
[% O2]
Hydrogen
[% H2]
Methane
[% CH4]
Idle Hanomag 7.7 5.2 1.6 - -
[1,000 RPM] Adler 8.5 8.5 1.1 3.7 1.0
  Benz 9.2 6.3 1.0 3.4 0.1
Full Load Hanomag 3.2 0.2 1.4 - -
[1,500 RPM] Adler 13.3 0.2 2.3 0.1 0.1
  Benz 13.5 1.7 1.1 0.5 0.1

In subsequent experiments, the researchers chose the Adler engine. Regarding the working conditions of this engine they remarked:[318]

"A special throttle device was attached to the air supply line of the carburetor, which permitted modifying the amount of fresh air sucked in by the machine within certain limits. By means of reducing the air supply, a rise in the content of unburned substance and thus of the CO content in the exhaust gas could be achieved, while just the opposite, a reduction of CO content, resulted from an increased air supply."

After an analysis of six different kinds of gasoline, the scientists performed twelve main experiments. With respect to the emission of CO, the highest values were recorded at idle:[319]

Analysis of gas in different experimental series[320]
CO2 % O2 % CO % H2 % CH4 % N2 %
8.20 1.12 9.08 4.70 0.60 76.28
8.20 2.07 8.30 5.37 0.23 75.63
9.10 0.73 8.55 2.61 2.10 76.98
9.10 0.89 7.64 3.32 0.53 78.15
8.90 1.35 8.06 3.99 0.17 77.54
8.90 1.24 8.10 4.33 0.22 77.16
7.50 1.35 10.01 4.42 1.36 75.36
7.50 1.99 8.08 4.48 0.18 77.40
8.80 1.05 8.00 3.85 0.82 77.49
8.80 1.03 8.17 3.64 0.28 77.78
9.90 2.70 7.40 2.50 0.26 77.30
9.90 3.47 7.95 2.14 0.11 76.27

The technique employed in conducting the experiments was very progressive for that time.[321] The researchers were carrying out toxicological tests, in which they constructed sophisticated miniature gas chambers. In particular, they performed preliminary tests, about which they wrote:[322]

"The tests show that neither guinea pigs nor white mice showed severe symptoms of poisoning during a test duration of two hours with a CO concentration of 0.3%, but that any increase of the CO content beyond 0.3% led to seizure attacks, ataxia or narcosis, and that already from these symptoms the increase of CO concentration in the air could be determined."

The actual experiments were conducted with five types of gasoline and lasted 120 minutes each. White mice and guinea pigs served as experimental animals. The researchers explained:

"After the first analysis data from the Orsat exhaust gas analyses[323] had been obtained, the air supply of the carburetor was restricted to the point where the CO content of the exhaust gases climbed to 6.7%."

Thus, the experiments began with an air/exhaust gas mixture with a CO content of 0.3%. In these experiments, which lasted 120 minutes, ataxia and narcosis appeared in the guinea pigs, but not yet death.[324]

This study, whose findings we condensed down massively, has an impressive bibliography of no less than 240 expert papers.[325] It is now easy to conclude that the story of the diesel engine exhaust gas chambers is not only incredible, but borders on the absurd: whoever seriously defends it is like someone who wishes to claim that during the Second World War the Reich government preferred fighting with weapons of the stone age, although it had at its disposal a broadly diversified arsenal of the most modern weapons of that time!

This comparison is by no means a lame one, since according to the official historiography the planning and construction of the alleged extermination camps in eastern Poland was a matter of state, and the extermination of the Jews in these camps is supposed to have been one of the chief goals of the Third Reich.

4. The 'Struggle' between Engine Exhaust Gases and Hydrogen Cyanide Gas

Among the many absurdities of the so-called 'Gerstein Report', a very important one concerns his alleged mission, which Y. Arad summarizes as follows:[326]

"The gassing system that had been developed and introduced by Wirth in the Operation Reinhard death camps proved only partially satisfactory. The frequent engine breakdowns caused disturbances and delays in the entire extermination process. Globocnik was aware of these shortcomings and, in coordination with the higher authorities of the SS, decided to look into the possibility of introducing an alternative gassing system. The prevailing opinion among the higher SS authorities in charge of the extermination of the Jews was that Zyklon B was more suitable for this task.

Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein, the Chief Disinfection officer in the Main Hygienic Office of the Waffen SS,[327] and SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Pfannenstiel, professor and director of the Hygienic Institute at the University of Marburg/Lahn, who also had served as hygienic adviser to the Waffen-SS, were sent to Lublin in the middle of August 1942.[328] Gerstein 's main mission was to check the possibility of introducing the gas Zyklon B[329] in the gas chambers. Zyklon B had already been successfully used in Auschwitz, instead of the engines that were still supplying the monoxide gas in the death camps of Operation Reinhard."

Later, Arad explains that Gerstein had "submitted a written report of his mission when he was incarcerated in an American[330] army prison at the end of the war in April-July 1945",[326] cites an excerpt from this 'report', and concludes:[331]

"Gerstein 's mission did not bring about any changes in the gassing system in the Operation Reinhard death camps. Carbon monoxide, supplied by truck or tank engine, as introduced by Wirth, remained the means of killing used in these camps. The fact that Gerstein witnessed in Belzec a breakdown of the diesel engine that supplied the gas and during which people were locked inside the gas chamber for almost three hours until the engine started working did not cause any change in the procedure. Wirth refused to give up the gassing system he had developed. His professional pride did not permit him to admit that the use of Zyklon B for mass killings, as developed by Rudolf Höss, the commander of Auschwitz, was preferable to carbon monoxide. He asked and subsequently persuaded Gerstein not to propose to Berlin any other gas chamber type for Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Gerstein did not even carry out any killing experiments with the Zyklon B he had brought with him from Kolin.[332] The gas was buried on the pretext that it had been spoiled in transit."

5. The 'Mission' of Kurt Gerstein

This tale related by Arad is totally absurd. First of all, let us summarize Gerstein's mission in the way he described it:

On March 10, 1941, Gerstein joined the SS[333] and was assigned to the SS-Führungshauptamt (SS Main Operations Office), Amtsgruppe D, Sanitätswesen (Office Group D, Sanitation) of the Waffen-SS, Hygiene Department.[334] Owing to his success in the field of hygiene, he was soon promoted to Leutnant and then to Oberleutnant>[335] - two ranks, which did not exist in the Waffen-SS.[336] In January[337] or February[338] of 1942, he was named Head of the Technical Disinfection Service of the Waffen-SS. In this capacity, Gerstein received a visit on June 8, 1942, from SS-Sturmbannführer Günther of Department IV b 4 of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA, SS Main Office of Imperial Security),[339] who entrusted him with the task, a mission for the German Empire under utmost secrecy, of taking charge of 100 kg,[340] - no, 260 kg[341] - of a substance which at the same time was prussic acid (HCN)[342] and potassium cyanide (KCN),[343] and of bringing this by car[344] - no, by a truck[345] - to a location that only the driver knew.

Günther 's task offered Gerstein the opportunity of inspecting the alleged eastern extermination camps. But according to the document "Killing Institutions in Polen,"[346] Gerstein had not been innocently selected by the RSHA for his super-secret mission, but instead had himself taken the initiative: by making himself useful to SS officers in Poland, he won their confidence and succeeded in obtaining permission to visit the 'killing institutions.'[347]

On June 8, therefore, Gerstein is given a mission by Günther orally, which 48 hours later, on June 10, is confirmed in writing.[348] Nine weeks later, Gerstein and the driver leave for Kolin by Prague, in order to load the toxic substance. "By accident,"[349] Gerstein takes Prof. Pfannenstiel along, an SS-Sturmbannführer,[350] - no, an Obersturmbannführer[351] - which means that Pfannenstiel had nothing to do with Gerstein 's mission.

Now things begin to get complicated. Gerstein has to pick up[352] - no, deliver[353] - 100 or 260 kg of prussic acid/potassium cyanide. The place where the pick up or delivery takes place is prescribed to Gerstein [354] - no, it was selected by Gerstein himself[355] - the amount of the toxic material is dictated to Gerstein by the RSHA[355] - no, determined by Gerstein himself.[356]

It is worth suggesting here that the working methods of the RSHA with respect to the extermination of the Jews were extremely bizarre, to say the least: Günther entrusted Gerstein with the task of "immediately" taking charge of the toxic substance "for an extremely secret mission for the Reich,"[357] but Gerstein permits himself an unusually long time and only gets around to going on the trip more than two months later, without any RSHA official having raised any objection about this. But that's not enough: even more oddly, the RSHA had revealed the alleged secret to a simple driver and furthermore to an outsider (Pfannenstiel), but not to the person directly concerned, namely Gerstein!

The goal of Gerstein 's mission was to convert the operational method of the gas chambers from diesel exhaust gases to prussic acid,[358] but in blatant contradiction to this Gerstein explained:[359]

"I understood my mission. [...] It was required of me to discover a more rapid and more effective means of killing than this extermination of primitive sort. I proposed the employment of more toxic gases, especially of those which give off prussic acid."

Consequently, he must have discovered that killing-method, which had previously been indicated to him by the RSHA, and was proposing precisely that substance, which the RSHA had already selected itself!

In Kolin, however, Gerstein did not pick up Zyklon B - which was produced there - but instead liquid prussic acid in 45 bottles, "after showing an order from the RSHA",[360] in other words, at the command of the RSHA, which is strikingly odd, since liquid prussic acid, a rather dangerous chemical, had not been used in Germany for extermination of vermin since the introduction of the 'tub procedure' after World War One and later of Zyklon B.[361]

For what reason did the RSHA order Gerstein to take along such an enormous quantity of prussic acid? If one keeps in mind that - according to the verdict of the 1965 Munich Jury Court - the six alleged gas chambers of Bełżec are supposed to have had an effective volume of 145 m3, if one subtracts the space taken up by the approximately 1,500 victims,[362] then 500 g of prussic acid would have been sufficient in order to theoretically reach over ten times the instantly lethal concentration in every gas chamber. Under these circumstances, the 100 kg of prussic acid, which Gerstein says he brought with him, would have sufficed to kill 300,000 people in 200 gassing events! This quantity was obviously too large for a few simple experiments. For these, about a dozen canisters of Zyklon B would have been enough and, if he already had to go to Lublin, Gerstein would have easily been able to pick these up in the Majdanek camp, where the Tesch & Stabenow firm had just delivered 360 Zyklon B canisters of 1.5 kg each, thus 540 kg total, two weeks before, on July 30, 1942.[363]

In Lublin, Gerstein was received by SS-Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik, who disclosed the existence of the extermination camps of Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka to him:[364]

"This secret Reich matter is currently one of the most secret, one might say the most secret that there is."

Thereupon Globocnik explained to him what his main mission was:[365]

"Your other - even far more important - mission is the conversion of our gas chambers, which are now working with diesel exhaust, to a better and quicker way. I am mainly thinking of prussic acid."

Thus, Gerstein went to Bełżec with his death-dealing freight but did not carry out his mission, and then he coolly returned to Berlin, without having to make a report to anyone about his mission, which had been an urgent top secret matter. This story also seemed fishy to the French Examining Magistrate Mattei, who interrogated Gerstein on July 19, 1945:[366]

"Question: 'To whom did you give an account of the execution of your mission?'

Answer: 'After my return to Berlin from a journey, which had lasted about two weeks, I gave no one a report about the execution of my mission. No one asked me anything.'"

The absurd answer did not satisfy Mattei, and he probed further:[367]

"Therefore, according to your own admission, you received an important mission in Berlin in your capacity as technician, a mission which was so important that you had to carry it out as a state secret, you visited three camps and were given an audience by a General, who, in view of the purpose of your mission, considered it necessary to communicate to you the remark of the two great Nazi leaders.[368] How can you persist in wanting to convince us that you:

  1. Did not fulfill the goal of your mission at all;
  2. Gave a report to no one;
  3. No one put any sort of questions to you concerning this?"

Gerstein answered:

"Hauptmann [Captain] Wirth had such a personal position with Himmler that he could say to me that I didn't have to trouble myself about this matter any more, and I obeyed him in this."

This defensive strategy was demolished by Gerstein himself when he stated:[369]

"Wirth asked me to propose no sort of change in the gas chambers and killing methods used up to now, since it all had worked out and proved to be best. Remarkably, I was never asked about that sort of thing in Berlin."

Thus, Christian Wirth did not have such great influence with Himmler after all! This is also 'confirmed' by the allegation that Wirth was afraid of Gerstein:[370]

"Hauptmann Wirth comes in. One sees that he is afraid because I see the disaster."

Gerstein 's tale is based upon three premises:

  1. The extermination of Jews in the eastern camps was a secret matter of the Reich, indeed, it was the most secret matter of all.
  2. It had therefore been planned at the governmental level of Himmler, through Department IV B4 of the RSHA (Eichmann).
  3. The execution of the extermination plan had been entrusted to Globocnik, who was directly responsible to Himmler for it.

The RSHA allegedly gave Gerstein the task to change the way the gas chambers functioned. Therefore, the order had to have been issued by Himmler. Himmler had supposedly done this because the system employed at that time - diesel engine exhaust gases - was unsatisfactory. Globocnik had been in full agreement with it, and only he would have been able to inform Himmler about the inefficiency of this method of extermination.

According to Michael Tregenza, Globocnik ordered the restructuring of Treblinka after an inspection performed on August 19, 1942, and entrusted this task to Christian Wirth as "Inspector of the SS-Sonderkommando 'Operation Reinhard.'"[371]

We therefore return to our question at the outset:

Why would such an inefficient murder technique have been chosen at the governmental level for the execution of a plan, which concerned such a secret matter of the Reich?

Gerstein belonged to the SS Main Operations Office, Office Group D, Sanitation, of the Waffen-SS, Hygiene Department. Why did the RSHA turn to this office in order to change the killing-system then in operation, yet did not inquire about a more effective one? If the use of engine exhaust gases had been planned, why did the RSHA not contact the Reichsgesundheitsamt (Reich Office of Health) in Berlin at that time and the research laboratories of I.G. Farbenindustrie company, which, as we have seen, had substantial experience in this field at its disposal?

If the RSHA had decided to use prussic acid in the gas chambers, why did it commission Gerstein to pick up liquid prussic acid instead of Zyklon B?

And finally, if the diesel exhaust gas chambers proved to be so inefficient, why had their operational method not been changed?

Thus, although the killing method allegedly used in Bełżec had been proven to be inefficient and the RSHA - i.e. Himmler - is supposed to have decided to modify it at the beginning of June 1942, the construction of the second gassing installation in Treblinka at the end of August/beginning of September 1942 is supposed to have begun using exactly the same inefficient diesel principle! And who - apart from Himmler - could have issued the order for the construction of this second installation?

Thus, the 'Gerstein Report', which Y. Arad describes as "one of the first and most important documents relating to Operation Reinhard"(sic),[372] is not only devoid of any sort of evidentiary weight, but on the contrary, it also sheds light upon the complete absurdity inherent to the entire story of the 'eastern extermination camps.'

6. Russian Engines or German Engines?

But we have not reached the end of absurdities yet. How can one believe, in all seriousness, that for the execution of such an important government program as that of a 'secret Reich matter' old Russian diesel engines would have been used?[373] Where did the SS intend to procure spare parts for repairs when the inevitable wear and tear occurred?

But there is a yet more basic problem. In Chapter II we spoke of the electric power supply of Treblinka, which consisted of an engine and an electric generator driven by it. We have further seen how, according to the witness Wiernik, the alleged gas chambers were operated by the exhaust gases of this engine.

Aside from the ludicrousness of a mass killing by means of diesel exhaust gases, how plausible this is, is shown by Friedrich Berg:[374]

"The only way to realistically impose a significant load on any engine is by coupling to the engine some kind of brake dynamometer or other load, such as a generator with an electrical load, a fan, pump, or the like."

According to the witness Wiernik, it was just that engine of the electric power supply that was used in Treblinka in the gassings. This engine was thus doubly important; first, because it had to produce the carbon monoxide for the gassings, and second, because it generated the electrical energy indispensable for the needs of the camp. In fulfilling the second function, the engine had to be in operation 24 hours every day. How can one conceive of the notion that the RSHA and the SS-WVHA could have been satisfied with a Russian engine for the fulfillment of this double function? The whole story sounds all the more silly in view of the fact that the emergency electric supply of the Auschwitz camp was equipped with an obviously new German diesel engine since November 1940. By commission of the local SS Central Construction Office, the firm of Georg Grabarz compiled a detailed estimate, of which we have photocopied the first page.[375] The costs for the engine amounted to 28,140 RM, that for the generator 24,464 RM, and the entire costs, including accessories and costs of transport, 56,218 RM.[376]

7. Gas Chambers or Asphyxiation Chambers?

According to the verdict of the Düsseldorf Jury Court of September 3, 1965, already cited, the gas chambers of the first killing installation measured 4 m × 4 m × 2.60 m each, thus 16 m2 and 41.6 m3, and could each hold 200 to 350 people. Those of the second killing installation were 8 m × 4 m × 2 m, thus 32 m2 and 64 m3 in size, and could accommodate 400 to 700 persons.[377]

The time period, during which a stay in gas-tight air-raid shelter (equipped with neither a ventilation nor an air-exchange system) is possible without danger to health and life, can be calculated on the basis of the following formula:

t = v/20n (10-0.4) = 0.48 (v/n)

in which t stands for the time spent in the shelter, v for the volume of the room in cubic meters, n is the number of occupants of the room. The constant 20 designates the number of liters of carbon dioxide exhaled by a person within an hour, and 0.4 refers to the liters of carbon dioxide present per cubic meter of air. Lastly, 10 is the highest possible permissible concentration of carbon dioxide (per m3) in the shelter.

By heeding this formula, the suffocation of the occupants of the shelter can be avoided. It is well known that an adult normally exhales 4% carbon dioxide (CO2). Though this gas is not toxic, a concentration beyond a certain point leads to death through asphyxiation. On average, a standing adult breathes eight liters of air per minute and in doing so uses 0.360 liters of oxygen; during slow walking, however, his consumption of oxygen climbs to 0.65 liters per minute and the air exhaled during the same period is increased to 14 liters. Since in breathing four parts of carbon dioxide are produced for 5 parts of oxygen, the person in the first instance produces

(0.36 × 4/5 =) 0.288 liters of carbon dioxide per minute and in the second case

(0.65 × 4/5 =) 0.520 liters of carbon dioxide per minute.[378]

In regard to the effects of carbon dioxide upon people in relation to its concentration, two specialists, Flury and Zernik, write:[379]

"With 8-10%, corresponding to 144-180 mg/liter, loss of consciousness rapidly ensues and death follows from cessation of breathing with cyanosis. Convulsions are insignificant or entirely absent. The heart continues to beat after cessation of breathing. A concentration of 20%, or approximately 360 mg/liter, leads within a few seconds to complete paralysis of the vital centers."

Thus a carbon dioxide concentration of 10% leads to death in a few minutes, while at the same time the oxygen content has fallen to 8.5% (21%-(10%×5÷4)). In what time period would there have been such a concentration in the alleged gas chambers of Treblinka?

Since there were also children among the alleged victims - perhaps a third of the entire number[380] - and since the rate of respiration of the hypothetical victims would naturally have been accelerated by excitement, fear, and terror, we start our calculations with the assumption of an average carbon dioxide volume of 0.300 liters per person per minute[381] or 18 liters per person per hour, and with the average weight of each victim assumed to be 55 kg.[382]

Gassing Installation 1:

The number of victims per gas chamber amounted to 200 to 300, thus an average of 275. The volume occupied by the bodies of the victims amounted to ((275×550)÷1,000=) 15.1 m3; therefore, there was a volume of (41.6-15.1=) 26.5 m3 of air available. In one minute the victims produced (275×0.3=) approximately 82.5 liters or 0.0825 m3 carbon dioxide.

The lethal concentration lies at 10% carbon dioxide, which corresponds to (26.5×0.1=) 2.65 m3 or 2,650 liters. This thus occurs in (2,650÷82.5=) about 32 minutes.

Gassing Installation 2:

The number of victims per gas chamber amounted to 400 to 700, therefore an average of 550. The volume occupied by the bodies of the victims is (550×550÷1,000=) 30.2 m3; thus a volume of (64-30.2=) approximately 34 m3 is available. In one minute the victims produce (550×0.3=) approximately 156 liters or 0.165 m3 carbon dioxide. The lethal concentration of 10% carbon dioxide, that is, (34×0.1=) 3.4 m3 or 3,400 liters, is consequently attained in (3,400 ÷ 165 =) about 21 minutes.

Conclusion:

According to the witnesses, the victims are supposed to have died from the gas after approximately 30 to 40 minutes, but death from asphyxiation would have already occurred after about 20 or 30 minutes. What good purpose, therefore, was served by the construction of diesel gas chambers?

But we still are not yet done with the absurdities. Rachel Auerbach writes:[383]

"For instance, we had believed for a long time that the final agony in the gas chambers, where most of our relatives and friends were asphyxiated, lasted just 20 to 25 minutes, or half an hour at the most. We have now learned from Jankiel Wiernik 's account that the death throes in the new, larger gas chambers (in Treblinka) took longer than it had in the old chambers. In fact, they often went on for as long as one hour because the Russian tank motor which supplied the chambers with exhaust fumes did not put out gas sufficient to fill the larger space and the wider pipes. The output was not sufficiently large and effective."

This illuminates a gross error in planning, which would have been committed by the SS if these claims were correct. The second gassing installation allegedly had 10 gas chambers with a total volume of 640 m3, while the first had merely three gas chambers with a total volume of 124.8 m3. Therefore the volume of the second was approximately five times greater than that of the first. In order to kill the victims in the same time as in the first installation, the SS would consequently have had to install five engines in the second instead of a single one.

In his report published in 1944, Wiernik had only written:[384]

"The motor which generated the gas in the new chambers was defective, and so the helpless victims had to suffer for hours on end before they died. Satan himself could not have devised a more fiendish torture."

Quite clearly, Wiernik 's claim was pure atrocity propaganda: he wanted to create the notion that death in the new facility was even more cruel than in the old one, because the SS was using a defective engine (or perhaps even had intentionally damaged it!), and on that account the victims had to endure a torture such as the Devil incarnate would not have been able to invent a more diabolical one!

If, as Wiernik maintains on the other hand, 10,000 to 12,000 people per day were gassed in Treblinka,[385] - or even, at times, 20,000[386] - then this certainly does not comport with the inefficiency of the gas chambers, which was described by the same witness.

Who can seriously believe that the RSHA, after its decision to change the killing system of the first gassing facility of Treblinka because it had proven to be too inefficient (as was likewise the case with Bełżec and Sobibór), had allowed a new installation to be built, which functioned according to the same system but was even less efficient? As always in such cases, the stupidity lies not with the SS, but rather with the eyewitnesses.

8. The Problem of Air Pressure in Gas Chambers

According to the official historiography, the gas chambers possessed no opening for the removal of the gas. As we have seen in Section 2, the Soviet Investigating Judge Jurowski inserted an opening for gas outflow in the ceiling in both of his drawings of the gas chambers of Treblinka. In 1947, Elias Rosenberg stated for the record:[387]

"A small window, sealed air-tight, was fitted to the ceiling, which could not be opened and through which the man who regulated the gas supply was able to observe."

This small window, therefore, had nothing to do with any system for gas removal. But such a window, or, to be more exact, such an opening for the purging of the air-gas mixture would have been absolutely indispensable for a mass killing by the use of the exhaust gases of a powerful engine. Graduate engineer Arnulf Neumaier emphasizes that diesel engines emit their combustion gases with a pressure of 0.5 atmospheres (which corresponds to 500 g/cm2), and explains:[388]

"[...] this means that there would have been a force equivalent to the weight of 5 metric tons pushing outward against each square meter of surface area."

In the first installation, such a pressure would have exerted a force corresponding to the weight of 80 metric tons upon the ceiling of each chamber, of 52 metric tons on each of the walls, of 8.1 metric tons upon the entrance door and of 22.5 metric tons upon the door serving for the removal of the bodies. If the masonry of the walls withstood this powerful pressure, then the engine, approaching a state of equilibrium between the pressure of the interior of the chambers and the pressure of the engine exhaust gases, would have broken down.

When would this equilibrium be reached? The gas pressure in a hermetically sealed container or room doubles if the amount of gas in it is doubled (provided the temperature is constant).

A diesel engine works like a compressor. Under the parameters of the data given previously, an engine of 38,860 cubic centimeters (38.86 liters) at 2,000 RPM emits 38.86 m3 of gas per minute with an outlet pressure of 0.5 atmospheres.

The effective air volume amounts to (26.5×3=) 79.5 m3 in the first and (34×10=) 340 m3 in the second installation. Under these conditions, a pressure of 0.5 atmospheres would be attained if a volume of exhaust gas had been blown into the rooms, which corresponded to half of their effective volume, therefore (79.5÷2=) 39.75 m3 in the first and (340÷2 =) 170 m3 in the second installation. This would have taken (38.25÷38.86=) less than a minute in the first installation, but (170÷38.86=) a little more than four minutes in the second.

If the alleged gas chambers were actually hermetically sealed, the gassing procedure under the circumstances described by the witnesses would therefore have come to a standstill through breakdown of the engine after scarcely a minute in the first facility, and after a little over four minutes in the second facility, if the walls of the building had not already collapsed before that. But probably the doors would simply not have withstood the pressure and would have been pushed off their hinges.

9. The Burning of Bodies: The Mass-Graves

a. Number and Size of the Graves

According to official historiography, about 860,000 of the 870,000 Treblinka victims were buried before their cremation.[389]

On the basis of his investigations of the mass graves of Hamburg (Anglo-American terror-bombardment of July 1943), Katyn (Soviet mass murder of Polish officers, 1940) and Bergen-Belsen (mass dying from typhus in spring 1945), John Ball came to the conclusion that one could assume a maximum of six bodies per cubic meter in a mass grave.[390] This number seems quite high if one keeps in mind that in Treblinka I, the work camp, the Soviets found 105 bodies in a grave with an effective volume of 75 m3 - therefore 1.4 bodies per cubic meter, and that the medical expert Piotrowski, in his first calculation of the content of the mass graves, set a figure of six bodies per 2 cubic meters, thus 3 bodies per cubic meter, half the density proposed by Ball.[391] However, in order to take into account the hypothetical existence of children as comprising one-third of the victims, we assume a density of a maximum of 8 bodies per cubic meter.

How many graves were there, and how large were they? The Düsseldorf Jury Court conceded at the trial of 1964-1965 that it had discovered no accurate information about this. In its verdict it says:[392]

"The details determined in the main trial concerning the number and size of the body pits likewise differ very widely from one another. Nevertheless, one can form an idea of the extent of the pits when one hears that, according to the statement of defendant S., one of the pits contained no less than approximately 80,000 corpses."

But according to the witness E. Rosenberg, who is the sole person to give 'exact' details, the mass graves measured 120 m × 15 m × 6 m,[393] which, if one assumes a top layer of 0.5 m, gives an effective volume of (120×15×5.5=) 9,900 m3. Consequently, each grave could contain (9,900×8=) 79,200 bodies, which agrees almost exactly with the comment above of the Düsseldorf Court.

In accordance with this, if 860,000 bodies were really buried in Treblinka before their cremation, there must have been (860,000÷79,200=) 11 graves of this size, the total surface area of which amounted to (120 × 15 × 11 =) 19,800 m2.

b. Site of the Mass-Graves

According to the plan of Treblinka produced at the Düsseldorf trial of 1964-1965, the mass graves were located without exception inside of 'Camp II,' where there were, besides, the following facilities: the old gassing installation, the new gassing installation, the two cremation grates and the barracks for the Jewish Sonderkommandos. But, as pointed out in Chapter II, the whole of 'Camp II' had an area, which was far less than the theoretical area of the graves, that is, 14,000 m2.

'Camp II' had the shape of an irregular quadrilateral; its sides measured 188, 110, 174, and 52 meters. It therefore could theoretically accommodate merely three graves of the dimensions given above. Due to the presence of the five facilities mentioned, however, of which three (the two cremation grates and the new gassing installation) were allegedly lined up with one another on an east-west axis, 'Camp II' could barely enclose a single one such mass grave for 79,200 bodies. Where, then, were the remaining 780,800 bodies buried?

In the plan mentioned, just five mass graves are drawn in 'Camp II,' which further complicates things, since each grave would then had to have had a far greater area than stated above.

c. The Excavated Earth

In excavating a pit or a grave, the extract has a volume which is normally around 10 to 25% greater than the volume of the excavated pit itself.[394] From each of the 11 mass graves of Treblinka, (120×15×6=) 1,088 cubic meters of earth would have been excavated, thus in all (10,800×11=) 118,800 cubic meters. If we set the minimum of 10 % for the additional volume of the extracted earth, then the latter would have had a volume of (118,800×1.1=) approx. 130,700 cubic meters. For purposes of illustration, let it be said that this enormous quantity of earth would have been able to cover the entire surface area of the Treblinka II camp with a layer nearly one meter high! If this mass were arranged in the form of a pile 6 m high, with sides each having an angle of 30 degrees and a width of 10 m, then its length would have amounted to (130,700÷[email protected]) 4.4 kilometers, covering some 44,000 m2! If one should construct such a pile of soil next to each grave, then this would be some 390 m long each!

d. A Comparison with the Mass-Graves of Treblinka I

As shown in Chapter III, in the year 1944 the Soviets found three mass graves in the proximity of Treblinka I, and the Poles a further 41 in 1946. The latter possessed a total area of 1,607 m2. Not a single mass grave was discovered on the camp area itself, although this had a greater area than Treblinka II: approximately 18 hectares.[395]

The graves were located in the forest of Maliszewa, about 500 m away from the camp. This was due to obvious considerations of hygiene and sanitation.

The pollution of water, air, and soil by decomposing corpses had been proven scientifically a long time before the 1940s. Studies performed in the nineteenth century had shown that the ground water in the vicinity of cemeteries was often so severely contaminated that the water in the wells was putrid, murky, and permeated by organic substances. In 1878, F. Selmi, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Chemistry at the University of Bologna, discovered that in addition to ammonia, sulphuric acid, carbonic acid, and gaseous hydrocarbons, a toxic alkaloid is also generated through the decomposition of corpses, which he named 'ptomaine.' At about the same time, other scientists proved that cadavers develop yet another volatile toxic substance, 'sepsin.' Moreover, it had already long been experimentally proven that many pathogenic microorganisms in the soil - the cause of typhus fever being among them - are very capable of resisting atmospheric effects.[396] In Treblinka, according to S. Rajzman, typhus fever constituted "the main plague."[397]

The water supply of the camp was secured by wells. On the plan of Treblinka drawn by Moszek Laks and Maniek Płatkiewicz,[398] four wells can be recognized, one for the German guard unit, one for the Ukrainian guard unit, one for the Jewish prisoners, and a fourth, which was surely located in 'Camp II.' There can therefore be no doubt that hundreds of thousands of bodies allegedly buried in 'Camp II' would have completely poisoned the ground water, which supplied the wells. Yet not a single witness mentions a thing about this critical problem.

e. The Excavators of Treblinka

According to the official version of history, the existence of huge mass graves is confirmed by the presence of three excavators in the camp, which at first are supposed to have been employed for the excavation of the graves and later for exhuming the corpses. Two photos are often published in support of this claim, in which excavators - allegedly at a location in Treblinka II - can be recognized. One of these photos is reproduced in the work of Y. Arad with the caption:[399]

"An excavator used in Treblinka to remove dead bodies to be burned, and the SS men who operated the excavator."

The other, better-known photograph appeared, inter alia, in the work of Gitta Sereny, where the caption claims that the excavator served to transport the corpses out of the trenches onto the grates.[400] This photo was also published in the book The Good Old Days with the caption:[401]

"Excavator used for corpses in Treblinka."

Samuel Willenberg's book contains a picture of said excavator in action, dumping a load of - soil. The picture bears the caption:[402]

"Crane lifting corpses for cremation. Photographed by SS-man Kurt Franz, nicknamed 'Lalka ' (Doll)."

R. Czarkowski has published the same snapshot with the comment "Excavator for the excavation of the graves for the victims."[403] Furthermore, it is supposed to follow from German documents - never published, however - that on June 29, 1943, an excavator from Treblinka was sent to the Adam Lamczak firm in Berlin; two more excavators were supposedly shipped to Lublin or Poniatowa or Trawniki in November 1943 (the exact date and exact place of destination are not named).[404] It apparently occurred to nobody that in reality these excavators could have been stationed in Treblinka I, where they found employment in the mining of gravel in the pit there. The sole 'proof' for the presence of these machines in Treblinka II are two drawings produced by S. Willenberg in the 1980s, in which one sees a part of the camp with an excavator in the background![405]

10. Early Cremations

Y. Arad describes the early history of the alleged burning of bodies in Treblinka as follows:[406]

"During Himmler 's 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 700,000 Jews who had been killed there had not yet been cremated. The very fact that the cremation began immediately after his visit makes it more than possible that Himmler, who was very sensitive about the erasure of the crimes committed by Nazi Germany, personally ordered the cremating of the corpses there. A cremation site was erected for this purpose in the extermination area of the camp."

Here Arad is simply repeating what Z. Łukaszkiewicz had written in the year 1945:[407]

"In February or March 1943, Himmler visited the camp (witnesses: Poswolski, Stanisław Kon, Wiernik, Kudlik, Reisszmann [sic]. Since this visit the bodies were cremated in mass."

This claim is untenable just as much from the standpoint of the witness testimony as it is historically invalid. Rajzman had stated in particular at his first interrogation on September 26, 1944:[408]

"In the first months - as I was told - the bodies were buried and covered with a layer of earth, at which point the dentists extracted the gold teeth as soon as the bodies were dragged out of the chambers.

At my arrival in the camp, the bodies were being burned in primitive furnaces, the pyres blazed day and night. Clouds of smoke covered the sky over the camp to the point that we entered into a constant zone of darkness."

Rajzman came to Treblinka on September 27, 1942, which means that the cremation of bodies must have already begun in September of that year and not first in March 1943.

On the other hand, the story of the Himmler visit to Treblinka is devoid of any sort of historical basis and is not even supported by a vague documentary reference. It is a simple invention of the witnesses in order to make their tales of enormous cremations in Treblinka appear credible, which for their part are supposed to lend credibility to their description of a gigantic mass extermination in the camp. But historically viewed it is all sheer nonsense.

According to official historiography, Himmler, at a point in time when Auschwitz, allegedly the largest of the German 'extermination camps,' began its murderous activity, is supposed to not have had the idea yet of building crematoria for the incineration of corpses: the victims of the so-called 'bunkers' of Birkenau are supposed to have simply been buried in mass graves, which had been excavated in the 'Birkenwald' (birch forest). Himmler is supposed to have ordered the cremation of bodies in Auschwitz after his second visit there on July 17 and 18, 1942.[409] As a result of this alleged Himmler order, the incineration of the bodies under the open sky is supposed to have begun on September 21, 1942.[410]

But already in the month before his visit to Auschwitz, Himmler is supposed to have ordered the SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel, through the Chief of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller, to eradicate all traces of the mass graves:[411]

"In June 1942 SS-Gruppenführer Müller, chief of the Gestapo, charged SS-Standartenführer Blobel with removing all traces of the mass executions carried out in the east by the Einsatzgruppen. This order was considered a state secret, and Blobel was instructed to refrain from any written correspondence on the subject. The operation was given the code name 'Sonderaktion (special operation) 1005.'"[412]

Under these circumstances one does not comprehend, why corpses in Auschwitz were buried up until September 20, 1942, and in Treblinka up to March 1943; it is also incomprehensible, why cremations in Sobibór are supposed to have begun in the summer of 1942,[413] those in Bełżec in the middle of December of 1942,[414] and those in Treblinka in March of 1943.

Or to put it differently, we understand it only too well: the witnesses of the different camps had not managed to get together to agree on an identical starting date for Himmler's decision to eradicate all traces by cremation!

11. Cremation Facility

Z. Łukaszkiewicz writes:[415]

"In Treblinka there were no crematoria in the form of ovens, only primitive facilities in the form of grates."

Had Treblinka been a 'pure extermination camp,' then it would have been the sheerest insanity not to construct crematoria. All important concentration camps - Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenbürg, Neuengamme, Groß-Rosen, Niederhagen, Ravensbrück - were equipped with stationary or mobile crematorium furnaces. Lublin/Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau, which supposedly functioned simultaneously as concentration and extermination camps, possessed several crematoria: the former camp had two of them with seven muffles altogether,[416] the latter five crematoria with a total of 52 muffles, even though not all at the same time.[417] Why should Himmler not even have provided for the building of a single furnace for an alleged pure extermination camp?

The situation sounds all the more crazy, as on December 4, 1941, Himmler himself had ordered through the SS Main Office for Budget and Buildings "4 pieces of Topf 4-muffled double cremation furnaces" from the Topf firm in Erfurt for the White Russian city Mogilew, which was then under German military administration[418] and where the transit camp for POWs no. 185 under the command of Major Wittmer was located.[419] But on December 30, 1941, merely half a furnace (four muffles) was shipped to Mogilew; two others were then installed in the crematoria IV and V of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and 11/2 more ovens (12 muffles) remained temporarily in storage at the Topf firm for Himmler 's disposal.[420] On August 16, 1943, the SS-Administrator at the Senior SS- and Police Chief's office in the General Gouvernement delivered a memo to all Central Construction Offices of the General Gouvernement (occupied Poland) as well as to the Construction Office of Radom, in which they were informed that Office CIII of the SS-WVHA had available "11/2 cremation furnaces = 12 muffles" and asked that notification be given by September 1, if the officials named required them.[421] We know only the response of the Construction Director of Trawniki, a subcamp to Majdanek, who wrote:[422]

"There is no crematorium in the local camp. This situation has repeatedly been the cause of complaints. The installation of a crematorium would be urgently needed."

Since there had been confusions about payments of invoices of the Topf firm, the SS-Administrator of Group C/Construction also addressed the office of the Senior SS- and Police Chief of Central Russia, since the ordering of the "4 pieces of Topf 4-muffled double cremation furnaces" was intended for the Construction Inspection Office of Central Russia.[423]

This affair is very typical. Above all, it allows us to see that as early as December 1941 Himmler had ordered the installation of crematorium furnaces in one camp, which was located in the occupied territories under military administration. It also shows that the highest SS authorities of the General Gouvernement and of the Soviet territories under military administration were interested in the installation of crematorium furnaces. Next, it proves that the SS work camp Trawniki, in which never more than 10,000 prisoners were interned, had several times requested the construction of a crematorium, but such a request was never made either for Treblinka, Bełżec, or Sobibór, where such a thing would have been much more necessary, provided the official history is correct. Finally, not even the SS-Administrator at the Senior SS- and Police Chief's office in the General Gouvernement had ever ordered cremation furnaces for the three last-named camps, for he could have immediately received the 12 muffles that awaited their buyer in storage at the Topf firm.

Let us summarize: By December 1941, the problem of the cremation of bodies had emerged in the concentration and prisoner-of-war camps. Crematoria were built in Mogilew, in Majdanek, and in all the larger concentration camps, but not in the alleged three pure extermination camps!

The SS paid the sum of 1,400,000 RM for the four crematoria of Birkenau,[424] but for crematoria in the camps allegedly devoted exclusively to the extermination of Jews, the SS sacrificed not a single penny, although this extermination of Jews is supposed to have been one of the main goals, if not the main goal itself, of NS policy!

Can anyone really take such nonsense seriously?

12. Cremation

a. Complexity of the Problem

The matter of the missing crematoria is all the more grotesque, as the problem of cremating the corpses would have been tremendous, if the official version of Treblinka corresponded to the facts. The Jewish US-historian Konnilyn G. Feig comments the following in this regard:[425]

"The incredible complexity of the mass-grave problem frustrated the Germans. Their dismay was legitimate. Treblinka's soil contained 700,000 bodies - a volume of 69,000 cubic meters weighing 35,000 tons, the same as a medium size battleship. Even if 1,000 bodies could be burned each day, 700 days would elapse before Himmler's order had been obeyed.

Franz and Lalka [nick-name of an SS-officer] tried many approaches to the problem. They poured buckets of gasoline on the bodies in one ditch - producing huge flames and slightly singed corpses. They piled one hundred bodies into wide but shallow ditches, and dumped in gasoline again. The resulting fire did not destroy the corpses. They experimented with varying sizes of piles and quantities of gasoline - to no avail. At the end of the first testing period they concluded that Himmler 's request would take 140 years to fulfill.

As a second experiment, they built huge pyres - alternating bodies and wood and soaking the whole with gasoline. The fire destroyed the bodies but the test could not be repeated, for it was wartime and gasoline and tree trunks were not available in the quantities necessary to burn 700,000 corpses."

Before we continue, we must correct the figures given here. If 700,000 bodies weighed 35,000 tons, then the average weight of a body was 50 kg and it occupied a volume of approximately 0.05 m3; thus, the entire volume was 35,000 m3 and not 69,000 m3.

In our calculations, we are assuming the number of bodies to be 870,000 as given by Y. Arad and the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust and assume the average weight to be 45 kg, since the corpses would have been buried for many months, leading to a loss of weight by desiccation. Thus, the total weight of the bodies would have amounted to 39,150,000 kg and the volume occupied by them would have been 39,150 m3.

Feig goes on to say:[426]

"Finally, the planners were forced to bring an expert, Herbert Floss. [...] Floss had the prisoners erect four cement pillars, 76 centimeters high, forming a rectangle 19 meters long and 1 meter wide. On top they laid railroad rails, and on the rails they piled several hundred bodies. Inmates called the two huge iron pyres 'Roasts'. A witness suggested that primitive grills could hold 2,600 bodies."

In order to increase the efficiency of the grates, Floss introduced an important innovation to them. As Jean-François Steiner claims, whom Feig quotes, Floss had discovered during his experiments in particular that

"the old bodies burned better than the new ones, the fat ones better than the thin ones, the women better than the men, and the children not as well as the women but better than the men."

Therefore, "it was evident that the ideal body was the old body of a fat woman," and Floss had the bodies distributed according to these criteria.[426]

Feig is thus not embarrassed to repeat the crackpot claims of some witnesses, that women's bodies burned spontaneously and served as fuel for the cremation of the rest of the bodies.[427] Hardly less ridiculous is the claim that the bodies of old men burn better than those of young men. In actuality, the truth is exactly the opposite: in the bodies of men weakened by age the combustible materials - fats and proteins - are already partly used up by the process of aging.

But this is in essence a secondary issue. The main problem lies in the primitiveness of the burning technique. Can anyone in possession of his five senses actually accept the scenario that the Commandant of Treblinka, disregarding the experiences with cremation accumulated by the SS in Auschwitz, engaged in amateurish experiments in executing an order personally issued by Himmler himself, as though the cremation of 870,000 were a local problem, to be solved by make-shift methods?

No less abstruse is the notion that Himmler, who had at his disposal the best German engineers and technicians in the field of cremation - those of the firm of J.A. Topf & Söhne (Erfurt), Hans Kori (Berlin) and Didier Werke (Berlin), who had supplied the crematoria furnaces to all the German concentration camps - sent a nobody by the name of Herbert Floss to Treblinka!

b. Number and Structure of the Cremation Facilities

The technique of cremation employed in Treblinka was described as follows in the verdict of the Düsseldorf Jury Court at the trial of 1964-1965:[428]

"After the most diverse cremation attempts had been employed for this purpose, a large cremation facility was constructed. It consisted of a concrete base approximately 70 cm thick, upon which 5 to 6 railroad rails of perhaps 25 to 30 m length lay at small intervals. Under the rails burned a fire, while 2,000 to 3,000 of the bodies of the Jews killed in the gas chambers were loaded on the grate and then burned. When it was seen that this system worked, the corpses, which had been put into the body pits in the preceding months, were also retrieved, again with the help of a large excavator, and then likewise incinerated in the manner described."

According to the plan of Jankiel Wiernik from the year 1945 as well as that presented at the trial in Düsseldorf,[429] two such cremation facilities were in fact constructed. The cremation is supposed to have taken place in the time period between April and the end of July 1943,[430] so that nearly all 860,000 bodies are supposed to have been incinerated within 122 days, i.e. 7,000 per day on two grates, or 3,500 per day per grate.

How large was such a grate? In the version of Wiernik 's work One year in Treblinka published by A. Donat, one reads:[431]

"This is the way in which he[432] got the Inferno started: He put into operation an excavator which could dig up 3,000 corpses at one time. A fire grate made from railroad tracks was placed on concrete foundations 100 to 150 meters in length. The workers piled the corpses on the grate and set them on fire."

The particulars given here are clearly the fruit of a later insertion, since in the American translation of Wiernick's writing compiled in 1944 it simply says:[433]

"This is the way he got the hell started. He put a machine for exhuming the corpses into operation, which could, in one motion, dig up many, many dead bodies. A fire grate made of railway ties was laid out on cement foundations, and workmen had to pile the corpses on the grating and set them on fire"

If one takes into consideration the fact that 3,000 bodies take up a volume of about (3,000×0.045 =) 135 m3, the claim, according to which the shovel of the excavator could be loaded with 3,000 bodies at a time, will evoke only amusement. The length of the grate (100 to 150 m) contradicts the trial documents. According to Arad, the grate was 30 m wide,[434] but this too contradicts the verdict of the Düsseldorf Jury Court, according to which the grate consisted of "5 to 6 train rails of about 25 to 30 m in length." Since emaciated bodies, which easily disintegrated, were burned on both grates, the gap between two rails had to be small and could at most be permitted to amount to 50 to 60 cm, so that one can assume a width of the grate of approximately three meters. The width given by Feig - one meter - is obviously impossible.

Thus, the two grates cannot have been larger than 30 × 3 × 0.76 m each. As already explained, each grate must have burned 3,500 bodies every single day for 122 days. Let us now examine the consequences of this.

c. Arrangement of the Corpses on the Cremation Grates

The surface area of one grate amounted to 90 m2. In view of its structure, the bodies could only be placed cross-wise on it; it is therefore to be assumed that for one meter of length of the grate - which corresponds to three square meters - four bodies can be placed, two respectively to the right and left of the central axis. We are assuming, however, for each body a theoretical average surface area of the size of a rectangle of 1.75 m × 0.50 m, which also includes the necessary intervening space for the passage of the products of combustion. On the entire grate, then, there is space for a layer of (4 × 30 =) 120 bodies. If we start with a height of 30 cm per layer of bodies, if one placed 3,500 bodies at the same time on the grate, the result would be (3,500÷120=) 29 layers of bodies with a total height of (29×0.3=) 8.7 m!

According to the witness Henryk Reichmann, five to six grates were built, each of which was able to accommodate 2,500 bodies at a time.[435] The witness Szyja Warszawski specified that each grate measured 10 m × 4 m.[436] It follows from this that one could accommodate a layer of 46 bodies on each grate, and 2,500 bodies - picture this - would result in 54 layers, or a hill of bodies 16 m high!

Even had the SS managed the feat of piling up 29 or even 54 layers of bodies on the grate, the train rails would have deformed under the load as well as from the heat, and the body-mountain would have soon caved in.

d. Wood Requirement

The space available beneath the grate was (0.76 m × 90 m2 =) 68.4 m3. The weight of a cubic meter of normally stacked firewood lies between 340 and 450 kg. Let us assume the highest value here; then (68.4×450 =) 30,780 kg of wood can fit in the 68.4 m3. Arnulf Neumaier refers to an article, which appeared in the November 27, 1986, Schenectady Gazette, New Delhi, according to which 6,433 tons of wood is required for the daily cremation of 21,000 bodies in India, which corresponds to a wood requirement of 306 kg per body.[437] The author of the present chapter (Carlo Mattogno) has performed cremation experiments with animal flesh, which produced the following results:[438]

  • Quantity of wood needed for the cremation of one kilogram of animal flesh: 3.5 kg of seasoned wood (plus 0.1 liter of ethyl alcohol).
  • Time required for the incineration of one kilogram of animal flesh: approximately 6 minutes.
  • Amount of wood burned per square meter per one hour (until flames extinguish): approximately 80 kg.
  • Wood ashes resulting: approximately 8% of the total weight.
  • Specific weight of wood ashes: approximately 0.34 g/cm3.

On the basis of this data one can calculate that the cremation of one body of 45 kg requires approximately 160 kg of seasoned wood. Consequently, in order to incinerate 3,500 bodies, (3,500×160=) 560,000 kg of wood is necessary, but there was room for merely 30.780 kg under the grate, therefore seven times less than required. Therefore, no more than (30.780÷3,500=) 8.8 kg of wood would have been allotted to one body, a ridiculously insufficient amount.

Let us even suppose that it were feasible in some way or other to constantly pack new wood under the grate. In what period of time would the 560,000 kg of wood have been consumed by burning?

In fires with fixed grate and more natural ventilation, 150 to 190 kg of seasoned, chopped wood can be burned per square meter of grate per hour.[439] But this applies only to an actual cremation apparatus with burning chamber, grate, a more adjustable air supply for burning, and chimney. With a pyre in the open, these values decline markedly. We therefore assume a sustainable value of 80 kg per square meter in our experiment.

This means that in one hour (90×80=) 7,200 kg of wood could be burned under the pile of bodies in one hour. In order to burn the 560,000 kg of wood necessary for incineration of the bodies, (560,000÷7,200=) approximately 78 hours is required, thus more than three days. If one adds the time needed for cooling down of the pyre, one cremation session can take place every five days. Therefore, the 122 cremation sessions of 7,000 bodies each - which is the prerequisite for the disposal of 860,000 bodies using two grates - requires a time period of (122×5=) 610 days.

The burning time computed here corresponds to (78÷29=) 2.5 hours per layer of bodies. In the case of a pyre with 29 layers of bodies, however, this time period is not sufficient, as a comparison with the crematorium furnace of the Gorini type shows: with this furnace from the 19 century, the body lay upon a grate, beneath which a wood fire of 100 to 150 kg burned. With this type of furnace, a cremation lasted from one-and-a-half to two hours.[440]

In the case of the pyre previously described, the flames and the products of combustion come in direct contact only with the layer of corpses lying directly on the grate and exert their effects upon any layer lying above that with an intensity quickly dwindling toward the vanishing point, so that a burning-time of 2.5 hours per level is totally unrealizable.

Therefore, had the cremation of 860,000 bodies in Treblinka been initiated at the beginning of April 1943, then under the most favorable conditions it would have ended in December 1945, and the Soviets as well as His Honor Judge Łukaszkiewicz would have been able to personally attend the performance!

e. Ashes

If we assume the value determined in our experiment of 160 kg of wood per 45 kg of organic substance, the quantity of wood necessary for the incineration of all bodies amounts to (870,000×160=) 139,200,000 kg or 139,200 metric tons. The ashes from combustion resulting from this would have been (139,200×0.08=) approximately 11,100 metric tons and occupied a volume of (11,100÷0.34 =) approximately 32,600 m3.

The ashes resulting from cremation of a body weigh approximately 5% of the body weight and have a specific weight of approximately 0.5 g/cm3.[441] Thus, from 870,000 bodies having an average weight of 45 kg, a mass of (870,000×45×0.05÷1,000=) approximately 1,950 tons of ashes results, which has a volume of (1,950÷0.5=) 3,900 m3. The total weight of the wood ashes and the ashes from incineration of the bodies therefore amounts to (11,100+1,950=) approximately 13,000 metric tons, which occupy a volume of (32,600+3,900=) 36,500 m3. To what location was this enormous quantity of ashes brought?

Y. Arad writes:[442]

"Ultimately it was decided to dump the ash and bits of bone into the ditches that had previously held the bodies and to cover them with a thick layer of sand and dirt. The ash was scattered in the pits in several layers, interspersed with layers of sand. The top 2 meters of the pit were filled with earth."

As explained in Section 9, the excavated earth from the pits took up 130,700 m3 of space. Had the pits really been filled with ashes - a total of (130,700 m3 + 36,500 m3 =) 167,200 m3 - then there would still remain (167,200 - 118,800 =) approximately 48,400 m3 of earth-ash mixture, which could not have disappeared in smoke: where was this mass put? The claim of the Polish-Soviet commission of September 1944, according to whom the single connecting road between Treblinka I and Treblinka II "was covered with cinders and ashes to a height of 7 - 10 cm," would result in a maximum volume of (3,000m×4m×0.1m =)[443] 1,200 m3. But Łukaszkiewicz made no statement referring to this, and it would have been a rather stupid attempt to 'eradicate' the traces on the part of the SS-men of Treblinka anyway. Lastly, this claim contradicts even the witness testimony, according to which the ashes were poured into the mass graves in toto. Thus, for example, Y. Wiernik writes:[444]

"It was our job to fill in the empty ditches with the ashes of the cremated victims, mixed with soil, in order to obliterate all traces of the mass graves."

f. Wood Supply

From where did the administration of the Treblinka camp obtain the 139,200 metric tons of wood, which were required for the incineration of the bodies?

According to the witnesses, trees in the nearby forest were felled for the wood supply. The work was performed by a "Holzfällerkommando" (wood-felling unit).[445] But the witness reports are extremely vague about the details, which one can well understand. During a period of 122 days, this party would have had to chop with axes and hatchets, saw up and haul into the camp (139,200÷122=) 1,140 tons of wood every day! This means that every day it had to fell, disbranch and saw up at least 760 trees and transport the load on 76 trucks with 15 metric tons each. This is decidedly too much, especially if one considers that this wood-felling party is supposed to have consisted, according to R. Glazar, of merely 25 men.[87]

The environs of Treblinka are today overgrown with fir trees. A 50-year-old fir forest yields 496 tons of wood per hectare.[446] For the sake of simplicity, we round this number to 500 tons. In order to obtain 139,200 tons of wood, the SS people would therefore have had to cut down (139,200÷500=) 278.4 hectares of forest, which corresponds to 2,7 square kilometers! But such a large deforested zone would naturally have not gone unnoticed by the Polish populace of the area, and this populace was questioned by Judge Łukaszkiewicz in his investigations - obviously with negative results in this regard. On the other hand, in the aerial photographs of May and November 1944 a thick forest of approximately 100 hectares can be recognized on the north and east side of the camp, of which at least one hectare is located on the camp area itself.[447] The forest stretches beyond the Wólka Okrąglik-Treblinka road and borders this for an extent of over 2 kilometers. There is no trace of any area where trees have been felled.

The plan drawn by Jankiel Wiernik in 1945 shows a large forested zone in the northeast sector, not far from the two grates in the southeast sector. From whence came, then, the 139,200 tons of wood, the acquisition of which required approximately 92,800 trees?

g. Lack of Documentary Evidence for Cremations

These kinds of enormous pyres, had they actually existed, would obviously have been immediately conspicuous in the area surrounding Treblinka. In reference to this, the witness Kazimierz Skarzyński explained:[448]

"The bodies were piled on the rails and burned. The glow of the fire was visible at a distance of 15 km. During the day, a black smoke spread. With a strong wind, the smell of burning was still perceptible 30 km away from the camp."

As pointed out in our Introduction, the Treblinka camp was surrounded by quite a number of villages and hamlets. Within a radius of 10 km were the small towns of Wólka Ogrąlik, Poniatowo, Grady, Treblinka, Małkinia, Zawisty Dzikie, Rostki Wlk., Rytele, Świeckie, Olechny, Wszołki, Jakubiki, Tosie, Kosów Lacki, Dębe, Żochy, Rostki, Maliszewa, Guty, Bojewo, Brzózka, Kołodziaż, Orzełek, Złotki, Prostyń, Kiełczew.

From every single one of these villages and hamlets one would have seen the glow of the flames from Treblinka for 122 days - how does it happen that there is no mention of this in any of the reports of the Polish resistance movement?

And how is it that the Soviet reconnaissance planes discovered no trace of this gigantic cremation operation? Jankiel Wiernik supplies the following explanation for this:[63]

"Whenever an airplane was sighted overhead, all work was stopped, the corpses were covered with foliage as camouflage against aerial observation."

This, of course, is outrageous nonsense, since in the first place the planes would already have noticed the smoke of the grates long since, by the time that they themselves were visible from the camp, and in the second place due to the generation of smoke thereby effected, the covering of the grates with foliage would have been the best method to make them even more visible!

13. Witness Testimonies about Cremations

That such a mass cremation of many hundred thousands of bodies was not a real event follows, finally, from the glaring contradictions between the different eyewitness narratives.

As already mentioned, according to the official version of Treblinka, which was ultimately agreed upon, there were supposedly two cremation grates of 30 m × 3 m in size, which were located on the grounds of the camp and which could respectively incinerate up to 3,500 bodies. However, in the original version, the witnesses had the grates in the trenches. According to Szyja Warszawski, the cremation facility, which was incorrectly termed by him a "furnace" was[449]

"[...] a pit 25 m in length, 20 m wide, and 5-6 m deep, with a grate out of rails on the bottom of the pit, which constituted an air vent."

Abe Kon stated for the record:[450]

"[The bodies] were burned in a specially manufactured furnace, which could hold up to 6,000 bodies. The furnace was filled with bodies. These had gasoline and petroleum poured over them and were burned. The cremation lasted up to an hour."

Apart from Abe Kon himself, the witnesses Hejnoch Brenner and Samuel Rajzman agreed upon the following version:[451]

"The furnace - that was a large trench 200-300 m long and 5-6 m deep, excavated with an excavator. Three rows of reinforced concrete poles one-and-a-half meters high each were driven into the bottom of the trench. The poles were connected with one another by crossbeams. On these crossbeams were laid rails at intervals of 5 to 7 cm. This was a giant furnace grate. Narrow-gauge tracks were brought up to the edges of the trench."

This variation was also adopted by Wassili Grossmann, who made his courtesy visit to Treblinka in September 1944 and was able to speak with the witnesses already questioned by the Soviets.[452]

But there would not have been room for such an enormous grate on the property of 'Camp II' of Treblinka II, whose longest side was just 188 m.

Subsequently, in the Polish investigatory protocols, the grates migrated in a wondrous fashion from out of the pits to the surface of the ground, and their dimensions shrank severely.

According to the witness Henryk Reichmann, five to six grates were installed, each of which was able to hold 2,500 bodies at a time.[453] Witness Szyja Warszawski maintained that each grate measured 10 m × 4 m.[454] We have already underlined the fact that under these conditions 46 layers of bodies would have to have been piled up on one grate; with 2,500 bodies, 54 or a mountain of bodies 16 m high would have been necessary!

Jankiel Wiernik writes that a grate - which presumably was located on the camp grounds - could burn 3,000 bodies at one time.[431] The total capacity of all grates amounted, according to him, to 10,000 to 12,000 bodies.[455] This obviously contradicts the camp plan drawn by the same witness, in which merely two grates are to be seen.[456] At the end of July 1943 - once again according to Wiernik - 75% of the bodies from the mass graves are supposed to have been cremated, with 25% still remaining. Wiernik was not embarrassed to claim:[444]

"Within a few days work was begun to empty the remaining 25 per cent of the graves and the bodies were cremated."

In view of the fact that on the 2nd of August, the day of the revolt, the cremation is already supposed to have been finished, this means that a quarter of the bodies must have been cremated within a maximum of ten days. Wiernik maintains silence about the exact number of victims of the camp, but speaks of "millions of people,"[457] which corresponds to a minimum of two million; in the report of November 15, 1942, which he brazenly plagiarized, there was also mention of two million, which had allegedly been exterminated in Treblinka just up to that time. According to his claims, therefore, in not more than ten days 500,000 bodies - a quarter of these two million - were transformed into ashes, although the grates could manage at most, according to his own statements, 12,000 bodies per day or 120,000 in ten days!

The idiocies dished up by this witness are really beyond description. Wiernik gives every indication of being the author of the story of the spontaneous combustion of bodies, later taken up by his cronies:[63]

"It turned out that bodies of women burned more easily than those of men. Accordingly, the bodies of women were used for kindling the fires."

Let us remind ourselves once again that the entire version of the history of Treblinka accepted today was put out into the world by exactly this Jankiel Wiernik!

14. Number of Those Gassed Daily

In Chapter III, we have shown the unbelievable lack of capacity for critical judgment of the official historiography relative to the enormous technical problems, which would have been entailed in an extermination of the claimed number of Jews in Treblinka. In this regard, the claims of the witnesses verge upon pure insanity. For instance, Abe Kon has the nerve to make the following statement:[458]

"In this way, they exterminated 15,000 to 18,000 persons a day. It went on like that for two months."

Stainslaw sings the same tune:[459]

"Within 13 months they killed 15,000 to 18,000 people there."

At his interrogation of September 26, 1944, Samuel Rajzman stated:[460]

"Every day 5-6 transports with 60 boxcars each arrived in the camp. Of course, there were days on which 1-2 trains arrived, but that was an exception, not the rule. Six to seven thousand people arrived with each transport."

This corresponds to 24,000, even 28,000 people daily! In 1946, Rajzman named figures with the same order of magnitude:[461]

"Every day there were about 20,000 corpses. [...] There were days, on which up to 25,000 people were killed."

A further witness, Stanisław Borowy, gave to protocol that 12,000 to 18,000 deportees arrived daily in trains with 60 boxcars with 150 to 200 occupants each.[462]

Jankiel Wiernik wrote:[463]

"Between ten and twelve thousand people were gassed each day. [...]

there were periods when as many as 30,000 people were gassed in one day."

Incredibly, these insanities were accepted by the court of a western European nation as unvarnished truth! In the verdict of the Düsseldorf Jury Court, ref. 8 I Ks 2/64, p. 88, one Manfred Blank declared:[464]

"In Treblinka many times up to 5 transports with an average of 6,000 people each arrived in one day."

According to this, up to 30,000 people were reaching Treblinka daily! In accord with the transport lists produced by Y. Arad, from July 22 to September 30, 1942, thus within a period of 70 days, approximately 500,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka and murdered there, although at that time only the first of the two gassing installations is supposed to have existed. This corresponds to a figure of more than 7,100 gassings per day! Since, according to the verdict of the above mentioned Düsseldorf trial, each of the three gas chambers could hold a maximum of 350 persons and thus the total capacity of the three chambers amounted to 1,050 persons, that would have meant no less than seven gassing operations per day per chamber, each of which would had to have taken less than three-and-a-half hours. According to the witnesses, however, the chambers were never in operation 24 hours a day, not even when 20,000 victims per day were coming in! In A. Donat 's anthology, we read:[465]

"On such days the gas chambers were in operation until 1 a.m. and finished off more than 20,000 corpses within 24 hours."

The number of persons assumed by the Düsseldorf Jury Court to have been gassed at one time (21 to 22 people per square meter) is of course unrealistic and was only specified, because otherwise the astronomical number of people gassed given by the witnesses would never have been attained. Even the Soviets, famed as masters of exaggeration, assumed a density of just 6 persons per square meter in their calculation of the capacity of the rooms labeled as 'gas chambers' in the Majdanek camp.[466] Even if one assumed the highest density theoretically possible - 10 people per square meter - the three 'gas chambers' of the first installation would have been able to hold a maximum of 480 persons per process, so that 15 gassing procedures would have been necessary for the killing of more than 7,100 people. Under these conditions, one gassing procedure, including all the accompanying measures like filling and emptying the chambers, would have had to have been completed in something over 11/2 hours, and this would have to be done day in and day out for a period of 70 days!

This sort of thing should have been met with roars of contemptuous laughter, but Gerald Reitlinger and Jean-Claude Pressac are the only representatives of the official historiography who have had mustered the necessary minimum of courage to reject this insult to sound human reason!

15. Property of Deportees as Material Evidence for their Extermination

J. Gumkowski and A. Rutkowski have published two documents, which are supposed to constitute alleged documentary evidence for the claimed mass extermination in Treblinka. This amounts to a Wehrmacht bill of lading with the date "Treblinka, the 13th of September 1942," which refers to the sending of 50 train cars to Lublin with "articles of clothing of the Waffen-SS," and a Wehrmacht bill of lading with the date "Treblinka, the 10th of September 1943," which relates to the sending of a train car to Lublin with 5,200 kg of shoes.[467] There is nothing in the documents themselves, which indicates that this material is actually the property of deported Jews. This is particularly improbable in the case of the "articles of clothing of the Waffen-SS," since the Waffen-SS had no relationship to the Treblinka camp, and furthermore it is not clear what use the Waffen-SS would have for a collection of used civilian clothing. Perhaps the articles of clothing mentioned are simply Waffen-SS uniforms, which were being reloaded on their return from the eastern front for the purpose of cleaning/delousing/sorting.

Samuel Rajzman furnished very exact information concerning the quantity of the Jewish property taken over by the Germans in another camp. He writes in this regard:[468]

"One of our organizers was the overseer of the detachment, in which 12-15 men were employed in the sorting of money and valuables, in determining the worth of objects of value and in packing them. In doing this, he had to submit a report to the Germans daily. He informed us about the weekly inventories. Approximately once a week we compared the entries of each worker. From October 1, 1942 - August 2, 1943, the following were transported to Germany:

  • 25 railroad cars with women's hair
  • 248 cars of various clothing
  • 100 cars of shoes
  • 22 cars of textiles
  • 46 cars of pharmaceutical and chemical preparations
  • 4 cars of surgical and medical instruments
  • 260 cars of blankets, pillows, carpets and traveling-rugs
  • 400 cars with various objects (spectacles, gold fountain pens, fountain pens, combs, dishes, cases, umbrellas etc.)."

In a "classification of the quantity of used textiles delivered from the Lublin and Auschwitz camps by order of the Head Administrative Office of SS Economics unit," which was appended as a supplement to a letter dated February 6, 1943, from the SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl, 825 cars are mentioned, which contained, among other things, the following:[469]

"Rags 400 cars 2,700,000 kg
bed feathers 130 cars 270,000 kg
women's hair 1 car 3,000 kg
used material 5 cars 19,000 kg"

Y. Arad gives this commentary on this document:[470]

"This report relates to the textile materials transferred during 1942. That year the majority of deported Jews were sent to the death camps of Operation Reinhard rather than to Auschwitz; therefore, these camps were the main source of the textiles mentioned in Pohl 's report."

In order to convince his readers even further, Arad publishes a photograph, which shows an enormous pile of shoes and is deceptively captioned "A pile of shoes and boots in Belzec."[471] In reality, the photo shows a barracks of the stored personal effects in Birkenau![472]

Let us quickly examine:

a. Hair

Georges Wellers remarks concerning the document mentioned above:[473]

"At the beginning of February 1943, a railway car with textile goods was sent from the Belzec camp to the Economics Ministry of the Reich (doc. no. 1257 and U.S.S.R. 511). The weight of the women's hair by itself corresponds to the hair from 200,000 women."

Thus, with regard to the origin of the car, Wellers makes the same misleading statements as did Arad later on. Were his claim correct, then the hair of one woman would weigh 15 grams. The twenty-five cars mentioned by Rajzman would then correspond to the hair of (25×3.000/0.015 =) five million women! But Wellers' assumption is erroneous, because the hair of male and female prisoners was continually re-cut in all German concentration camps for hygienic reasons. For example, on October 11, 1944, Anton Kaindl, Kommandant of the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, felt compelled to call the entire camp, particularly the infirmary building, to order because

"the hair-cutting in the camp, and also on the part of the infirmary, has not been performed according to regulations."

He therefore ordered "under threat of the harshest punishment":

"Germans of the Reich, Flemings, Dutch, Norwegians are to cut the hair to a length of 2 cm.

All members of the remaining nations are to cut the hair short."

Kaindl particularly complained "that a large portion of the infirmary staff believes that they need not execute the orders of the camp" and reminded them that "this important wartime economic camp rule" was to be enforced "without a single exception." How large the quantity of cut hair was, emerges from the last transport, which weighed 275 kg.[474]

These 3,000 kg of hair, which was transported in the railway car mentioned, was therefore the harvest of a series of haircuts of the prisoners of Auschwitz and Lublin in 1942.

b. Shoes

The Wehrmacht bill of lading of September 10, 1943, speaks of the dispatching of a railway car with 5,200 kg of shoes of unknown origin to Lublin. To how many pairs does this correspond? If one assumes an average weight of 260 grams for each pair of shoes, then 5,200 kg amount to 20,000 pairs of shoes. If one had taken the shoes from all the Jews (allegedly) deported to Treblinka, then the 870,000 pairs of shoes would have had a weight of (870,000×0.260=) 226,200 kg, and (226,200÷5,200=) 43.5 railway cars would have been required!

It is known that the Soviets found about 800,000 pairs of shoes in the Lublin/Majdanek camp. The Polish historian Czesław Rajca, who is on the staff of the Majdanek Museum, writes regarding this:[475]

"It was assumed that this [the quantity of shoes] came from prisoners killed in the camp. From documents, which later came to light, we know that in Majdanek there was a depot, to which shoes were sent from other camps."

c. Articles of Clothing

Insofar as the 50 railway cars with "articles of clothing of the Waffen-SS" are concerned, which were mentioned in the Wehrmacht bill of lading dated "Treblinka, the 13th of September 1942," they would have contained 337.5 metric tons of clothes altogether, or 63/4 in each boxcar, if we assume the same amount per railway car as listed above for the rags (2,700t/400). However, if each of the (allegedly) 870,000 Jews deported to Treblinka had worn or (along with extra clothing, pillows, and blankets) carried with him 10 kg worth of article of clothing, and had these mountains of clothing been collected after the murder of the victims, then this would have amounted to 8,700 metric tons, for whose transportation nearly 1,300 railway cars would have been necessary!

In comparison with this enormous amount, the railway cars with shoes of unknown origin and the 50 cars with Waffen-SS clothing, whose existence is supported by documents, sound almost ridiculous. They furnish not the least bit of proof for a mass extermination in Treblinka.

In Lublin, incidentally, there were still other facilities for the collection and recycling of textiles. The most important of these were the "Lublin Fur and Clothing Workshops," which took in clothing from various camps.

If the documents detailed above actually report on confiscated Jewish property, then they prove at most that the SS, within the framework of operation Reinhardt, confiscated a small portion of Jewish belongings in Treblinka either arbitrarily or because the maximum permissible luggage weight was exceeded. Moreover, there is no proof that at least a part of this material did not come from Treblinka I instead of from Treblinka II.

Finally, the list produced by S. Rajzman cannot be documented and is the fruit of pure fantasy.


Notes

[255]Ibid., p. 381.
[256]M. Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust, William Morrow and Company, New York, 1993, map no. 217, p. 167.
[257]Ibid., p. 133. Here a few examples: Wasosz: 50; Gonadz: 1,280; Lubotyn: 174; Wasilków: 1,180; Mocki: 756; Kłukówo: 68, etc. For some places he gives much higher numbers: Bielsk: 5,000; Suchowola: 5,100; Krynki: 5,000; Siematyce: 6,000, etc.
[258]Manfred Burba, Treblinka. Ein NS-Vernichtungslager im Rahmen der "Aktion Reinhard", Göttingen 1995, p. 18.
[259]Ibid., p. 17.
[260]In actuality, this was 29 days, including June 25.
[261]R. Czarkowski, op. cit. (note 76), pp. 189-202.
[262]NO-5194, p. 9.
[263]The following is unclear in the Korherr Report: the sum of the two lower numbers is not 1,449,692, but 1,419,467, so that 30,225 persons are missing for whom one does not know the category to which they belong.
[264]Here we are discussing not the numbers given by Korherr, but their interpretation, i.e. the claim that the Jews in question were not 'processed through' the camps involved, but were 'gassed.'
[265]Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, op. cit. (note 18), vol. I, p. 178.
[266]Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager..., op. cit. (note 62), p. 151.
[267]Rückerl, NS-Prozesse, op. cit. (note 251), p. 36.
[268]G. Reitlinger, The Final Solution, op. cit. (note 181), p. 149.
[269]Reproduction of the document in: Raul Hilberg, Sonderzüge nach Auschwitz, Dumjahn, Munich 1981, p. 178.
[270]"Entretien avec Jean-Claude Pressac réalisé par Valérie Igounet, à la Ville-du-bois, le jeudi 15 juin 1995," in: V. Igounet, op. cit. (note 91), pp. 640f.
[271]The number of 360,000 Majdanek victims is not postulated by Hilberg, but was accepted in Poland at the beginning of the 1990s as obligatory; meanwhile, the figure has been reduced by the Polish historians to 230,000. Hilberg speaks of 50,000 Jewish victims of Majdanek (note 17); he does not deal with non-Jewish victims. Cf. in this regard J. Graf, C. Mattogno, Concentration Camp Majdanek. A Historical and Technical Study, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago, IL, 2003, chapter 4.
[272]J. Graf, C. Mattogno, ibid.
[273]This section is from the publisher G. Rudolf.
[274]Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, op. cit., (note 18), p. 1485.
[275]During the Düsseldorf Treblinka Trial, to be sure, other measurements were given for the chambers (16 m2 old, 32 m2 new), whose surface proportions, however, were somewhat the same, cf. pp. 145f in this book.
[276]Raul Hilberg, "Die Aktion Reinhard," in: Eberhard Jäckel, Jürgen Rohwer (eds.), Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1985, pp. 129f.
[277]R. Hilberg, op. cit. (note 17). Hilberg deals with the kernel of the 'Holocaust' theme, the process of extermination in the death camps, on all of 19 pages of the 1300 pages of his three-volume work! Cf. regarding this Jürgen Graf, The Giant with Feet of Clay, Theses & Dissertations Press, Capshaw, AL, 2001.
[278]For this cf. Carlo Mattogno, La "Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz", Edizioni di Ar, Padua 1998.
[279]WAPL, 268, pp. 81f.
[280]The HSSPF were those from Ostland, Central Russia, Russia-South and North as well as Serbia. Ostland was the war-time term for the north-eastern territories of the USSR occupied by German forces, running north of the Ukraine up to the Baltic Sea and included what is now Belarus (White Russia), Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and parts of Russia itself.
[281]Hans Buchheim, "Die SS - das Herrschaftsinstrument", in: Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Helmut Krausnick, Anatomie des SS-Staates, DTV, Munich 1982, Vol. 1, p. 139; Engl.: Anatomy of the SS State, Collins, London 1968.
[282]WAPL, 3, pp. 12, 24.
[283]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 320 (p. 3 of the report).
[284]In the text "1945" appears by error.
[285]Z. Łukaszkiewicz, Obóz straceń w Treblince, op. cit. (note 38), p. 51.
[286]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 37; Arad gives no sources for his information.
[287]For this, see Carlo Mattogno, op. cit. (note 278), pp. 43-45.
[288]Document reproduced in Stanisław Wojtczak, op. cit. (note 61), p. 167.
[289]Ibid., p. 168.
[290]Document reproduced in Faschismus - Getto - Massenmord. Dokumentation über Ausrottung und Widerstand der Juden in Polen während des zweiten Weltkriegs, Röderberg Verlag, Frankfurt/Main 1960, p. 304.
[291]Document reproduced in S. Wojtczak, op. cit. (note 61), pp. 155f.
[292]See Document 16 in Appendix.
[293]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 319 a (p. 2 of the report).
[294]See Document 17 in the Appendix.
[295]See Chapter V concerning this.
[296]Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager..., op. cit. (note 62), pp. 203f., 224, 226.
[297]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 321 (p. 5 of the report).
[298]See Chapter III, Section 1.
[299]Michael Tregenza, "Christian Wirth: Inspekteur der SS-Sonderkommandos "Aktion Reinhard" in: Zeszyty Majdanka (Majdanek Notebooks), Volume XV, 1993, p. 11.
[300]See Chapter II, Section 5.
[301]V. Grossmann, Treblinski Ad, op. cit. (note 23), p. 186; V. Grossmann: Die Hölle von Treblinka, op. cit. (note 26), pp. 47f.
[302]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 321 (p. 5 of the report).
[303]See Chapter II, 1.
[304]J. Wiernik, in A. Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 161.
[305]E. Rosenberg, op. cit. (note 188), p. 139 (p. 7 of the report).
[306]GARF, 7021-115-8, p. 218.
[307]GARF, 7021-115-11, p. 44.
[308]See below, Section 8.
[309]See Document 18 in the Appendix.
[310]See Document 19 in the Appendix.
[311]See Document 4 in the Appendix.
[312]At this point in time, all references were to an "engine;" the version of a diesel engine had not yet triumphed.
[313]Friedrich P. Berg, op. cit. (note 99), p. 447.
[314]Ibid., p. 458.
[315]Ibid., p. 464.
[316]Toxikologie und Hygiene des Kraftfahrwesens, Julius Springer Verlag, Berlin 1930.
[317]Ibid., p. 4.
[318]Ibid., p. 5.
[319]Ibid., Table I, p. 26.
[320]Chart is a slightly simplified representation.
[321]See Document 20 in the Appendix.
[322]Toxikologie und Hygiene des Kraftfahrwesens, op. cit. (note 316), p. 45.
[323]Orsat = apparatus for the analysis of combustion gases.
[324]Ibid., pp. 46-48.
[325]Ibid., pp. 96-103.
[326]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 100.
[327]According to Gerstein: SS Main Operations Office, Office Group D, Sanitation Office of the SS, Hygiene Department. PS-2170, p. 2.
[328]In reality, Pfannenstiel had nothing to do with Gerstein 's mission and accompanied him "by accident" (see section which follows).
[329]Zyklon B was not gaseous, but rather liquid hydrogen cyanide absorbed on a porous carrier-substance. The gross error committed by Arad here frequently surfaces in the official historiography.
[330]In reality, this was a French military prison, that of Cherche-Midi: Document T-1306, report of the prison physician Dr. Trouillet of July 25, 1945.
[331]Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 104.
[332]According to his own statements, Gerstein had taken along no Zyklon B, but rather liquid prussic acid. See following section.
[333]T-1310.
[334]PS-2170, p. 2.
[335]T-1310, p. 5.
[336]PS-2164, Dienstababzeichen der Schutzstaffeln, IMT, Volume XXIX, pp. 276f. (Table without pagination). The ranks of Leutnant and Oberleutnant (first lieutenant) existed only in the Wehrmacht. The according SS ranks were Hauptscharführer and Sturmscharführer.
[337]PS-1553, p. 4; T-1310, p. 5.
[338]PS-2170, p. 2.
[339]Günther was Eichmann 's deputy.
[340]T-1310, p. 5; PS-1553, p. 5.
[341]PS-2170; George Wellers, "Encore sur le Témoignage Gerstein," in: Le Monde Juif, January to March 1980, no. 97, p. 28.
[342]T-1310, p. 5; PS-1553, p. 5, PS-2170, p. 2.
[343]G. Wellers, op. cit. (note 341), p. 28; T-1313-b, p. 2.
[344]T-1310, p. 5.
[345]PS-1553, p. 5.
[346]Anonymous manuscript in the Dutch language, dated March 25, 1943. This is in all probability the translation of a text originating from Gerstein.
[347]Tötungsanstalten in Polen, published without pagination by L. De Jong, Een sterfgeval te Auswitz, Amsterdam 1970, p. 1 of the report.
[348]G. Wellers, op. cit. (note 341), p. 29.
[349]T-1310.
[350]PS-1553, p. 6.
[351]PS-1553, p. 7.
[352]PS-1553, p.5; PS-2170, p. 2; T-1310, p. 6.
[353]T-1313-b, p. 2.
[354]G. Wellers, op. cit. (note 341), p. 28.
[355]Ibid., p. 29.
[356]Ibid., p. 30.
[357]T-1310, p. 5.
[358]T-1310, p. 9.
[359]G. Kelber, "Un bourreau des camps nazis avoue: 'J'ai exterminé jusqu' à 11,000 personnes par jour'," in: France Soir, July 4, 1945, pp. 1f.
[360]G. Wellers, op. cit. (note 341), p. 29.
[361]O. Lenz, L. Gassner, Schädlingsbekämpfung mit hochgiftigen Stoffen, Number 1: "Blausäure". Richard Schoetz, Berlin 1934, pp. 8-10. The 'tub procedure' developed HCN by pouring semi-concentrated sulphuric acid over potassium cyanide in a tub. Liquid prussic acid tends to explosively polymerize and was therefore permitted to be transported only in frozen state, at night, and with a special vehicle: Jury Court Frankfurt/Main, session of March 28, 1949, in: C.F. Rüter, Justiz und NS-Verbrechen. Sammlung deutscher Strafurteile wegen nationalsozialistischer Tötungsverbrechen, 1945-1966, Amsterdam 1968-1981, Volume XIII, p. 137.
[362]The number 1500 at one gassing of people crammed into the 'gas chambers' was given in the verdict at the trial of Josef Oberhauser (January 1965). A. Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager..., op. cit. (note 62), p. 133.
[363]J. Graf, C. Mattogno, op. cit. (note 271), p. 205.
[364]PS-2170, p. 3.
[365]T-1310, p. 9.
[366]G. Wellers, op. cit. (note 341), p. 29.
[367]Ibid., p. 32.
[368]Hitler and Himmler, who according to Gerstein are supposed to have visited the eastern 'extermination camps' on August 16, which is, however, historically untrue.
[369]PS-2170, p. 7.
[370]PS-1553, p. 6. The "disaster" was the breakdown of the diesel engine at the alleged gassing of people, which Gerstein claims he attended.
[371]M. Tregenza, op. cit. (note 299), pp. 9f.
[372]Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 102.
[373]R. Auerbach mentions a "Russian tank engine" (op. cit. (note 29), p. 49) for Treblinka. Y. Wiernik speaks of a "dismantled Soviet tank" (in A. Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 157). According to Gerstein, in Bełżec the exhaust gases "from an old Russian diesel engine" were used (PS-2170, p. 3).
[374]F. P. Berg, op. cit. (note 99), p. 455.
[375]See Document 21 in the Appendix.
[376]About $500,000 in present value.
[377]This corresponds up to 22 persons per square meter - an absolute impossibility!
[378]F. Flury and F. Zernik, Schädliche Gase, Nebel, Rauch- und Staubarten, Publishing House of Julius Springer, Berlin 1931, pp. 26f., 29.
[379]Ibid., p. 219.
[380]According to the statistician Jakob Leszczyński, in the year 1931 children comprised 29.6% of the population in Poland. L. Poliakov, J. Wulf, Das Dritte Reich und die Juden. Dokumente und Aufsätze, Arani Verlag, Berlin-Grunewald 1955, p. 231.
[381]This value is based upon the average of the above stated values for the number of respirations: (0.288+0.520)÷2 = approx. 0.400 liters per minute for an adult and (0.4+0.4+0.2)÷3 = approx. 0.300 liters per minute for each person (this assumes that children comprise about a third of the total).
[382]We assume a weight of 70 kg for adults and of 25 kg for children, in which the number of the latter is three times less numerous.
[383]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 49.
[384]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 164.
[385]Ibid., p. 16.
[386]Ibid., p. 21.
[387]E. Rosenberg, op. cit. (note 188), p. 136 (p. 4 of the report).
[388]Neumaier, op. cit. (note 220), p. 485.
[389]According to Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 396, 7,600 people were gassed in August 1943 and directly cremated without an intervening period of burial.
[390]John Ball, in: Germar Rudolf (ed.), op. cit. (note 81), p. 270.
[391]See Chapter III. In the two other mass graves, the number of bodies per cubic meter was even lower.
[392]Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager..., op. cit. (note 62), pp. 204f.
[393]E. Rosenberg, op. cit. (note 188), p. 137 (p. 5 of the report).
[394]G. Colombo, Manuale dell'ingegnere civile e industriale, Enrico Hoepli Editore, Milan 1926, p. 237.
[395]S. Wojtczak, op. cit. (note 61), p. 120.
[396]Luigi Maccone, Storia documentata della cremazione presso i popoli antichi ed i moderni con particolare riferimento all' igiene, Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafichi, Bologna 1932, Part Three, Chapter II, "Infezioni e cimiteri," pp. 148-157; M. Pauly, Die Feuerbestattung, Leipzig 1904, pp. 21-25.
[397]USSR-337. GARF, 7445-2-12, p. 239.
[398]See Document 14 in the Appendix.
[399]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 95.
[400]G. Sereny, Into that Darkness, McGraw-Hill, New York 1974, photo on unnumbered page.
[401]Ernst Klee, Willi Dreßen, Volker Rieß, The Good Old Days, New York: Free Press, 1991, p. 246.
[402]S. Willenberg, Surviving..., op. cit. (note 83), Plate 4, unnumbered page.
[403]R. Czarkowski, op. cit. (note 76), photo on unnumbered page.
[404]S. Wojtczak, op. cit. (note 61), pp. 149f.
[405]S. Willenberg, Revolt..., op. cit. (note 83), drawings on unnumbered pages.
[406]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), pp. 173f.
[407]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 320a (p. 4 of the report).
[408]USSR-337. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 242.
[409]Franciszek Piper, "Gas Chambers and Crematoria," in: Israel Gutman, Michael Berenbaum (eds.), Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 1994, p. 163.
[410]D. Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, 1939-1945, H. Holt, New York 1990, p. 242.
[411]E. Kogon et al. (eds.), op. cit. (note 66), p. 187.
[412]We will return to this claim in Chapter VII.
[413]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 171.
[414]Ibid., p. 172.
[415]USSR-344. GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 321 (p. 5 of the report).
[416]See J. Graf, C. Mattogno, op. cit. (note 271), Chapter V.
[417]See C. Mattogno, "The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau" in: G. Rudolf (ed.), op. cit. (note 81), pp. 373-412.
[418]Letter from the Head Office of Budget and Construction to the Topf firm, dated December 4, 1941, RGVA, 501-1-328, pp. 347f.
[419]Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 1999, p. 510.
[420]Letter of the Topf firm to the Central Construction Office unit of Auschwitz, RGVA, 502-1-327, pp. 43-45.
[421]WAPL, Central Construction Office office, 268, p, 132.
[422]WAPL, Central Construction Office office, 268, p. 147.
[423]Letter of the SS-Administrator of June 2, 1943 to the Bauinspektion (Construction Inspection Office) of the Waffen-SS and Police Reich-East, RGVA, 502-1-314, pp. 36-36a.
[424]Inventory of the building project of the war prisoner camp Auschwitz of October 28, 1942, VHA, Foundation OT 31 (2) 8; present value (2002) approximately $12.5 million.
[425]Konnilyn G. Feig, Hitler's Death Camps. The sanity of madness, Holmes & Meier Publishers, New York-London 1981, pp. 306f.
[426]Ibid., p. 307.
[427]For this see A. Neumaier, op. cit. (note 220), pp. 490-492.
[428]Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager..., op. cit. (note 62), p. 205.
[429]See Documents 5 and 12 in the Appendix.
[430]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 177. According to Arad, 7600 people were gassed and cremated in Treblinka in August 1943.
[431]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), pp. 170f.
[432]An Oberscharführer not mentioned by name, who is probably supposed to be the phantom figure of Herbert Floss.
[433]J. Wiernik, A year in Treblinka, op. cit. (note 165), p. 29.
[434]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 174.
[435]Statement of October 9, 1945, in: Obóz straceń w Treblince, op. cit. (note 38), pp. 31f.
[436]Ibid., p. 32.
[437]Arnulf Neumaier, op. cit. (note 220), p. 495.
[438]See C. Mattogno, "Combustion Experiments with Animal Flesh and Fat", The Revisionist 2(1) (2004), in preparation.
[439]Enciclopedia Curcio di Scienza e Tecnica, Curcio Editore, Rome 1973, Volume 5, p. 1916.
[440]G. Pini, La crémation en Italie et à l'étranger de 1774 à nos jours, Ulrico Hoepli, Milan 1885, p. 151. In the Brunetti apparatus, in which the body lay on an iron sheet over a wood fire, the cremation process lasted six whole hours; ibid., p. 132.
[441]Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1949, under the entry "Cremazione," Volume XI, p. 5. Cf. also W. Huber, Die Feuerbestattung - ein Postulat kultureller Entwicklung, und das St. Galler Krematorium, self-published by the author. St. Gallen 1903, p. 17.
[442]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 176.
[443]Length of the road: 3,000 m. width of the road: 4 m. Depth of the layer: 0.10 m.
[444]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 181.
[445]Ibid., p. 97.
[446]G. Colombo, Manuale dell'ingegnere civile e industriale, op. cit. (note 394), p. 161.
[447]U. Walendy, "Der Fall Treblinka," op. cit. (note 105), p. 33.
[448]GARF, 7021-115-11, p. 16.
[449]GARF, 7021-115-11, p. 16.
[450]Statement of August 1944, GARF, 7021-115-9, p. 33.
[451]Report of August 24, 1944, GARF, 7021-115-9, p. 109.
[452]W. Grossmann, Treblinski Ad, op. cit. (note 23), p. 191. Likewise the German version, Die Hölle von Treblinka, op. cit. (note 26), p. 33.
[453]Statement of December 1945, in: Z. Łukaszkiewicz, Obóz straceń w Treblince, op. cit. (note 38), pp. 31f.
[454]Statement of October 9, 1945, in: ibid., p. 32.
[455]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 171.
[456]See Chapter III.
[457]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 185.
[458]GARF, 7021-115-11, p. 33.
[459]GARF, 7021-115-11, p. 35.
[460]GARF, 7445-2-126, p. 240.
[461]Wydawnictwo Centralnej Żydowskiej Komisji Historycznej (ed.), Dokumenty i Materiały, op. cit. (note 40), pp. 183, 186.
[462]Statement of November 21, 1945, in: Z. Łukaszkiewicz, Obóz straceń w Treblince, op. cit. (note 38), p. 50.
[463]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), pp. 159, 164.
[464]Rückerl, NS-Prozesse, op. cit. (note 251), p. 38.
[465]Donat, op. cit. (note 4), p. 52.
[466]J. Graf, C. Mattogno, op. cit. (note 271), p. 126.
[467]J. Gumkowski, A. Rutkowski, Treblinka, op. cit. (note 78), reproductions of documents on unnumbered pages.
[468]USSR-337. GARF, 7445-2-126, pp. 243f.
[469]NO-1257.
[470]Y. Arad, op. cit. (note 72), p. 160.
[471]Ibid., p. 156.
[472]KL Auschwitz. Fotografie dokumentalne, Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, Warsaw 1980, p. 267.
[473]G. Wellers, La Solution Finale et la Mythomanie Néo-Nazie, edited by Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, Paris 1979, p. 35.
[474]GARF, 7021-104-8, p. 1.
[475]Rajca, Problem liczby ofiar w obozie na Majdanku, Tom XIV, Zeszyty Majdanka, Lublin 1992, p. 127.