New "Memorial Center" Planned for the Sobibór "Death Camp"

Published: 2010-08-20

By Thomas Kues

On 17 August 2010 the Zionist news site YNet published the following item:

"Israel will continue to support efforts to set up a memorial center at Sobibor, according to an agreement reached by the director general of the Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs Ronen Plot and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, with Dr. Andzrej Konrat, who is in charge of Holocaust remembrance in Poland.

The agreement is in keeping with the statement of intentions agreed upon in 2008 by Israel, Poland, Slovakia and the Netherlands.

Almost nothing remained of the Sobibor Nazi death camp in Poland at the end of the war. The creation of a memorial center is the result of cooperative research by Poland's council for the memory of war victims, headed by Minister Konrat, and Israel's Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs and Foreign Ministry, directed by Yad Vashem researchers and assisted by Slovakia and the Netherlands.

For this purpose, and international committee of experts was established, and digs were carried out at the site to determine the precise location of the gas chambers.

The memorial center project, estimated to cost some 6 million euros ($8 million), is currently in its first planning stages. Decisions about an international competition for planning the building and decisions on budget allocation will be made in a joint meeting next month in Warsaw, in which all participating countries will be present. The center is due to be completed by October 2013, the 70th anniversary of the prisoner's uprising at the camp.

'We see this as a sacred joint obligation to remember the past and the victims,' said Konrat during the meeting.

'I welcome Polish cooperation and the importance the minister gives to remembering the Holocaust," the director-general of the Ministry of Information said. "The establishment of a center at the death camp in which some 250,000 Jews were killed is an important part in education… and a part of the struggle against all those who would deny it happened.'"[1]

The above news notice is a sure sign that the guardians of the "Holocaust" feel a growing desperation confronted with the mass of revisionist criticism of the gas chamber mythos, and that they therefore are resorting to certain strategies in order to prevent further research at the former sites of the "pure extermination camps" of Belzec, Sobibór och Treblinka (together known as the Reinhardt camps), research which could only cause further damage to the orthodox historiography. In the case of Treblinka most of the former camp site was covered with slabs of concrete and large stones already in the 1960s.[2] In Belzec, where an archeological survey was carried out in the late 1990s (with devastating results for the official historical picture of this "death camp" [3]) the whole of the former camp site was covered in the early 2000s with an enormous concrete "monument".[4] It would not exactly surprise if Sobibór is now headed for a similar fate.

The YNet item contain two passages of particular note. First, the Israeli minister Ronen Plot is quoted as speaking of 250,000 Sobibór victims. This figure may well be used still in new encyclopedias and the like, but it has in fact been untenable all since the discovery of the so-called Höfle document in 2000. This document shows that 101,370 Jews were deported to Sobibór up until the end of 1942.[5] The camp was in use until October 1943, but all sources agree that the number of Jews deported to Sobibór during 1943 was much smaller than that of 1942. Thus the leading exterminationist expert on Sobibór, Jules Schelvis, states the victim figure as 170,000.[6]

Secondly we read in the article that an "international committee of experts" has carried out a survey at the former camp site in order to "determine the precise location of the gas chambers". In fact there have been carried not one but two [7] archeological surveys with this purpose: the first one in 2000-2001 headed by the Polish archeology professor Andrzej Kola (who also led the abovementioned survey at Belzec) and a second one in 2007-2008 conducted by the Israeli-Polish trio Isaac Gilead, Yoram Haimi and Wojciech Mazurek.

Andrzej Kola surveyed the whole of "Lager III" - the fenced-off section of the camp wherein the alleged gas chamber building supposedly was located and which covers less than 4 hectares - with probe drillings and ssubsequently carried out archeological diggings at five identified building remains. Of these "Object E" was identified in the south-western corner of Lager III, exactly where the gas chamber building was located according to maps drawn by the eyewitnesses. The problem with this discovery is that "Object E" in no way corresponds with the descriptions of said building. The six gas chambers in the camp were allegedly arranged three and three alongside a central corridor inside a brick or concrete building measuring approximately 10 x 13-18 meter. "Object E" on the other hand consist of two barracks built completely out of wood, the smaller one measuring 14 x 4 m, the larger one no less than 60-80 x 6 m! Remarkably enough not a single eyewitness has spoken of this enormous wooden barrack, which dimensions as well as construction material makes it impossible to identify with the alleged gas chamber building (the same naturally goes for the smaller barrack). Also in "Object E" was discovered numerous remains of clothing and toilet articles, such as hairclips, perfume bottles, belts etc. The supposed gas chamber victims on the other hand are alleged to have entered the chambers of death already naked. These finds made Kola dismiss in his excavation report the hypothesis that "Object E" could have served as the gas chamber building. Instead he proposed the hypothesis - which has no support in eyewitness testimony - that the larger barrack served as a magazine for the confiscated clothing and belongings of the gas chamber victims.[8]

None of the four other building remains identified by Kola in the former Lager III were even close to fit the description of the searched-for gas chamber building. Another remarkable find, however, was "Object A", a small building with a cellar in which were found remains from an oven and a coal storage. Kola somewhat halfheartedly interpret this as the remains of a blacksmith's workshop, despite the fact that there already existed a blacksmith in another part of the camp, and a small camp such as Sobibór hardly would need two blacksmiths. Besides, what would the use be of a blacksmith's workshop in a camp section supposedly devoted only to the gassing, burial and cremation of the alleged victims?[9] In our study of Sobibór I, Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno have interpreted "Object A" as an installation in which clothing and other items were deloused using heated air or steam (produced by the oven), and "Object E" as a delousing barrack in which the Jews deported to the camp were showered and deloused before being sent further east to the German-occupied part of the Soviet Union.[10]

The archeological survey carried out at Sobibór 2007-2008 by the trio Gilead-Haimi-Mazurek has only been published in extreme brevity in an article published in the American journal Present Pasts in early 2009.[11] In this article we read that the three archeologists "acting on the assumption" that they "knew roughly where the gas chamber was located (...) decided to dig first in the area bordering the west of Kola’s Building E". In this area, however, one found no building remains whatsoever.[12] Later, in summer 2008 the team was reinforced by American geophysicists equipped with among other things ground-penetrating radar. Despite the aid of advanced technology and the fact that Lager III had already been mapped out by Kola, one failed with miserably with detecting any remains of the fabled gas chambers, and in the 2009 article one had to grudgingly admit that "It is obvious that the location of the gas chambers is a complex issue that has to be solved, an important objective for future archaeological research at Sobibór."[13]

In other word: the "international committee of experts" spoken about in the YNet news notice has not found any trace of the alleged homicidal gas chambers of Sobibór, despite two surveys and a very limited area to search through. The explanation for this is of course simple: the alleged gas chambers never existed in the first place, and could therefore not leave any remains.

In our study, Mattogno, Graf and myself have presented a wide assortment of evidence which unequivocally shows that Sobibór in fact was a transit camp - which it was also designated as in classified internal communication between the SS leader Heinrich Himmler and the SS camp administrator Oswald Pohl from the summer of 1943 [14] - in which deported Jews were deloused and then sent on eastwards, for example to Lithuania.[15] In the total absence of evidence supporting the Sobibór mass gassing allegations, the guardians of the extermination camp legend such as Avner Shalev and Andrzej Konrat have no other option than to resort to obfuscation of facts and prevention of further research, all disguised as "commemoration".

[1] "Sobibor death camp memorial center planned", online:,7340,L-3933561,00.html


[3] Cf. Carlo Mattogno, Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004, pp. 71-96; C. Mattogno, "Belzec or the Holocaust Controversy of Roberto Muehlenkamp", online:


[5] Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues, Carlo Mattogno, Sobibór. Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, TBR Books, Washington DC 2010, p. 22, 46-47.

[6] Ibid., pp. 49-50.

[7] A travel journal written by "Holocaust" historian Martin Gilbert reveals that another excavation was carried out in the former Lager III already in 1996, but apparently the results of this excavation have never been published; cf. ibid., p. 109, note 298.

[8] Ibid., pp. 157-162.

[9] Ibid., pp. 153-155.

[10] Ibid., pp. 286-287.

[11] I. Gilead, Y. Haimi, W. Mazurek, “Excavating Nazi Extermination Centres,” Present Pasts, vol. 1, 2009.

[12] Ibid., p. 27

[13] Ibid., p. 33f.

[14] Nuremberg document NO-482.
[15] J. Graf, T. Kues, C. Mattogno, Sobibór. Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, op.cit., cf. especially chapter 9 and 10.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Thomas Kues
Title: New "Memorial Center" Planned for the Sobibór "Death Camp"
Published: 2010-08-20
First posted on CODOH: Aug. 20, 2010, 1:54 a.m.
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