Rebuttal to Joachim Neander
By Carlo Mattogno (February 2010)
Joachim Neander claims that he is able to give the name of two prisoners who were gassed at Auschwitz. He notes that the "Bunkerbuch" on 5 September 1941 has recorded the death of three detainees, Fritz Renner, Bruno Grosman and Roman Drost, of which the first two are Germans. Since «they all died the same day when the first mass gassing was carried out in the basement of Block 11 (date Sep 5, 1941, according to reports that, shortly after the event, reached the Polish Government-in-Exile in London)» this shows that they were gassed. He adds that «Carlo Mattogno does neither take into consideration the “Bunker” ledger nor the Rögner report nor the accounts of the Polish prisoners who were involved in the September 5, 1941, “action”».
The French historian Jacques Baynac has written:
«For the scientific historian, the testimony is not really history, but an object of history. A testimony does not have much weight, and weighs still less if not confirmed by a genuine document. The postulate of historical science thus is, to put it bluntly: no document(s), no verified fact.»
A testimony, if not supported by a document, is worthless from the historical point of view, regardless of the notion of "converging testimonies", as is shown by the example of the "converging" testimonal evidence for the Auschwitz 4 million victim figure.
However, in this case, as I have demonstrated in my study Auschwitz: The First Gassing. Rumor and Reality (Theses & Dissertations Press, available online:http://vho.org/dl/ENG/atfg.pdf) the testimonies are not only not supported by any documents, but all are moreover contradictory on all essential points, namely:
- on the location of the first gassing,
- on the duration of the first gassing,
- on the date of the first gassing,
- on the hour of the first gassing,
- on the preparations for the first gassing,
- on the physician present at the first gassing,
- on the perpetrator of the first gassing,
- on the nature of the victims of the first gassing,
- on the number of the victims of the first gassing,
- on the persons who removed the corpses,
- on the beginning of the removal of the corpses,
- on the duration of the removal of the corpses,
- on the fate of the corpses removed,
- on the technique of the gassing,
- on the duration of the agony of the victims,
- on the number of Zyklon B cans used for the gassing.
The interpretation made by Joachim Neander is completely unfounded for two reasons:
1) He arbitrarily chooses the date September 5, 1941 among the various contradictory dates given by the self-styled "eyewitnesses":
- Michał Kula: 14-15 August 1941
- Zbigniew Baranowski: 15 August 1941
- Walter Petzold: 9 October 1941;
Others - Henry Storch: spring of 1941; Maximilian Grabner: beginning of 1941; Hans Aumeier: November or December 1942.
Among these datings he chooses the one mentioned in «reports that, shortly after the event, reached the Polish Government-in-Exile in London» and which were published in the Polish Forthnightly Review on 1 July 1942. But why should this date be more reliable than the others? Danuta Czech, in her Kalendarium, has explicitly stated 3 September 1941 as the starting date of the alleged gassings. Why is this date unreliable according to Joachim Neander? The answer to this is simple and brings us to the second reason.
2) It is true that these three prisoners were listed as dead in the "Bunkerbuch" on 5 September 1941, but it is also true that they were locked up there the same day. Now, according to Danuta Czech, the "first gassing" began on 3 September and ended the day after that with the death of all the victims; on 5 September there was thus no "gassing" but only an evacuation of the bodies. Neander knows the Kalendarium, since he drew from it (the entry for 6 September 1941) the information regarding the three prisoners confined in the Bunker. In addition, his statement that «Carlo Mattogno does neither take into consideration the “Bunker” ledger» is false, since I have written on the matter:
«The “Bunkerbuch” does not provide us with any information regarding the alleged homicidal gassing of September 3-5, 1941. On September 5, three detainees are registered as having entered: Fritz Renner (ID 11179), Bruno Grosmann (ID 15083), and Roman Drost (ID 10992). They die on the same day (in the register of the Bunker, next to their names, there is the note “ver.”[storben] = deceased). On September 5, the civilian Ladisław Maślak, who had entered the Bunker on August 10, is also entered as having died. The cause of death is not indicated for these four detainees».
In this context Adolf Rögner's statement that
«in the prison, there were still 2 Germans, they were not released ... The 1st Camp Physician had told them they would be released early if they agreed to participate in a short treatment».
has no value. It can not refer to the two German prisoners mentioned above, because they entered the Bunker of Block 11 on 5 September 1941 and died there the same day - what sense does it then make that «there were still 2 Germans, they were not released»? Moreover, in the brief quote made by Neander, Rögner does not indicate the names of the detainees nor the date. He therefore does not have any indication that it refers to Fritz Renner and Bruno Grosman in relation to 5 September 1941.
Equally untrue is the statement that I did not mention «the accounts of the Polish prisoners who were involved in the September 5, 1941, “action”». In this regard I have gathered, from all available sources, over forty such accounts, a number vastly superior to that given by Danuta Czech.
- there is no evidence that the Bunker of Block 11 in Auschwitz was ever used for a homicidal gassing;
- the dating 5 September 1941 for the alleged event is merely one of the conflicting dates provided by the witness accounts;
therefore the deaths of Fritz Renner and Bruno Grosman in the Bunker on September 5, 1941 does not prove anything and the two can not be considered as "gassed".
 J. Baynac, «Faute de documents probants sur les chambres à gaz, les historiens ésquivent le débat», in: Le Nouveau Quotidien, 3 September 1996, p. 14.
 Auschwitz: The First Gassing. Rumor and Reality, pp. 69-90.
 D. Czech, D. Czech, Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1989, p. 120.
 Idem, p. 106.
 Idem, pp. 31-68.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Rebuttal to Joachim Neander|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 7, 2010, 10:04 p.m.|