UK Forensic Archeologist Sets Out To Refute Treblinka "Deniers"

Published: 2010-11-13

By Thomas Kues

At the website of the University of Birmingham we find the following presentation of a young forensic archeologist named Caroline Sturdy Colls [1]:

"Caroline is part of a small specialist team in the UK who work in the area of forensic archaeology. Caroline has a strong stomach and she doesn't mind getting muddy - which helps when she works with the British Police on 'no body' cases - apparently it's not as glamorous as it appears on CSI or Waking the Dead!

Caroline was recently one of the very few people allowed inside the newly-discovered Egyptian tomb, KV63, in the Valley of the Kings and she's currently working on a project to identify Holocaust victims buried in mass graves in Poland."

The holocaust mass graves which Ms. Colls is currently working at identifying are in fact those of the "pure extermination camp" of Treblinka II. This is made clear by a movie which can be downloaded at the same webpage. Below I provide a transcript of Ms. Sturdy Colls' own narration (emphasis added):

"Forensic archeology is the collection of evidence for use in a legal case. This can be anything from investigating a single murder to genocide or war crimes.

It's hard to believe that there has been no systematic search for the six million victims who perished in the Holocaust.

800,000 people were murdered here at Treblinka and their bodies were never found. It's time we started looking.

I'm a scientist and while I obviously feel the same emotions as everyone else when I read about the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, I need to be able to do my job objectively. So I need to shut out these emotions sometimes, and let the evidence speak for itself.

There are some very vocal Holocaust deniers who use spurious archeology to claim that the Holocaust never happened. That's why it's so important that we use the most up-to-date scientific techniques. This can be done, and it should be done."

My comments:

1) For any rational observer it is indeed "hard to believe" that there has been "no systematic search" for the bodies of the alleged 6 million holocaust victims. Since it is a given in murder cases that crime investigators do their best to secure technical and forensic evidence, and most importantly the physical remains of the victim, one would think that such a systematic search for bodies - as well as the weapons of crime, the remains of the alleged homicidal gas chambers - would have been appropriate already in connection with the Nuremberg Trials. How come, Ms. Sturdy Colls, that no such elementary technical-forensic investigation was carried out in this case of (alleged) murder of 6 million people?

2) Ms. Sturdy Colls should also ask herself how it is possible that no-one has managed to locate the remains of 800,000 people allegedly buried within the area of a mere few hectares? [2]

3) If Ms. Sturdy Colls had bothered to actually read the holocaust revisionist literature on the Aktion Reinhardt camps published in the last ten years she would know that its critique of the orthodox holocaust historiography concerning the alleged "extermination centers" of Bełżec [3] and Sobibór [4] is based on the surveys conducted at these sites by the renowned Polish archeology professor Andrzej Kola. While Kola pays lipservice to the holocaust credo, his published results leaves no doubt that the orthodox historiographical picture of these camps is untenable, that the alleged gas chamber buildings never existed, and that the number of people who perished and are buried at these sites is much smaller than claimed by holocaust historians. The results of Kola's research at Sobibór indeed proved so embarrassing to the defenders of the officially sanctioned historiography that the article in which they were presented (in 2001) has never been officially translated. It was only through the study on Sobibór which I co-authored with Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno that the non-Polish-speaking world finally learned about them in 2010. It is most revealing that the leading mainstream expert on Sobibór, Jules Schelvis (who currently is appearing as a joint plaintiff (Nebenkläger) at the Demjanjuk Trial in Munich), in all the revised editions of his - otherwise very thorough - Sobibór. A History of a Nazi Death Camp to have come out since 2001 [5] does not mention with so much as a word the research of Prof. Kola - this despite the fact that Schelvis, who maintains contact with several Polish holocaust museums and institutes [6], cannot possibly be unaware of it. Surely Ms. Sturdy Colls is not suggesting that Prof. Kola's research is "spurious archeology", or that he is somehow in league with evil "Holocaust Deniers"?

4) I really hope that Ms. Sturdy Colls is indeed able to do her job objectively, despite her à priori conclusion that 800,000 people were murdered at Treblinka. In this she should heed the words of the archeologists Isaac Gilead, Yoram Haimi and Wojciech Mazurek:

"It is generally agreed that one of the challenges facing the historical archaeologist is the artifact/text dichotomy. […] If contradictions are apparent and real, we are talking about spaces between or within artifact and text, about dissonances, that may reveal additional aspects hitherto unknown […]. However, to establish if in a given case dissonances exist, the nature and quality of the evidence, of both the archaeological and the historical data, should be reexamined carefully."[7]

Or in plain English: If established historiography is contradicted by hard archeological evidence it needs to be reexamined and then discarded or rewritten. Even if Ms. Sturdy Colls' future results would happen to support the revisionist transit camp hypothesis rather than the orthodox "death camp" hypothesis it is her scientific duty to present them openly and without falsifications. A word of caution though: Ms. Sturdy Colls should be careful not to publicly announce any "inconvenient" results until she is safely returned to the UK, as Poland punishes "Holocaust Denial" with up to 3 years in prison.[8] Perhaps better then to proceed as Professor Kola: Pay the necessary lipservice and let the results speak for themselves.

In 2007-2008 the abovementioned three archeologists (Gilead, Haimi and Mazurek) attempted to do what Kola had not been able to do: to find the alleged gas chamber building at Sobibór. To their help they had experts in geophysics, high resolution metal detection, a magnetic gradiometer, a terrain conductivity meter, ground penetrating radar, aerial photography, and GPS mapping devices - exactly the "most up-to-date scientific techniques" which Ms. Sturdy Colls is talking about. Despite the fact that the team from the outset "knew roughly where the gas chamber was located", and that the area they had to investigate amounted to less than 3 hectares, they had to conclude in 2009 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"! [9] In the August 2010 issue of Reader's Digest Yoram Haimi put it even more bluntly: "we're still looking for the gas chambers." [10] Another word of caution: It is easy to make a fool of oneself if one clings to scientifically indefensible dogmas!

I can only wish Ms. Sturdy Colls good luck in her work, which is precisely the kind of effort that we holocaust revisionists welcome.
In the meantime I advise her to read Carlo Mattogno and Jürgen Graf's study Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?,[11] especially the chapters on previous forensic examinations and the alleged mass burials and cremations (pp. 77-110, 137-157).

[2] According to the map drawn by Peter Laponder the "death camp proper" of Treblinka II occupies an areal of roughly 3 hectares, cf:
[3] Carlo Mattogno, Bełżec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004, pp. 71-96. C. Mattogno, "Bełżec or the Holocaust Controversy of Roberto Muehlenkamp" (2009), online:
[4] Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues, Carlo Mattogno, Sobibór. Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, TBR Books, Washington D.C. 2010, pp. 107-162. See also T. Kues, "New 'Memorial Center' Planned for the Sobibór 'Death Camp'", online:
[5] J. Schelvis, Sobibór. A History of a Nazi Death Camp, Berg Publishers, Oxford 2007; J. Schelvis, Vernietigingskamp Sobibór, De Bataafsche Leeuw, Amsterdam 2008.
[6] Cf. J. Schelvis, Sobibór. A History of a Nazi Death Camp, op.cit., p. xiv. Plate 2 in the unpaginated photo section following p. 144 shows Schelvis himself at the Sobibór memorial mound in a picture dated 2006.
[7] I. Gilead, Y. Haimi, W. Mazurek, "Excavating Nazi Extermination Centres", Present Pasts, vol. 1, 2009, p. 22.
[8] Laws against Holocaust denial,
[9] J. Graf, T. Kues, C. Mattogno, Sobibór. Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, op.cit., pp. 162-167.
[10] Leonard Felson, "The Secrets of Sobibor: An Oral History", Reader's Digest, August 2010, online:
[11] Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004. Available at

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Author(s): Thomas Kues
Title: UK Forensic Archeologist Sets Out To Refute Treblinka "Deniers"
Published: 2010-11-13
First posted on CODOH: Nov. 13, 2010, 4:45 a.m.
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