Supplementary Response to John C. Zimmerman on his
"BODY DISPOSAL AT AUSCHWITZ"
Edited and copyrighted © MM by Russ Granata
Zimmerman deluded himself in thinking that he produced the definitive (!) refutation of my study on the crematoria of Auschwitz. Since nearly all his objections have been already refuted in my work "I forni crematori di Auschwitz: Studio storico tecnico, con la collaborazione del dott. Ing. Franco Deana" (which was in the process of being printed 2), I limited my response to my "Preliminary Observations" in order not to lose too much time in answering his conjectures which were essentially based on ignorance of historical and technical matters as well as deception. But Zimmerman was mistaken if he thought I had no arguments to refute him.
He returned to the attack with bold arrogance in another verbose article he calls "My Response to Carlo Mattogno," 3 which is worth even less than its predecessor.
In this response our professor has transcended all limits of propriety, which is why I shall devote all the time to it which his impudence merits. I shall sink his arguments a little more, without making a compendium of my above work where I give all references not mentioned in this present article.
In my response, I immediately exposed the absurdity of the claim of this professor who poses as a specialist in the correct interpretation of German documents but doesn't even understand the German language. In addition I have revealed his ignorance of historical and technical matters as well as his bad faith which I have documented with many examples. Our professor has received the blow and has been exposed as a blatant liar and has been constrained to admit his "errors" in his "My Response":
He says nothing of the "errors" concerning the "gasoline" of Frölich (point 7 of my Observations), or the "kerosene" of Erichsen (point 8), nor of the interpretative error concerning an emphasis in the only version of the Aktenvermerk of 21 August 1942 which he knows (point 19). Zimmerman nevertheless admits: "in the body disposal study I made some errors to be discussed later on, on several occasions relied on inaccurate sources - in one case very badly (in one case resulting in a significant error)" (p.19).
Perhaps with these admissions Zimmerman wants to give the impression that he is an unbiased researcher who can recognize his own mistakes, but the fact remains that he has been compelled to this by the force of my arguments. How true this is can be seen from the fact that he has not admitted his most serious "error" which I did not point out in my Observations because at the time I did not yet have access to the source he cited.
Zimmerman writes on p.19 of Body Disposal:
«Kurt Prüfer, builder of the ovens, was asked why the brick linings of the ovens were damaged so quickly. He replied that the damage resulting after six months was "because the strain on the furnaces was enormous." He recounted how he had told Topf's chief engineer in charge of crematoria, Fritz Sanders, about the strain on the furnaces of so many corpses waiting to be incinerated as a result of the gassing. Sanders stated that he had been told by Prüfer and another Topf engineer that the "capacity of the furnaces was so great because three [gassed] corpses were incinerated [in one oven] simultaneously.»
"Prufer said that two bodies were simultaneously incinerated in his presence" (note 122).
The reference is to the interrogations of the Topf engineers on the part of a Soviet inquiry of SMERSH between 1946 and 1948. The records were published by Gerald Fleming,7 from which Zimmerman takes his citations (notes 121 and 122).
In reality Kurt Prüfer stated the very opposite of what Zimmerman attributed to him by means of a despicable manipulation.
On page 200 of the cited work, this is how Fleming summarizes part of the interrogation which K.Prüfer underwent on 5 March 1946:
"Normal crematoria 8 work with prewarmed air 9 so that the corpse burns quickly and without smoke. As the crematoria in the concentration camps were constructed differently, this procedure could not be used.10 The corpses burned more slowly and created more smoke, necessitating ventilation.
Question: How many corpses were incinerated in Auschwitz per hour?
Answer: In a crematorium with five furnaces and fifteen muffles, fifteen corpses were burned." [my emphasis]
During the interrogation of 19 March, K.Prüfer declared:
"I spoke about the enormous strain on the overused furnaces. I told Chief Engineer Sander: I am worried whether the furnaces can stand the excessive usage. In my presence two cadavers were pushed into one muffle instead of one cadaver. The furnaces could not stand the strain." 11 [my italics]
Recapitulating, Kurt Prüfer stated that:
1. The cremations in the concentration camp ovens took place "more slowly" than in civilian ovens.
2. In Krema II and Krema III of Birkenau (5 three-muffle ovens) it was possible to cremate 15 cadavers in one hour, that is, the duration of a single cremation was one hour.
3. The attempt to simultaneously cremate two cadavers failed because "the furnaces could not stand the strain."
These three statements alone constitute a radical refutation of Zimmerman's thermotechnical fantasies.
I summarize and conclude that:
a. in order to prove the thesis of "multiple" cremations, Zimmerman quotes a second-hand declaration of Prüfer and omits the primary declaration of Prüfer himself;
b. for the same motive, Zimmerman quotes Prüfer's statement in which he "said that two bodies were simultaneously incinerated in his presence," but omits the statement which follows: "The furnaces could not stand the strain."
These surgical omissions are unequivocal proof of Zimmerman's complete and deliberate deceptiveness.
Pointing out in my Observations that in Body Disposal, Zimmerman always talks of the Bauleitung of Auschwitz , I wrote that he:
Not only this, but - as we will see below - Zimmerman cites a passage from a work published in 1996 by the Auschwitz Museum in which it is clearly stated that already in July 1942 the Bauleitung of Auschwitz had been promoted to the rank of Zentralbauleitung, and he is still ignorant of the difference between the two terms, paying not the slightest attention to them and continuing his blunder to speak of the Bauleitung, evidently because he feels himself "exempt from having to use correct terminology."
"Lack of documentation"
The documentation of the Zentralbauleitung kept in Moscow no doubt has some gaps. The problem is, to whom are these gaps due?
Zimmerman maintains that:
"the lack to date of any such information is more incriminating than all of the evidence that does exist on Auschwitz" (p.2).
This presupposes that the gaps are due to the SS of Auschwitz, which is precisely what needs to be proved.
Zimmerman claims that:
"all documents relating to crematoria construction were under a blanket order of secrecy going back to June 1942" (p.35).
He insists on this also on p. 36, where he writes
"there was a blanket order of secrecy on building projects dating from at least June 1942."
Therefore, all the documentation relating to the crematoria were "geheime Sache" ["secret matters"] or "geheime Reichssache" ["state secrets"] as the SS put it. But why then did the SS not destroy the entire archive of the Zentralbauleitung which contains thousands of "secret" documents on the crematoria? In a report of 1999 I showed that Pressac's explanation of this fact was without foundation. 12 What is Zimmerman's explanation?
Let us go ahead. As I demonstrated in the above-mentioned book on the Zentralbauleitung, the organization of this office was most complex and also decentralized. Already by the beginning of 1943 it was subdivided into 5 Bauleitungen, and the Zentralbauleitung itself comprised 14 Sachgebiete. Each Bauleitung and each Sachgebiet had its own archive, so that what we now call "the archive of the Zentralbauleitung," originally constituted some tens of archives. Like all documents, those on the crematoria were drawn up in several copies (the addressees were listed under the item "Verteiler") and each copy was sorted for the competent office, where it was archived. For example, Bischoff's letter of 28 February 1943 on "KGL = Krem. II und III BW 30 (elektr. Aufzüge)" was drawn up in 6 copies and sent to "Bauwirtschaft," "Rechnungslegung," "Baultg. KL," "Baultg. KGL," "Sachbearb." and "Registr. BW 30." 13 Copies of the letter of 29 March on "Krematorium II und III KGL, BW 30 u. 30a," were sent to "Baultg. KL," "Baultg. KGL," "Bauwirtsch.," "Rohstoffstelle," "Handakte" and "Registr. BW 30 KGL." 14
So these two letters alone gave rise to 14 documents which were archived in various offices. Several thousands of pages from the Zentralbauleitung kept at Moscow are in the form of carbon copies of this type.
The original archive comprised many folders ("Ordner"), each of which held the documents relating to one or more Bauwerke. For example, the "Ordner" no. 15 contained "7 Zeichnungen Krema II u. III," apart from "Schriftswechsel" and "Tagelohnzettel."15
Now it is certain that "secret" documentation on the crematoria exists and contain all the designs for the crematoria and also a very rich correspondence. It is just as certain that they display evident gaps, for example all the technical designs for the ovens, the reports on the cremation tests, the reports on the consumption of coke for 1944.
According to Zimmerman's thesis, the SS, instead of destroying in bulk all this "secret" documentation, had spare time and patience to leaf through every "Ordner" relating to the crematoria - which were found in all camp archives - and pick out and destroy individual documents regarded by them as compromising while leaving the rest intact, beginning with the plans for the crematoria themselves! Finally, they would have had the crematoria blown up in order to obliterate traces of their "crimes" but at the same time they would have left alive for the Soviets about 7,000 eyewitnesses of these "crimes"! Truly watertight logic!
On the other hand, the Soviets, who had to propagate the thesis of monstrous Hitlerian exterminators of millions of people had all the interest and the patience to leaf through every "Ordner" on the crematoria which were found in all camp archives and pick out individual useful documents for their propaganda while leaving the rest intact, beginning with the plans of the crematoria themselves.
Which of these two hypotheses is more rational?
Playing on this falsification, Zimmerman then raises objections as follows:
The interrogations of the Topf engineers or the Sterbebücher or the entire documentation of the Zentralbauleitung remained secret until the collapse of the Soviet regime and they would still have have remained so had this not happened. Why?
Until the collapse of the Soviet regime nobody knew of the existence of such documentation. So is it just as absurd to think that the missing documents were - certainly not "suppressed" - but, on account of their importance, transferred to a place more secure than an archive, and for this reason no one knew of their existence, as was earlier the case for all the other documents?
However that may be, the fact remains that my hypothesis is at least reasonable while one can certainly not say the same thing for his.
Prüfer and the "enormous strain" on the Birkenau crematoria
Above I cited the passage of Zimmerman regarding the Soviet interrogation of Kurt Prüfer. Here I wish to look at it from another point of view. Let us read it once more:
We begin with cremation capacity.
The Birkenau ovens could cremate one cadaver per muffle in an hour. How does Zimmerman reconcile this statement with a duration of 25.2 minutes for a cremation at Gusen and with "15 minutes per body" at Birkenau?
Here it is necessary to emphasize the fact that Kurt Prüfer declared that when the attempt was made in his presence to simultaneously cremate two cadavers, "the furnaces could not stand the strain." This contradicts Zimmerman's fantasies on "multiple" cremations.
The citation mentioned above is without reference to the source. Zimmerman wanted to cover himself in the fear that somebody might disclose his imposture in Body Disposal, which I unmasked above. But all the same, he has done badly.
Let us now consider the "enormous strain" on the crematoria which damaged the "brick lining on the ovens." Quantitatively speaking, what does this "enormous strain" signify?
Let us make a quick calculation for the two most important crematoria respecting the economics of "extermination." Krema II went into operation on 15 March, Krema III on 25 June. 16
There is a six-month period between March and September 1943 coinciding with the visit to Auschwitz of Prüfer on 10 September 17. During this period Krema II was closed down for 3 months for repairs (Krema IV was already out of operation from the end of June).18
For this reason Kremas II and III each functioned for about 45 days. Since, according to the admission of Zimmerman, the duration of a cremation of one cadaver in one muffle was one hour, these crematoria could each have theoretically cremated, working hypothetically for 24 hours a day, 360 (=24 × 15) cadavers per day, so in 45 days 16,200 (=45 × 360) cadavers each, that is, 1,080 (=16,200 : 15) per muffle.
Therefore Zimmerman admits that the refractive masonry of the crematoria was damaged after 1,080 theoretical cremations, thus confirming my thesis that the refractive masonry could have sustained at most 3,000 cremations.
"Falsifications" and "suppressions"
In order not to waste too much time with this dilettante I ignored in my Observations several of Zimmerman's impostures. In his reply he returns to the same deception. The impudence of this individual is intolerable and deserves an adequate response.
a) The Gasprüfer
In Body Disposal Zimmerman wrote:
"The letter only shows that Topf was ignorant as to the type of gas detector which would be needed. The real problem for Mattogno was to explain why the oven builders would know it to be necessary to have such a device for a crematorium which several weeks earlier was stated to have a "gassing cellar". Since he could not find any such explanation, he reverted to the familiar denier tactic of labeling anything which cannot be explained as a forgery" (note 76).
In fact, Pressac wrote that:
Now, when it does not suit him, Zimmerman rejects the affirmations of Pressac because they are not documented, as in the case of the Birkenau camp's expansion to hold 200,000 detainees ("however, Pressac did not cite a source," p.27), but when it suits him he accepts Pressac's assertions without any source even when they are patently false!
But let us continue. Zimmerman then falsifies the significance of the letter under consideration, for which it is untrue that it "shows that Topf was ignorant as to the type of gas detector which would be needed," but only shows that Topf did not manufacture the Gasprüfer, and for that reason had requested them already two weeks earlier "bei 5 verschiedenen Firmen." 21
This falsification tries to confirm the false thesis of the existence of Gasprüfer for hydrocyanic acid. If Topf, which produced combustion systems, "was ignorant as to the type of gas detector which would be needed," it follows that there existed different types of Gasprüfer! This is what may be called coherence within the lie.
Once established with this deceit that Gasprüfer referred to hydrocyanic acid, Zimmerman wonders why some simple constructors of crematory ovens had to be enlightened about "gas detectors" which were used for hydrocyanic acid, and, since I was in no position to provide an answer, why I explained the document "as a forgery."
Here Zimmerman gives another demonstration of his bad faith, deliberately misrepresenting what I wrote in the article The "Gasprüfer" of Auschwitz, which was published on the web on 18 February 1998. 22 Having placed the document in its context, I concluded with the words:
Therefore our professor lies knowing that he lies.
If I concluded that the Topf letter "was falsified by an ignorant forger who created a hybrid neologism: Anzeigeräte für Blausäure-Reste," it was certainly not because the letter created some problem. On the contrary, following the interpretation of Pressac-Zimmerman, it would have been a further confirmation of my thesis that "the term Vergasungskeller designates a disinfestation basement." 24 So, if I arrived at this conclusion it was only because the relevant documents provoked historical problems so serious and so numerous that the only reasonable solution seemed to me to be this one. I explained these problems in more than three pages under the paragraph heading "Problems Pressac left unresolved" (pp.14-18). Zimmerman, being incapable of resolving them, cunningly tries to make them disappear with his squalid lies.
b) The letter of the Zentralbauleitung of 28 June 1943
Regarding this letter Zimmerman writes:
This drew me to the conclusion that the letter which we know is an erroneous version which was subsequently substituted by a correct version in which the Übergabeverhandlung of Krema III was reported and in which the cremation capacity was not mentioned, as the arrangements of Kammler of 6 April 1943 27 prescribed. As to the cremation capacity, I wrote that the numbers indicated in the letter are authentic, but that does signify that they are true, and I explained the reason for this distinction. Below I will demonstrate that the numbers are technically absurd.
Now Zimmerman, instead of discussing my analysis of the document, instead of explaining the serious bureaucratic anomalies which it presents, limits himself to quoting my conclusions out of context in order to make his readers believe that the correction of which I spoke referred to the cremation capacity.
Zimmerman's "real problem" is that he, like all dilettanti, is incapable of critically analyzing a document; he accepts everything blindly and opportunistically, and pretends that the problems which the document gives rise to, do not exist. Not only that; he has the impudence to reprove the person who discovers them, who understands their importance and searches to resolve them.
THE GUSEN OVEN
In "Body Disposal," Zimmerman wrote:
There is some reason, however, to suspect that each wheelbarrow did not contain 60 kilograms of coke but that this was a generic number based on the theoretical maximum that each delivery could hold. In other words, 60 kilograms was attached to each wheelbarrow regardless of actual weight.
For example, on October 3 eleven bodies were incinerated using 13 wheelbarrows. At 60 kilograms per wheelbarrow it would have taken 71 kilograms per body. However, on October 15, 33 bodies were incinerated using 16 wheelbarrows, or 29 kilograms per body" (pp.23-24).
Naturally in his response, our most honest professor passes over this crucial objection in silence and continues unperturbed with his speculative fantasies.
The claim that one wheelbarrow of coke is equivalent to 60 kg refers only to the period 26 September-15 October is another of Zimmerman's lies. The list of cremations for this period is a sheet of paper divided into two parts: The registrations for the period 26 September - 3 November are on the left; those for 4 - 12 November on the right. Each part is in turn subdivided into 4 columns which carry the designations "Uhr", "Datum", "Leichen", "Karren Koks 1 K. = 60 kg."
The fourth column in the left-hand part of the document (like the first three) extends to 3 November and continues in the right-hand part until 12 November.
Now as to the part on the left, it is clear that the designation "Karren Koks 1 K. = 60 kg" refers to the entire column, until 3 November. Zimmerman, on the other hand, by breaking up the logical sequence of the table claims - abusively - that it holds only up to 15 October. And it is just as clear that these designations are valid for the right-hand part, which is a continuation of the part on the left. It is true that the fourth column of the right-hand part only has the wording "Karren Koks," but what need was there to repeat that one wheelbarrow of coke was equivalent to 60 kg? Granted for the sake of the argument that the wheelbarrows in the column on the right would be equivalent to at least 60 kg, they must nevertheless have always contained a uniform quantity, since the head of the crematorium had to draw up the report on coke consumption in kilograms (or in Zentner). 29 Had the 249 wheelbarrows used for the registered cremations in the right-hand part been continued, showing for example, a 20 kg, a 35, a 55, a 40, a 60, a 25 kg and so on, how would the head of the crematorium have calculated the total consumption?
For the same administrative reason, had the wheelbarrows mentioned in the right-hand part of the report contained a uniform quantity less than 60 kg, there would have been an indication of the relative weight in the fourth column; for example:"Karren Koks 1 k. = 40 kg."
The hypotheses of Zimmerman are therefore unsustainable. As a confirmation of this, I offer another argument.
As I demonstrated above, documentation alone assures us that for the period 26 September - 15 October the wheelbarrows each contained exactly 60 kg of coke. During this period, 193 cadavers were cremated with a consumption of 9,180 kg of coke, which corresponds to 47.5 (=9,180 ÷ 193) kg per cadaver.
In the period 31 October -12 November, 677 cadavers were cremated with 345 "Karren" of coke. Since Zimmerman asserts that the weight of 60 kg of coke for each wheelbarrow was "the theoretical maximum that each delivery could hold," it follows that each wheelbarrow of coke had to weigh less than 60 kg. Nevertheless, assuming the weight of 60 kg, the coke consumption for the cremation of 677 cadavers during the above-mentioned period comes to about 30.6 (=[60 × 345] ÷ 677) kg. According to Zimmerman, the consumption was still less. But then why was the average consumption of coke 47.5 kg?
In his profound ignorance of thermotechnical questions on crematory ovens heated with coke, Zimmerman is shockingly ironic about the experimental fact established in all the crematoria fitted with coke ovens that the coke consumption per cadaver varied with the number of cremations.
For example, the chart "Einäscherungen hintereinander," published by professor P. Schlepfer in 1936 and compiled on the basis of practical experiments, shows a coke consumption of over 400 kg of coke for the first cremation in a cold oven, of around 200 for the second, and a little more than 100 kg for the fourth. Starting from the eighth cremation, the curve indicating the coke consumption tends to level out and at the twentieth and final cremation studied, the consumption of coke resulted in about 37.5 kg. 30 This signifies that 20 discontinuous cremations carried out on various days separated from one other would have needed over 8,000 (=400 × 20) kg of coke, while 20 consecutive cremations would have required only 740 (=37,5 × 20) kg. 31
From the tenth cremation onward the coke consumption tended to be uniform, so that by then the refractory masonry was absorbing very little heat. It was for this reason that in my calculation of the thermal equilibrium for the Auschwitz crematory ovens, I took into consideration the condition of the oven at the eighteenth cremation, that is, the condition in which its refractory masonry absorbed practically no more heat and the oven functioned with a minimum fuel consumption.
It is evident that the Gusen oven had an accumulation of heat notably inferior to that in the above-mentioned chart; nevertheless the principle still remains valid for this installation.
Now the difference in coke consumption for the two periods considered above - 47.5 and 30.6 kg - and also for the intermediate period 32 - 37,2 kg - depends essentially on the periodicity and number of the cremations, as I explained in point 36 of my reply to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, in his crass thermotechnical ignorance, rejects these elementary facts, but since the documents confirm that the coke consumption for the period 26 September - 15 October 1941 was 47.5 kg per cadaver, it follows that the consumption of coke for the period 31 October - 12 November must have been 32,157.5 (=47.5 × 677) kg of coke, so that each of the 345 wheelbarrows of coke used to cremate the 677 cadavers during this period would have had to contain on average 93.2 (=32,157.5 ÷ 345) kg of coke! Exactly the opposite of what this dilettante wished to prove!
The soundness of my conclusions is confirmed by two other documents. The first is the report on the coke consumption of the Gusen oven from 21 January to 24 August 1941 drawn up by the head of the crematorium, Wassner. 33 The other is a reference note which reported the coke consumption for the period 25 August - 24 September 1941. 34 In both the documents the amount of coke is expressed in "Zentner," an old German measure of weight equivalent to 50 kg. In the following table I summarize the dates contained in the document and add the number of cremated cadavers taken from the list of deaths in the Gusen Camp which comes from the published official history of the Mauthausen camp.35 The number of deaths refers to the entire month, while the supply of coke is offset daily. However, the difference in the outcome is very slight and actually irrelevant regarding the order of magnitude of the results. For the overall calculation I will in any case try to be as precise as possible.
The unique anomalous datum in this table is that dealing with the month of May, with a consumption of just 14.2 kg per cadaver. It seems logical to me that the data relating to the months of March and April - which contain the high and low points of coke consumption - must be considered together. The resulting average consumption - 42 (=[22.600 + 3.400] ÷ [380 + 239]) kg - is perfectly consistent with the consumption for January, February, June and July. In any case, the consumption for May is only one exception and what counts is the average consumption for the entire period. Let us try to complete the data of the table.
During the month of January, 220 detainees died, on average 7 per day, so that for the days 29-31 January it may be presumed that roughly 21 detainees died. For the cremation of these cadavers one may assume the average resultant quantity of coke for the period 29 January - 24 February, was, to be precise, 45.2 × 21= 949 kg. From 26 to 29 September 36 - according to the list of cremations discussed above - 34 cadavers were cremated with a consumption of 28 wheelbarrows of coke, that is 1,400 kg. For 25 September, in the absence of data, we may assume the data of the 26th, that is, 20 cremations37 with a coke consumption of 960 kg.
Recapitulating, at Gusen, between 29 January and 30 September 1941, 2,792 people died and were cremated with a consumption of 127,559 kg of coke. Since the number of non-documented days are 4 in 244, the eventual margin of error in the calculation is totally negligible.
The average consumption of coke per cadaver therefore comes out at 45.6 (=127,559 ÷ 2,792) kg. The soundness of this calculation is assured by the fact that, as I said above, during the period from 26 September to 15 October the average consumption of coke was of the same order of magnitude, that is, 47.5 kg per cadaver. The average number 38 of daily cremations during this period was also of the same order of magnitude: 9 -10 as against 10 -11 per day.
To the data displayed above we may add that which comes from the list of Gusen cremations under discussion, from which we may conclude, between 29 January and 15 October 1941 that 2,985 (=2,792 + 193) cadavers were cremated in the crematorium of Gusen with a coke consumption of 136,739 (=127,559 + 9180) kg, on average 45.8 kg per cadaver.
Thus, why was the consumption of coke so drastically reduced during the period from 26 October to 12 November so as to be actually less than that obtained, assuming that the wheelbarrows always contained 60 kg of coke?
The Zimmerman hypothesis is therefore senseless.
Duration of the cremation process
In "Body Disposal" Zimmerman writes:
Well then, I state and confirm that Zimmerman is not only "unable to read" this document, but also that due to his total incompetence, he has understood nothing of this document. And here is the proof of my claim:
In his response our professor explains how he calculated the presumed duration of 25.2 minutes:
Therefore, the hypothesis of Zimmerman is based on two assumptions:
b. that the number of wheelbarrows of coke appearing next to the times, refers to the coke "added" or "introduced" (p.24), that is, to the coke put into the gasogenes of the furnace.
1. In the registrations for 6 October, the first hourly registration appears in the document as 9:15. The second and last is 10:50. At 10:50, 39 according to Zimmerman's hypothesis, five wheelbarrows of coke (=300 kg) were "added." Since he claims that the 7 (= 420 kg) wheelbarrows "added" to the five of November 8 were burnt in two hours (between 5:00 and 7:00), giving an hourly consumption of 210 kg, the five wheelbarrows of coke mentioned above must have been consumed in around 100 minutes. So, on 6 October the cremations began at 9:15 and ended at 12:30. It follows that in 195 minutes the furnace cremated 25 cadavers, so that each cremation lasted 15.6 minutes!
2. In the registration of 1 October the first hourly indication appearing in the document is 9:15, the last 11:00. According to Zimmerman's hypothesis, four wheelbarrows of coke (=240 kg) were "added" at 11:00, which would have to have been burnt in around 70 minutes. So, on 1 October the cremations began at 9:15 and were terminated at 12:10. Therefore, 20 cadavers were cremated in 175 minutes, which corresponds to a time of 17.5 minutes for each cadaver!
But the essential reason why Zimmerman's hypothesis is false is to be found in the combustion capacity of the furnace grills. This is the only scientific point of departure for an understanding of the Gusen document. The combustion capacity of a grill is the quantity of coke burnt in an hour on one grill of the furnace. The grill capacity is increased - within certain limits - by the chimney's draft, which draws air through the fissures of the grill and carries the necessary oxygen to the fuel. For the coke-heated crematory, the maximum admissible draft operating with a forced-air installation (Saugzug-Anlage) is a 30 mm column of water, corresponding to fuel of about 180 kg of coke per square meter of grill. As each grill of a Gusen furnace had a surface area of 0.25 (= 0.5 × 0.5) m2, the maximum capacity of a grill with a draft of 30 mm of water was 45 (= 180 × 0.25) kg of coke per hour, 90 kg for a grill with two gasogenes. Thus, if it is assumed that Zimmerman's hypothesis is correct, on 1 October the furnace would have worked with a grill capacity of about 554 kg/hour (=1,200 kg 40 of coke ÷ 130 minutes 41), on 15 October with a capacity of around 303 kg/hour (=960 kg ÷ 190 minutes 42 )! From 26 September to 15 October the capacity of the oven grill would have been around 240 (= 9,180 ÷ 2,300 43) kg per hour, that is, 2.6 times faster than the theoretical maximum!
It is therefore clear that the column "Uhr" appearing in the document in question cannot refer to the beginning of a cremation. But then, to what does it refer?
Perhaps it refers to the coke unloaded into the gasogenes at the times indicated by the document? Neither is this possible because the useful volume of a gasogene in a Gusen oven was around 0.2 m3. Now, 1 m3 of metallurgical coke weighs between 380 and 530 kg, which means that each gasogene could accommodate a maximum of about 110 (=530 × 0.2) kg of coke. In any case, in the document in question the number of wheelbarrows corresponding to times - that is, the respective quantity of coke - is often much greater than the capacity of the gasogenes. For example, on 8 November at 16:00 hours 16 wheelbarrows of coke44 were registered, that is, 960 (=16 × 60) kg, over four times the capacity of two gasogenes.
Does the column "Uhr" refer to the coke burnt in the gasogenes?
Neither does this hypothesis hold. Let us return to the previous case. Another wheelbarrow of coke was registered at 18:15 on the eighth day (the relative enumeration changes from 24 to 25), so that the 960 kg of coke relative to the time of 16:00 would have to have been burnt in two hours and 15 minutes, which corresponds to a grill capacity of about 427 kg per hour!
Well then, to what does the column "Uhr" refer? The answer is simple: to the coke withdrawn from time to time from the depot and unloaded near the oven. Let me explain this in more detail. Following a rational organization of the work - and nobody will deny that the Germans were most efficient at this - the coke had to be unloaded from time to time near the two gasogenes of the oven in such a way that the stokers could carry by hand a sufficient supply of fuel. As in any unloading of goods, the delegate who undertook the fuel's delivery and who took responsibility for its use gave bureaucratic account of its receipt, indicating the number of the wheelbarrow as well as the time when the unloading was completed, not the time when it began. But the oven was already put into operation with the first wheelbarrow. That is why the column "Uhr" in the document under discussion refers not to the beginning of a cremation but to the end of the unloading of a series of wheelbarrows of coke.
I can explain myself better with an example. A large supermarket orders 100 cases of mineral water. The truck transporting the cases arrives at 8:00 in the morning and immediately begins unloading them. The work takes a quarter of an hour and the warehouseman of the supermarket, having counted the unloaded cases, signs for the receipt of 100 cases at 12 noon. In the meantime the cases have already been placed in the sales circuit and the first cases are sold at 8:15. In the documents the unloading will be recorded as having taken place at 12 noon but the sales as beginning at 8:15.
Now let us return to the Gusen document. In the registrations of 7 November, the first datum refers to 11 wheelbarrows of coke (= 660 kg) at 11:15. This signifies that the unloading of these 11 wheelbarrows was recorded as ending at 11:15. The second datum concerns the unloading of two wheelbarrows between 11:15 and 11:30. For this reason the coke which the personnel had finished unloading at 11:15 was already almost totally burnt up.
Therefore the first wheelbarrow was unloaded before 11:15, but how long before?
If we assume a maximum grill capacity of 90 kg/hour, it can be reckoned that during the preceding seven hours, 630 (=7 × 90) kg of coke were unloaded and burnt, so that the cremations were initiated at 4:15 while at 11:15 there still remained 30 kg of coke near the gasogenes. Consequently, between 11:15 and 11:30 a further two wheelbarrows of coke were emptied. That is how the average duration of each cremation would have gone up to 34 minutes; and this would be the minimum theoretical time. The real duration would have been undoubtedly greater.
In fact, we know that the oven was out of service between 16 and 25 October. During the whole month of October there were 462 deaths at Gusen,45 but the number of cadavers cremated were only 351 (159 from day 1 to day 15 and 192 from day 26 to day 31), so that on 1 November there remained 111 (= 462 - 351) cadavers in the morgue to be cremated. To these it is necessary to add the cadavers of those detainees who died in the first week of November. In a situation so critical, only Zimmerman could seriously believe that on 7 November the head of the crematorium had waited at least 11 hours (the last registration recording unloading of coke for day 6 was at 22:10) before putting the oven back into service to cremate 94 cadavers. On the other hand, the more rational explanation is that, because he had to dispose of some further tens of cadavers behind schedule, he ordered a minimum pause in order to hurriedly clean the grills of the gasogenes and immediately thereafter put the oven back into operation. In this context, the more probable hypothesis is that the oven was reactivated shortly after midnight.
If, for example, the cremation was started at 0:45, by 11:15 the oven will have burnt 630 kg of coke in ten and a half hours leaving a remnant of 30 kg of coke. This corresponds to a normal grill capacity46 of 60 kg/hour. In this case the average time for one cremation would be around 39 minutes. This is my interpretation.
In this way I dispose of all our "expert's" thermotechnical fantasies. Therefore I confirm and reconfirm that his unfounded conjecture of 25.2 minutes for the duration of a cremation is "technically absurd."
As to the efficiency of the oven, Zimmerman finds the following:
The problem with Zimmerman, as with all naïve and incompetent dilettanti, is that not having any awareness of the history and technology of cremation, he is necessarily incapable of an organic view of the argument. Now it is just such an organic view that in the end can only weaken his thermotechnical fantasies and validate my own scientific conclusions. For example, I refer to the cremation experiments of the engineer Richard Kessler with an oven heated with coke,48 from which the conclusion is drawn that the principal combustion lasts for about 55 minutes. I also refer to the list of cremations in the crematorium of Westerbork (a Kori oven heated with coke) showing an average cremation time of around 50 minutes, as well as to furnaces for the combustion of animal carrion functioning with charcoal, which I return to below. Even the Soviet experts, who - for all their hyperbolic exaggerations were second to none, in their "Chart for guidance in the determination of the rate of combustion in various ovens as a function of temperature" - used by them in their expert reports on the crematoria of Majdanek and Sachsenhausen - did not dare to attribute the exceptionally short times of the cremation process to the real temperatures found in practice. On the contrary.
For example, they attributed a duration of 120 minutes to the normal temperature of 800°C and a duration of 75 minutes to the temperature of 1,100°C. The scale ends with a duration of 15 minutes at a temperature 1,500°C. However, this situation can hold only in the gasogene at best, certainly not in the muffle.49
Let us now consider my "Omissions."
In the article "Die Krematoriumsöfen von Auschwitz-Birkenau" 50 I mentioned, en passant, the case of the cremations of 8 - 9 November, writing:
Therefore, being a simple example, my above assertion does not have any particular significance since my conclusions regarding the Gusen document derive precisely from an analysis of the whole document - not just from the individual registrations contained in it - and are based essentially on the capacity of the furnace grill. It is therefore clear that Zimmerman's accusation according to which I "misread" the document regarding the case of 8 - 9 November is without foundation, so that his suppositions are false.
The duration of around 1,470 minutes is based on a calculation of the grill capacity closest to the maximum, that is, 86 kg/hour, which is still extremely high for a continuous operation of 24 hours.
In conclusion, based on documentary evidence, Zimmerman's hypothesis of an average cremation time of 25.2 minutes is unfounded.
And technically? Technically such an hypothesis is senseless: according to engineer Kessler's experiments on cremation. Even the phase during which water evaporated from the cadaver required on average 28 minutes in an optimum coke-operated oven!
The documentation on Mauthausen
In my reply to Zimmerman (point 33) I wrote that
The documentation on Mauthausen, from February 51 to December 1941 contains about 120 documents. However, it is not "complete" (at best, it is nearly complete) because already one of the two most important documents is missing from this documentation, even though it was received and registered by the "S.S. Neubauleitung Mauthausen." This is the letter of Topf dated 14 July 1941 stating that in the two-muffle Topf oven heated with coke it was possible to cremate 30 - 36 cadavers in about 10 hours. The documentation contains the request of the SS-Neubauleitung of Mauthausen (letter of 9 July 1941), but not Topf's reply, which is at Weimar where it was accidentally discovered by J.C. Pressac. In addition, the design of Topf D 58479 (mentioned in the letter of 21 April) is missing from the documentation, as well as all invoices. For example, the invoice for 118 RM, that for 80 RM and the one for 108 RM dated 2 May (mentioned in the letter of 12 June); the invoice for for 303 RM of 25 August (mentioned in the letter of 23 September); that of 4 September for 1,594 RM (mentioned in the letter of 11 October); the invoice for 165 RM of 3 November 1941, and respectively those for 622.30 RM and 361.90 RM of 21 November (mentioned in the letter of 14 December). Also missing from the documentation are the financial documents respecting payments made by the SS, in particular the money orders for payment by installments (Abschlagszahlung), the final accounts (Schlussrechnung), the money orders for final settlements (Schlussabrechnung). By contrast, such documents are preserved for the crematory ovens of Auschwitz. 52
How many other important documents have been removed from correspondence between the firm of Topf and the SS-Neubauleitung? I do not know, but the examples mentioned should be cause for thought. Let us now consider the subsequent years. In the following tables I summarize data relevant to the consistency of the documentation:
Let us recapitulate. There is a blank of 190 days in the documentation for the year 1942, from 7 February to 16 August (with only one document, that for 13 March). For 1943, from 25 February to 31 December the documentary void is 310 days (with just two documents for April, one for May and two for August). For 7 months (March, June, July, September, October, November and December) there is not a single document. For 1944, among 366 days there is a documentary gap of 365 days! Just one document, dated 20 December, features for the whole year. For 1945 there are only three documents (for January). For 22 months out of 37, from January 1942 to January 1945, there is not even one document!
In spite of this, Zimmerman quite incredibly has the impudence to say that my assertions on the incompleteness of the documentation "is blatantly and knowingly false!"
His explanation for the enormous documentary gaps is radically challenged by the fact that he presupposes a priori the very thing which must be proved: Starting with the presupposition that the documentation concerns only "oven installation," he concludes that the documentation is complete since there was no other "oven installation" until January 1945. But, how can it be excluded that further replacements of the refractory masonry of the Gusen oven were not made during the long periods of the documentary gaps? Only by an a priori and opportunistic negation that this could have taken place. Which is precisely what Zimmerman does.
Here our professor gives yet another demonstration of his deceptiveness, since the "correspondence" on the second "oven installation" contains just two documents! And how can Zimmerman seriously claim that this "correspondence" is complete? So also in this case it is evident that the documentation is extremely full of gaps and that our professor lies, knowing that he lies.
Thus the argument of the exceptional long life of the refractory masonry in the Gusen oven (around 30,000 according to the estimate of the International Red Crosss) 53also collapses, since it is not known how many times the refractory masonry was replaced, which holds true for the Kori ovens of Mauthausen as well.
The Gusen oven was planned "with a defect"?
Zimmerman maintains that the Gusen oven was badly constructed by the Topf firm and this - and not the wear following the number of cremations carried out - was responsible for the necessity of replacing the refractory masonry in October of 1941. In Body Disposal Zimmerman wrote:
[Hierbei ist selbstverständlich 55 Voraussetzung, dass die evtl. 56 aufgetretenen Mängel infolge fehlerhafter Ausführung entstanden sind und nicht etwa durch Überhizung der Öfen bezw. durch Abstossen der inneren Ausmauerung durch die Schürgeräte usw.]." 57
Having misrepresented the sense of the above document, Zimmerman produces another "proof" of the bad construction of the Gusen oven:
6 Stck Monolit-Kreuze
As Zimmerman indicated, the snag arises "six weeks after the ovens had been installed," so that the oven was still under guarantee by Topf. In fact, according to an arrangement of March 1938, the guarantee "für die vom Feuer berührten Teile von Feuerungsanlagen" held for one year (6 months for the refractory overlay of the gasogenes). 60
Therefore, if - as Zimmerman claims - the above snag was due to the fact that "the first double muffle oven installed in Gusen was not made correctly," Topf , by accepting "though reluctanty" its responsibility, would have sent the material for the repairs free of charge. Instead, as is shown by the letter of 18 March 1941: Topf debited the "SS-Neubauleitung KL Mauthausen" with 80 RM for "10 Sack = 500 kg Monolit" and with 118 RM for "6 Stück Kreuzrosten." In this letter Topf specifies:
At this point, the document turns against Zimmerman's interpretation nullifying his hypothesis. After hardly 6 weeks, the refractory masonry of the muffles was already "stripped" at various points on account of the cremation of fewer than 500 cadavers, 250 per muffle!
Let us turn to the "more repair materials" which "were ordered in June." The only materials supplied to Gusen in June 1941 were 50 sacks of "Monolit" 62 forwarded by the firm Alphons Custodis of Düsseldorf on behalf of the firm Topf and dated 25 June. 63 Nevertheless, this material was not used for repairs, but was part of the supply of materials which Topf sent to Gusen for the second crematory two-muffle oven. This comes out clearly from the letter of Topf dated 12 June cited above in which it says:
This is what Zimmerman's "strong evidence" has been reduced to! So our professor has [either] understood nothing at all, or resorts to deception.
Following the above misunderstanding, Topf had already conveyed the following refractory and insulating material for the oven, as emerges from Topf's letter of 4 September 1941:
· 1,200 kg of refractory mortar
· 1,000 insulating bricks
· 400 kg of insulating mortar
· 3,000 kg of solid monolith
Note the date: 4 September 1941. The official request for the "sofortige Entsendung eines Ihrer Ofen-Spezialisten zur Reparatur des Krematoriums-Ofens im AL.Gusen" was moreover forwarded twenty days later by the Bauleitung of Mauthausen on 24 September. 68 Probably the first signs of damage to the oven's refractory masonry were already showing, damage which eventually became irreparable.
Whatever the case, it remains a fact that twenty days earlier, at a time when fewer than 2,700 cremations had been carried out in the Gusen oven (1,350 per muffle), the Bauleitung of Mauthausen was already preoccupying itself with having at its disposal refractory material "for subsequent repair work ."
Already from this, one infers that the Bauleitung did not trust the marvelous longevity of the refractors in the Gusen oven that Zimmerman wishes to attribute to them.
THE LONGEVITY OF THE OVEN'S REFRACTORY MASONRY
The electric oven of Erfurt: 1939 or 1941?
In an article published on 25 October 1941, engineer Rudolf Jakobskötter, in describing the third electric oven of Erfurt, emphasized:
In My Response Zimmerman rejected my accusation of "bad faith" since "the article was published in 1941 while Jakobskotter's [sic] figures go to 1939."
In this way, Zimmerman completely confirms his obvious deceit. It is true that the third Erfurt oven "wurde am 1. Dezember 1939 fertiggestellt" and was "slowly dried " (langsam getrocknet) until 31January 1940, 70 but it is false that "Jakobskotter's figures go to 1939." On page 586 of Jakobskötter's article there is a table headed "Einäscherungen und Stromverbrauch in den elektr. Einäscherungsöfen zu Erfurt." The table summarizes the practical results of three ovens at Erfurt. Those of the third oven stem from February 1940 to April 1941, so that Jakobskötter did not write his article before May 1941.
Naturally, Zimmerman takes good care not to mention these dates. As we see, the impudence of this imposter is simply unbelievable.
Zimmerman again objects:
Zimmerman distorts the succession of the ovens' "generations":
The first "generation" is the first oven, which carried out 1,294 cremations,
the second is the second oven, which carried out 2,910 cremations (according to the table on p.586), the third is the third oven for which Jakobskötter expected "eine noch längere Lebensdauer." 72
In this context, how should we place the phrase "während die Muffeln je nach ihrer Ausführungsweise bislang nur etwa 2000 Einäscherungen ausgehalten hatten?" To what does the number of 2,000 cremations refer?
Certainly not to the first oven, which had carried out 1,294, and neither to the second oven which had carried out 2,910 cremations. On the other hand, the "first generation" oven to which Zimmerman attributes 2,000 cremations, was a single oven which had a single muffle. But then, why does Jakobskötter speak of "die Muffeln," in the plural, and why does he employ the expression "je nach ihrer Ausführungsweise," seeing that the muffle was of only one type?
It is clear that Jakobskötter is referring to ovens which preceded the electric oven, those heated with coke and/or gas. He therefore affirms that the results of the second electric oven, as far as the number of cremations is concerned, had surpassed those of other types of ovens, and this is obvious as we will see in the next paragraph.
Now, granted that the Jakobskötter's article was not written before May 1941 and that it was published in October 1941, it is clear that the phrase "die Herstellungsfirma rechnet künftig mit einer Lebensdauer von 4000 Einäscherungen je Muffel" means that by the end of October 1941, the "Lebensdauer von 4000 Einäscherungen" had not yet been attained. In the contrary case, Jakobskötter would have written it clearly.
On the other hand, the text says only a little more about expectations for an indeterminate future ("künftig"): the verb "rechnen" signifies "als möglich u. wahrscheinlich annehmen." 73 That an expectation must necessarily be realized, is not expressed. And since the expectation of 4,000 cremations on the part of the "Herstellungsfirma" (Topf) went back to at least May 1941 and looked forward to the future, the expectation could not refer to the third Erfurt oven, which, at the time Jaköbskötter wrote the article, had already carried out 1,417 cremations.
And if finally Jakobskötter expected "eine noch längere Lebensdauer" for the third oven in comparison with the second oven, this was necessarily less than 4,000 cremations. This expectation was justified by the fact that experiments done with the first two ovens made it possible to overcome the drawbacks which had manifested themselves especially in the first oven - the formation of smoke caused by the "high" draft of up to 24 mm of a water: the smoke traversed the muffle with a volumetric velocity greater than that of the ignition of the carbon particles which did not burn, thus forming smoke.
The electric oven of Erfurt: the heating system
Zimmerman again objects:
The first electric crematorium went into operation at Biel in Switzerland on 31 August 1933. Its designer, engineer Hans Keller wrote in February 1935:
Der Ofen hat daher eine gleichmässigere Wärmeverteilung, was zur Erhöhung seiner Lebensdauer beiträgt." 74
Quod erat demonstrandum! [ What was to be proved has been proved!]
The factors which influenced the longevity of the refractory masonry
In his crass ignorance of the technology of cremation, Zimmerman disregards essential factors which influenced the longevity of the refractory masonry:
b. the quality of the refractors
c. the exposure to flames of the refractory masonry
Let us examine these factors
a. Our naïve professor does not know that the ovens of civilian crematoria had a refractory mass enormously larger than the ovens of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Normally the refractory masonry of one muffle weighed about 6,500 kg (the recuperator about 8,200 kg). 75
The coke-heated oven tendered on 2 June 1937 by the firm W. Müller di Allach "an die Reichsführung SS der NSDP, München Karlstrasse," that is, to Dachau, had an additional 15,500 kg of refractory material (feuerfestes Material). 76 Like the Topf ovens of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the oven had no recuperator.
According to the "Aufstellung der Materialen zu einem Topf-Doppel-Einäscherungs-Ofen" drawn up by Topf on 23 January 1943, this oven - the Auschwitz model - had refractory material consisting of 1,600 ordinary fire-bricks (Schamotte-Normalsteine) and 900 wedge-shaped bricks (Keilsteine). 77 In terms of weight, around 8,600 kg for 2 muffles, about 4,300 kg per muffle with a gasogene. Of these 4,300 kg, about 2,000 kg were for the gasogene, so that the refractory material of the muffle weighed about 2,300 kg. 78 The refractory material of an eight-muffle oven consisted of 4,500 normal fire-bricks and 1,600 wedge-shaped bricks; 79 in terms of weight, around 24,100 kg, that is, about 3,000 kg for one muffle and ½ a gasogene, 80 or, about 2,000 kg for one muffle. The refractory masonry for a three-muffle oven, to judge from a comparison in price, must have had an intermediate weight of refractory masonry, certainly less than 2,300 kg.
The "Feuerbestattungsanlage für die SS in Belgrad" tendered by the firm Didier-Werk on 26 August 1943 made provision for 6,600 kg of refractory material, 1,100 kg of wedge-shaped fire-bricks and 5,500 kg of ordinary fire-bricks.81
Also, the Kori oven with one muffle was notably more massive than ½ oven from Topf with 2 muffles. If the SS chose the Topf ovens for Auschwitz-Birkenau, that was certainly not due to the fact they were better than those from other firms - on the contrary! It depended on the fact that they cost much less. A one-muffle Kori oven cost 4,500 RM without accessories, while a two-muffle Topf oven (the third Auschwitz oven) cost 6,378 RM. Such a competitive cost (6,378 RM as against 9,000 RM, the crematory chambers costing the same) depended also on saving refractory material, which was achieved by assembling 2, 3 and 4 muffles. 82
b) Let us now consider the quality of the refractors. Already from the fact that Germany was in a state of war, it is easy to see intuitively that the refractory material used for the crematory ovens could not be of the same quality as that used for civilian crematoria in peacetime.
It was not by chance that Topf, already by the end of 1940, issued no guarantee for the refractory material, not even if it wore out with correct usage of the facility:
c) The wear on the refractory masonry was essentially caused by the open flames which assailed it. Now, while in a coke oven the heat necessary for the cremation was provided by open flames which continuously attacked the refractory masonry, in an electric oven this heat was provided by electrical incandescent resistances. Here the refractory masonry endured much less strain, as resulted from the experiment with the Biel crematorium, referred to by Jakobskötter on p. 580 of his article:
Therefore my assumption of 3,000 cremations for the life of the refractory masonry is really optimistic!
The crematoria of Paris and Milan
In Body Disposal Zimmerman wrote:
Augustus Cobb, a leading cremation expert of the period, learned from the engineer who worked in the crematorium that '[a]lthough nearly four hundred bodies are burned in these furnaces every month, a close inspection of their walls showed no traces of fissures; and the same remark applies to the walls of the furnaces in the crematory in Milan [in Italy].'
Additional information on these ovens published in 1893 shows that from 1889 to 1892, 11,852 were cremated in these facilities. This number includes 3,743 stillborn children, so that more than 8,000 bodies from a representative population were incinerated in these two ovens" (p.16).
Now it is true that there were other cremations in the Père Lachaise crematorium beyond those which I listed, but cremations of what?
In statistics going back to 1904 (I trust that Zimmerman does not except any data) the same number of cadavers quoted above by me for the years 1889-1892 is indicated, to which two categories are effectively added, one of the "Anatomienleichen" (7,429 from 1889 to 1892), the other of "Embryos" (3,960 from 1889 to 1892). 86 I know well what the "embryos" are. But what were the "Anatomienleichen?" Cadavers and body parts dissected in the anatomy theaters. I most certainly cannot believe that the heart of one cadaver, the liver of another, leg of yet another, a brain of a fourth cadaver, a body organ of a fifth were cremated individually, so that here one should not speak of 7,429 cadavers, but of 7,429 parts of cadavers. It is precisely for this reason that the cremations of cadavers were charged under separate cover in the official statistics. On the other hand, the oven of Toisul and Fradet - and the ovens of the thirties and forties - cannot be directly compared because, as I explained in my Observations, this installation was structured on three levels and its massive refractories were impressive.
As to the Milan crematorium, which was on a par with the one of Paris, Zimmerman's source makes a huge blunder. 271 cremations were carried out in this crematorium between 1876 and 1883, 87 between 1884 and 1893, 88 486 cremations, 89 so that it has been falsely cited as an example of the long life of refractory masonry in ovens which were successively installed.
Leaving aside the declarations of "eyewitnesses," which are worth as much as those of Zimmerman, in order to prove the reality of "multiple" cremations, our professor places his trust in Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943. He thinks - perhaps seriously - that this document presents a "dilemma" for me. In Body Disposal he writes:
The true "dilemma" is Zimmerman's: If it was possible to cremate one cadaver in 15 minutes with 3.5 kg of coke, how are we to explain that the Gusen oven consumed a minimum quantity of coke at least 9 times more? If it was so simple to save 92% of the fuel at a time when Germany could not afford to waste anything, much less its coke (and if it was so simple to save 75% of the cremation time), how is it that at Gusen this miraculous "multiple" cremation could not be realized? Why is it that for each cremation about 27 kg of coke was thrown away?
Jährling's Aktenvermerk of 17 March 1943 calculates the coke consumption of the Birkenau crematoria for 12 hours of operation. 2,800 kg of coke for each of crematoria II and II were foreseen, for each of the crematoria IV and V, 1,120 kg. 90 The above letter of Bischoff attributes a cremation capacity of 1,440 cadavers in 24 hours - so 720 cadavers in 12 hours - for each of II and III a capacity of 768 cadavers in 24 hours - therefore 384 in 12 hours - for each of Kremas IV and V.
If this data were realistic, the coke consumption for each cadaver would be about 3.9 (=2,800 ÷ 720) kg for Kremas II/III and about 2.9 (=1,120 ÷ 384) kg for Kremas IV/V.
Now, regarding the coke consumption of the Topf ovens, the only fact certified by the documents is that for the Gusen oven.
During the period of its greatest activity, from 31 October to 12 November 1941, the Gusen oven cremated 677 cadavers with a coke consumption of 345 wheelbarrows of coke, that is, 20,700 (=20,700 ÷ 677) kg. The average consumption of coke per cadaver was therefore about 30.6 kg. For this reason, this experimental result is the only point of departure for a scientific discussion of the subject.
The Auschwitz two-muffle oven was structurally similar to the Gusen oven, so that, without going into technical details, it can be said that the coke consumption of the two types of ovens was approximately equal.
A three-muffle oven of Krema II/III was no different from a two-muffle oven with a third muffle interposed. It is true that the central muffle enjoyed the thermotechnical advantage of gas combustion at a high temperature originating from the two lateral muffles which much reduced its specific coke consumption. Nevertheless, the two lateral muffles did not technically enjoy any thermotechnical benefit, since the flow of gases originating from the gasogenes travelled in the direction of the central muffle, from which it was introduced into the smoke conduit. Hence the two lateral muffles heated the central muffle but were not themselves heated by this muffle, from which we deduce that two lateral muffles had a coke consumption approximately equal to that of a two-muffle oven.
In conclusion, the two lateral muffles behaved like a two-muffle oven: they cremated in the same time - around one hour 91 - and required the same amount of fuel - about 30 kg of coke.
Even supposing that the central muffle did not consume heat, the cremation of three cadavers would nevertheless have needed on average around 20 [=(30 + 30) ÷ 3] kg of coke.
In an eight-muffle oven, each of the four gasogenes served two muffles: the combustion gas passed from the first to the second muffle and from there it was introduced into the gas conduit.
Even supposing that the second muffle did not consume heat, the cremation of two cadavers would on average have needed 15 [=30 ÷ 2] kg of coke.
Zimmerman imagines that the average coke consumption of "about 3.5 kilograms per body" depends on "multiple" cremations, which, according to the data in Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943, means that the Birkenau ovens cremated four cadavers in a single muffle in one hour.
Let us see how founded this hypothesis is
The only installations which carried out the equivalent of a multiple cremation were those using animal carrion for fuel. The most important manufacturer was the Berlin firm of H. Kori.
Oven model 1a could burn 250 kg of organic material in five hours with a consumption of 110 kg of fossilized carbon, that is, the equivalent of four cadavers of about 62.5 kg each, so with a consumption per cadaver of 27.5 kg of fossilized carbon in 75 minutes.
The most prestigious model, oven 4b, burned 900 kg of organic material in 13.5 hours with a consumption of 300 kg of fossilized carbon. This is for example equivalent to the simultaneous cremation of 15 cadavers of 60 kg in an average time of 54 minutes each and a coke consumption of 20 kg per cadaver.
These experimental results demonstrate that by increasing the load of organic burning material, one increased either the corresponding fuel consumption or the duration of the combustion process. Hence, should "multiple" cremations in the Birkenau ovens have been successful, this would not have been of any effective advantage regarding either the duration or the coke consumption of the cremations.
Therefore, "multiple" cremations would only have multiplied the duration of the cremation process and the coke consumption by the number of cadavers loaded into the muffles.
I say "should the ... have been successful" because, as we have just seen, Kurt Prüfer stated on this subject:
Here I limit myself to briefly hinting at the most important of such problems for a three-muffle oven. 92
A cremation without a coffin develops in two principal phases. The initial endothermic phase of evaporation of the water in the cadaver, which removes a large quantity of heat and lowers the temperature in the muffle, and the final exothermic phase (up to the peak of the cadaver's main combustion), in which the cadaver itself burns, producing heat.
During the first phase of the cremation process, the water evaporation from four cadavers in a single muffle would have led to a drastic reduction of the oven's temperature as well as of the smoke with a consequent reduction in the draft. Reducing the chimney's draft would have had the effect of reducing the draft of the furnace (which depended on it), ending up in a lowering of the capacity of the oven's grills. For this reason, the availability of heat at the time it was most needed would also have been diminished. The reduction of the muffle's temperature to below 600°C would have had further deleterious effects. For example, the heavy hydrocarbons formed by the gasification of the cadavers would have remained unburned and at the lower temperature, the cadavers would only have been carbonized.
Besides, the introduction of four cadavers into a single muffle would have brought about physical problems for the draft. The cadavers would have obstructed the three inter-muffle apertures that linked the lateral muffles with the central one, blocking the passage of combustion products from the gasogenes. The four cadavers placed on the grill of the central muffle would have obstructed the existing spaces between the bars of the grill finally blocking the passage of the gas from the gasogene by getting into the smoke conduit. This would have ultimately diminished the chimney's draft and that of the furnace, with a further diminution in the availability of heat.
If, by some thermotechnical miracle, all these difficulties had been overcome, during the exothermic phase of the principal combustion, the four cadavers together with the flow of gas from the gasogene would have greatly surpassed the terminal thermal load of the muffles. That is, they would have produced a quantity of heat above that which the refractory masonry could sustain, thus damaging it (fusion of the refractors).
Finally, the 12 cadavers cremated in each oven in an hour, together with the gases made by the gasogenes, would have produced a quantity of smoke too great for the crematory chimney to get rid of when reckoned for normal usage (one cadaver per hour per muffle).
In conclusion: In a three-muffle oven, the cremation of four cadavers per muffle, had it succeeded, would have required at least 240 (=30 × 8 ) kg of coke, and the duration of the cremation process would have been about four hours. The cremation capacity of Kremas II/III would then each have been 360 cadavers in 24 hours, and the coke consumption 20 kg per cadaver. The cremation capacity of the Kremas IV and V would have been 192 cadavers in 24 hours, the coke consumption 15 kg.
Therefore, the information in Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943 is technically absurd,
and only naïve people like Zimmerman could take it seriously.
The duration of the cremation process at Auschwitz
The exceptional results of the Gusen oven could not be achieved by the two-muffle ovens of Krema I at Auschwitz because the Gusen oven depended on two essential factors:
b. the use of a facility with an extractor draft.
On the other hand, the Auschwitz ovens had a completely different muffle grill and were much less efficient. The two ovens of Krema I reconstructed after the war by the Poles utilizing original parts dismantled by the SS, show a muffle grill made up shaped slabs of monolith arranged in a slot of grooves which formed fissures of about five centimeters in width. With this type of grill, not only did the principal combustion have to take place in the muffle, but so did the post-combustion of cadaver residues. For this reason, the duration of the process was necessarily longer.
The efficiency of these ovens depends on the following fact:
On 1 June 1942, Bischoff wrote a letter to Kammler to inform him of the damage caused to the chimney of Krema I and he specified:
On 30 March 1942, Bischoff was informed of the damage done to the chimney by SS-Oberscharführer Josef Pollok in his capacity as the officer in charge of police affairs concerned with building, 94 so that the snag had manifested itself before this date. During the second half of the month the greatest mortality occurred in days 19 to 29, during which about 1,450 detainees died, 132 per day on average.
Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943 attributes a cremation capacity of 340 cadavers in 24 hours to the three two-muffle ovens of Krema I. This corresponds to an average duration of 25 minutes per cremation, which is practically the same as that erroneously supposed by Zimmerman. Were this true, during the second half of May the ovens would have cremated the approximate 1,450 daily cadavers mentioned above in a little over nine hours, that is, in a simple day shift. But since day and night operation of the ovens was necessary, their cremation capacity was notably less. If we assume the normal duration for the process of cremation, the ovens were active for about 22 hours per day - exactly a day and night operation.
The other difference between the Gusen oven and those of Krema I of Auschwitz is that the Gusen extractor draft system served two muffles, while in the Auschwitz crematorium it served six, so that the latter was less efficient. After the reconstruction of the chimney in August of 1942, the extractor draft system was eliminated completely.
In a three-muffle oven, the muffle grill was made up of bars arranged transversally at a distance of about 20 cm from each other. The principal combustion developed in the muffle, and the cadaver residues fell across the grill apertures into the ash pan where post-combustion took place (in about 20 minutes according to the service instructions of Topf ). In addition, the Birkenau ovens functioned without an extractor draft system.95
Therefore the cremation capacity of Krema I appearing in Bischoff's letter of 28 June 1943 has no real basis, and this is also valid for the Birkenau ovens which were less efficient than the Gusen oven.
The extractor draft system of the Gusen oven
ORIGIN AND NECESSITY OF THE BIRKENAU CREMATORIA
Therefore, the entire argumentation is founded "on the basis of Czech." Appropriate for a dilettante, Zimmerman trusts blindly in Danuta Czech, but his trust is very badly misplaced. In fact the document in the Kalendarium of Auschwitz 99 which he cites, refers only to Krema II. Francziszek Piper correctly summarizes it as follows:
The fallacious summary of this document provided by D. Czech has a clear ideological-propagandistic motivation, as can be seen from what she writes in the essay which Zimmerman invokes in Body Disposal: "Origins of the Camp, Its Construction and Expansion" published in the book "Auschwitz: Nazi Death Camp" (notes 80 and 52).
Here in fact is what D.Czech wrote in her essay, according to the official Italian translation of this book:
The account of Danuta Czech on the "start" of negotiations for the presumed "new crematoriums" at the end of July 1942 being false, so is therefore the conclusion of Zimmerman. This conclusion is ultimately refuted by the "Übersicht" of Bischof of 30 July 1942 respecting the Bauwerke which were to be done in the third financial year of the war ("die...im dritten Kriegswirtschaftsjahre zu errichten sind"), and which, respecting the Kriegsgefangenenlager (the Birkenau camp) mentions only the item "Krematorium," 105 in the singular and without a numeral. This means that even by 30 July no one still had to build on the remaining three crematories.
THE EXPANSION OF THE BIRKENAU CAMP AND THE NECESSITY OF THE CREMATORIA
The strength of the camp
Having determined that the decision to construct Kremas III, IV and V was taken in August 1942, let us see what was the historical context.
I assert that this decision was taken as a consequence of two facts:
2) the terrible typhus epidemic which raged in the camp
As to point 1, Zimmerman writes in his response:
In his letter of 3 August 1942 addressed to the head of Amt CV of WVHA, Bischoff writes:106
Thus it concerns 96 supplementary "Unterkunftbaracken" concerning the plan of 8 July. Bischoff adds:
What camp strength did the above plan anticipate?
As far as I know, no plan is known of 8 July 1942, but in his letter of of 29 June 1942 to "Amt C V" of the WVHA (that is, to Kammler) Bischoff writes that:
After his visit to Auschwitz on 17 and 18 July 1942, Himmler decided on a new "Erweiterung" of the camp. For what strength? Let us see:
Dwork and van Pelt have published the plan for a "Unterkunftbaracke für ein Gefangenenlager" which carries a "Fassungsvermögen" of "ca. 550 Mann." This figure is cancelled by a pencil stroke and above it appears the hand-written numeral "744." 107
Therefore the supplementary 96 barracks must have housed at least about 52,800 (=96 × 550 ) detainees, which, added to the already 150,000 foreseen, brought the camp strength to about 202,800 detainees.
Thus the first point of my thesis has been proved. Let us consider the second.
August 1942 proved to be the month of the highest mortality in the entire history of the Auschwitz camp. During the whole month around 8,600 detainees died, 108 nearly double the mortality for July (about 4,400 deaths). The first indication of a decision to build the remaining three crematoria goes back to 14 August (the date on which plan 1678 for Kremas IV/V was worked out). By the end of day 13 another 2,500 detainees had died, giving an average mortality of over 190 deaths per day. From 14 to 19 August (the day on which the discussions summarized in the Aktenvermerk of 21 August were reported) the mortality became still higher: about 2,400 deaths, on average about 400 per day. The peak occurred on 19 August when more than 500 deaths were confirmed. On 1 August the male strength of the camp was 21,421 detainees. 4,113 detainees had died by the end of day 19, on average 216 deaths per day, of which 1,675 occurred from days 14 to 19, on average 279 per day. The average strength of the camp between days 1 and 19 was about 22,900 detainees.
What would have happened if another typhus epidemic had broken out in a camp with 200,000 detainees?
The explanation for constructing more crematoria is all here.
The typhus "myth"
Zimmerman has the impudence to head one of the paragraphs of his ponderings "The Typhus Myth" (Body Disposal, p.2). This "myth" would be proved by death certificates presently available. Referring to these in Body Disposal, Zimmerman writes:
In how many cases of the death certificates is it that the "stated causes do not conform to physical reality?"
Zimmerman mentions two of them:
Let us consider the second case:
Zimmerman asserts that during the typhus epidemic the sick detainees were killed en mass. Let us see what happened during the month when the typhus epidemic reached its peak: August 1942.
From a "Holocaust" angle, a "selection" for "gassing" exists only if it is attested to by documents or by testimony; in the contrary case it does not exist. In her Kalendarium Danuta Czech diligently collected and recorded all the documentation which shows, in her opinion, individual "selections." In the Kalendarium three "selections" figure for August 1942:
10 August: an indeterminate number of "gassed"
29 August: 746 "gassed."
All other deaths were therefore due to "natural" causes. Now in August 1942 there were 8,600 deaths overall, of which 7,100 were due to "natural" causes. What caused this extremely high mortality if it was not typhus? As we see, this "myth" is truly fatal.
As to the reason for the small number of causes of death related to typhus, I fully maintain everything I wrote in point 39 of my Observations, which is that deaths of sick persons from typhus could have been due to complications arising from a general prostration of their physique and weakening of their immune system, aggravated by the scarcity of medication. I can cite a document, the note "Bemerkungen Über die Behandlung mit Präprarat 3582/IGF/ bei Fleckfieber", to confirm this. At the beginning of February of 1943, an experiment at Auschwitz with a new drug against spotted typhus was carried out on 50 detainees affected with this disease, 15 of whom died during the treatment or immediately after it stopped. The note points out:
So none of these 15 detainees died from "Fleckfieber," but that illness was nonetheless the indirect cause of their death. [typhus]
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CAMP STRENGTH AND THE NUMBER OF CREMATORY OVENS
The example of Dachau
So with this imposture Zimmerman increases the strength of Dachau by 160,000 detainees, who for the most part were transferred to other camps.
Similarly with another imposture he reduces to 92,000 - or 112,000 counting the Jewish detainees of the Durchgangaslager - the maximum strength of the Auschwitz camp, which "in the summer of 1944" reached 105,168 detainees - or 135,168 counting the 30,000 Jewish detainees of the Durchgangaslager. 112
Let us now see what the confirmed mortality was at Dachau as a result of the camp's expansion and the typhus epidemics of 1940 to 1944. 113
Therefore, "at a time of typhus epidemics," during the winters of 1942-1943 and 1943-1944, the detainee mortality was effectively highest: a good nine per day during the first typhus wave and 42 during the second. Excluding the last two months of 1944, when conditions in the camp started to become tragic, the highest mortality was confirmed in January 1941, with 455 deaths, on average 14.6 per day. Of course, this needed a "dramatic (!) expansion" of the crematory capacity of the Topf two-muffle coke oven in the camp's old crematorium!
Like the Gusen oven, this installation was originally a naphtha-heated oven which was transformed into a coke oven by the addition of two lateral gasogenes. Thus the cremation capacity of this oven must have been the same as that of the Gusen oven. Zimmerman's claim is therefore even more ridiculous in that he attributes to this oven - and consequently to the Dachau oven - a cremation capacity of 4.7 cadavers per hour (two every 25.2 minutes!), 47 in 10 hours, 94 in 20 hours.
What then would have been the use of another crematory oven?
Yet, in spite of this, a new crematorium was constructed at Dachau (the "Barack X") in which four Kori single-muffle coke-heated ovens were installed. The Kostenvoranschlag for the installation bears the date 17 March 1942, 114 a period during which the mortality was lowest: two deaths per day. The plan of the ovens was completed by the Kori firm on 12 May 1942, 115 but it seems that the installation went into service only in the spring of 1943. 116 Nevertheless, during this period - from March 1942 to May 1943 - the camp had an average mortality of barely three deaths per day.
Thus the argument turns against Zimmerman. As another four ovens were constructed when the mortality was so low, and if the existing two-muffle oven was more than sufficient, what was the need to install more ovens?
The example of Gusen
First of all, let us see the picture of the mortality at this camp. I give the relevant data in the tables which follow:117
Hence the average mortality for these four years was about 15 deaths a day. The highest mortality occurs in January 1943, with an average of 46 deaths per day. With a forced operation the Gusen oven could cremate two cadavers in around 40 minutes (one in each muffle), so that it handled the mortality peak with about 15 hours of operation. In accord with average mortality, it operated daily for about five hours, for six if we include one hour for heating.
What was the need for another oven?
The example of Buchenwald
I showed the captious nature of Zimmerman's methodology in point 38 of my Observations. For comparison with Auschwitz, he chose two examples which he naively thought favored his thesis: Dachau and Gusen, examined above. I objected that the case of Buchenwald completely invalidated his thesis. Zimmerman claims that in this area I kept silent on "some crucial information." This is what he wrote in My Response on this matter:
According to the statistics of the "Krankenabbau," the actual situation at the time was as follows: 119
The average strength of the camp was kept stable at around 9,000 detainees until January 1943, then it began to continuously rise as in the following table: 120
Here, as in the examples of Dachau and Gusen, Zimmerman has slyly diverted the discussion to the camp strength, as though I had considered it the only factor which led to the decision to construct another three crematoria at Birkenau. In actual fact, I consider the essential factor to be the mortality (caused mainly by the typhus epidemic) as a function of the camp strength.
Now, although the average strength of Buchenwald in 1943 was about 19,300 detainees, that is, it increased by 232% with respect to the average strength for 1942 (about 8,300 detainees), the mortality increased by hardly 43% (from 2,542 deaths in 1942 to 3,636 in 1943) and the average daily mortality was hardly 10 deaths.
Zimmerman argues retrospectively, as though the Zentralbauleitung of Weimar-Buchenwald was planning this expansion before August 1942, but his statement is "without any proof." Now, our professor, with typical Pharisaic hypocrisy, has the impudence to throw in my face the statement that the decision to expand the strength of Auschwitz-Birkenau to 200,000 detainees was taken in July of 1942, claiming it is "without any proof," and he hurls the same rebuke at Pressac, that he too is guilty of having made a statement "without any proof." One more example of the squalid opportunism of this individual.
Nevertheless, let us suppose that Zimmerman's statement was perfectly documented. In that case the Zentrabauleitung of Weimar-Buchenwald would have decided on the construction of two three-muffle ovens in anticipation not only of the camp's expansion but also of a mortality in proportion to its strength.
On account of transports of evacuees from other camps, the Buchenwald camp reached its maximum strength of 85,900 detainees in October 1944. It certainly cannot be seriously maintained that in 1942 the Zentralbauleitung of Weimar-Buchenwald had predicted this increase in the camp's strength because at the time it would have foreseen the defeat of Germany.
Nevertheless, granted for the sake of the argument that the phantom plan of spring 1942 for the camp's expansion concerned this strength of 85,400 prisoners, on the grounds of the experience of the first six months of 1942 - during which there were 1,310 deaths among an average population of 7,400 detainees, so around 7 deaths a day - really made provision for this maximum strength, then the plan could also have foreseen the average mortality of about 81 (= [85,400 ÷ 7,400] × 7) daily deaths.
But then of what use would six muffles have been, which - according to Zimmerman - could cremate from 342 (one cremation in 25.2 minutes) to 576 (one cremation in 15 minutes) cadavers in 24 hours?
Therefore, even if we assume the most absurd hypotheses favoring Zimmerman's thesis, the conclusions which follow radically contradict it.
Let us pass from hypotheses to reality. The two Buchenwald ovens were ordered and installed during a period when for months the mortality oscillated between eight and twelve deaths per day. So, using Zimmerman's argument based on real data, since the cremation capacity of the new installations was 120 cadavers in 20 hours, that is, 3,600 per month, in two months they could have devoured the entire camp population! On the other hand, since this real capacity was at least ten times more than the above maximum mortality, it follows that the ovens had a criminal purpose and served to cremate the cadavers of mass extermination!
The case of Auschwitz
In March 1942, 66 detainees died at Dachau which had an average daily mortality of 14 deaths during the previous year. Despite this, the Munich Zentralbauleitung made plans for a new crematorium with four ovens.
At Buchenwald the average mortality was 8-12 deaths per day, and in spite of this the Zentrabauleitung of Weimar-Buchenwald planned and had installed two three-muffle ovens.
How many ovens should the Zentralbauleitung have planned for Auschwitz, where in August 1942 the average daily mortality was 277 deaths?
Let us make some quick calculations.
Therefore, the number of new muffles at Auschwitz was 5.1 times more than that of Buchenwald and 7.7 more that that of Dachau, whereas the mortality was respectively 25.5 and 130 times more. Had the Zentralbauleitung of Auschwitz adopted the same criterion as that chosen by the Zentralbauleitung of Weimar-Buchenwald, the former would have planned an installation with 153 (=[8,600 ÷ 337] × 6) muffles!
The"static" population of Auschwitz
So as usual, our naïve professor has understood nothing. In the case at hand, I do not even believe that he is trying to deceive us on purpose, since he does not give the source of the document he cites. It is clear that he puts his trust in second- or third-hand sources. So here he only provides additional proof of his crass ignorance and dilettantism.
OPEN AIR BURNING
The aerial photograph of 31 May 1944 and my alleged "three different versions"
I was able to show that Ball has lied consistently about these photos. Mattogno now states (Reply,3) that he possesses all of the aerial and surface photographs of Auschwitz from 1944. This is quite a revelation since he has given no less than three different versions of what is on this photo. Mattogno writes that "if I change opinion concerning interpretation of specific points, that depends only upon progression of my studies, and not due to the fact that later books have published documents which I have already possessed" (Reply, 3). But since he already had these photos, one wonders what could have changed on them to give varying accounts of their contents. Did he actually examine them or did he rely on Ball? I strongly suspect that Mattogno was deceived by Ball but is now too embarassed to admit" (p.4).
1. I am in possession of the aerial photographs of Auschwitz-Birkenau since 1989-1990. If Zimmerman doesn't believe it, that's his affair. If he is curious, let him ask his compatriots near the National Archives , Washington D.C., to check the "Orders for Reproduction Services" starting from 1989.
2. I am not an expert on aerial photogrammetry, neither have I ever said I was one, nor do I have the technical instruments to attempt an analysis of this kind.
3. The photographs are in black and white and it is not easy with the naked eye to distinguish extremely small objects, especially if there is vegetation round about. However this may be, it is a fact that Zimmerman's expert, Mr. Carroll Lucas, "a photo imagery expert with 45 years experience" (Body Disposal, p.42), speaks of «"possible" lines of people moving between the open hand dug trenches toward Crematorium V» (Body Disposal, p.43) in his "report." Hence, in spite of his 45 years of experience, in spite of his sophisticated technical instruments, he has not been able to establish with certainty what these "lines" are.
4. In my analysis of the document I was partially misled by "eyewitness" testimony, like that of Nyiszli, invoked by Zimmerman on p. 40 of Body Disposal. Nyiszli, referring to the period of the "extermination" of the Hungarian Jews, wrote:
In order to have an objective point of reference I compared the photographs of 31 May with the one of 13 September in which clouds of smoke caused by bomb explosions were perfectly recognizable. Nothing like this however appeared in the photographs of 31 May, so that I concluded that they showed no trace of smoke.
5. My reference to John Ball cited by Zimmerman appears in the work Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte (1994) which also includes an article by John Ball on aerial photography. On page 247 one reads: "Lediglich auf der Aufnahme vom 31. Mai 1944 sieht man hinter dem Krematorium V kleinere Rauchschwaden aufsteigen." Therefore, John Ball contradicted my assertion. Owing to the subsequent debate and thanks to the analysis of considerable enlargements of the above photographs, I became convinced that John Ball was correct on this score.
6. In contrast to Zimmerman who recognized his numerous "errors" only after my tight criticism, I recognized my own spontaneously. No Zimmerman forced me to do it. And no Zimmerman forced me to make the corrections that I mentioned in the "Author's Note" appearing in the introduction to the English translation of the Grundlagen article. These demonstrate that my revisions are a result of ongoing progress made in my studies on the question.
In Body Disposal Zimmerman wrote that:
In My Response Zimmerman quotes the following sentence taken from the online version of the above article:
"The small column of smoke rising from the courtyard near Crematory V which appears in the aerial photograph is consistent with outside trash incineration" (p.5).
I totally confirm what I said: I never wrote - and can add, never thought of writing -such a thing. Moreover, I was perfectly aware of the existence of the two Müllverbrennungsöfen in Krematoriums II and III.
Actually, the sentence in question was inserted without my knowledge by the editor of the online version. In fact, the sentence does not appear in the original version of the article, that is in the above booklet, two editions of which were published by Russ Granata.
Activity or inactivity of the crematory ovens?
In the controversy with Prof. Cajani on the interpretation of one of the 31 May 1944 aerial photographs I wrote in My Banned Holocaust Interview: 125
Danuta Czech writes in her Kalendarium that cadavers of Gypsies alleged to have been homicidally gassed on 2 August 1944, were cremated out in the open because the crematory ovens at that time were not working ("Denn die Krematoriumsöfen sind zu der Zeit nicht in Betrieb") " (p.43).
To my hypothesis on open air burning on account of the crematoria being out of service, he counters me with two opposing objections.
The first refers to the Kalendarium of Auschwitz. Zimmerman rebukes me for not having mentioned the source of Danuta Czech! This rebuke is rather hypocritical since Zimmerman, like everybody else, cites the page of the Kalendarium without mentioning the source, since the Kalendarium itself represents the source!
The second objection is this:
Here is the list of jobs drawn up for the Schlosserei in the period under consideration: 126
It has therefore been proved by the documents that the four Birkenau crematoria were undergoing repairs on 31 May 1944.
A final observation.
In My Response Zimmerman writes:
Another example of Zimmerman's deliberate deceit. Even though he has access to the documents which prove that the crematoria were undergoing repairs, he not only fails to mention this, but falsifies the documents in order to prove the contrary!
The impudence of this imposter is truly incredible! And with self-righteous hypocrisy he accuses me of saying nothing about compromising documents! (p.20).
The absence of smoke from the crematory chimneys
Since the Birkenau ovens lacked regenerators which served to preheat the combustion air up to 600°C, the ovens inevitably produced more smoke than the civilian ovens. This is revealed in the first place by Prüfer's statement cited above and which I wish to repeat here:
That the crematory chimneys of Birkenau smoked emerges from the photographs published by J.C. Pressac's first work on Auschwitz on pp.340-341.129 This is how he comments on photograph 17:
From the large external soot deposits from the ovens' eight smoke conduits at an elevation of over 15 meters we deduce that when the ovens were in operation, the chimney not only smoked, but it smoked very much.
Nevertheless, in the aerial photographs of 31 May 1944, none of the six chimneys of the Birkenau crematoria are smoking. Why?
Let us construct an Aristotilian syllogism:
I trustingly await Zimmerman's publication of the "Lucas report" in order to know how many of these cremation pits have been singled out and where they are located. Naturally, Zimmerman will guarantee the claims of Lucas by publishing adequate enlargements of the aerial photographs under consideration with arrows pointing to the various "pits."
In Body Disposal Zimmerman reported the findings of another expert, Mark van Alstine:
For the moment I note that the Soviets in an on-site investigation of the region of Bunker 2 made a few months after the events found only an "" (= pool, basin) with an area of 30 square meters.131 The kind of honesty or competence our expert has, can be deduced from this alone!
As to the "three pits near Krema V", I accept for the sake of the argument that they entail three pits each of about 106 m2.
Filip Müller states:
The first two pits:
Among other things, I trustingly expect that Zimmerman's "experts" will indicate in any aerial photograph the exact location of the "Fläche von etwa 60 Meter Länge und 15 Meter Breite" which Moll ordered "betonieren" "neben den Gruben beim Krematorium." 135 The thing should be extremely easy, given that we are dealing with an area larger than that of Krema V!
But let us proceed.
By maintaining with authority that "at least 75%" of the 400,000 Hungarian Jews allegedly gassed "were burned in the open" (p.18) Zimmerman deludes himself in challenging my conclusions on cremation at Auschwitz.
In his judgement:
This estimate is based on the information available on the Gusen ovens after their overhaul in 1941, the Enek-Tek II data cited by Mattogno, the multiple cremation testimony I cited by Sonderkommando Henryk Tauber - who noted that the authorities had ways to place the bodies in the ovens to maximize efficiency (Body, 28) - and the method of burning in 25 minutes, instead of the usual 60 or 60 minutes, mentioned earlier in this response" (p.18).
Finally, I note that the "estimate" of 75% of the 400,000 allegedly gassed Hungarian Jews - that is, "at least" 300,000 cadavers cremated in the open - is not "based" on anything. It concerns the arbitrary number chosen by Zimmerman to balance his calculations. We will see shortly how reliable this number is.
For an "estimate" of the longevity of the refractory masonry of "an Auschwitz-Birkenau oven" (without any distinction between ovens with 2, 3 or 8 muffles, totally ignored by this inexperienced person) - he gives 10,000 to 15,000 cremations! As demonstrated above I note that:
Let us now see what the basis is for Zimmerman's claim that 300,000 cadavers of Hungarian Jews were cremated in the open.
In the booklet Auschwitz Holocaust Revisionist Jean-Claude Pressac. The « Gassed » People of Auschwitz: Pressac's New Revisions (pp.15-17) I demonstrated on the basis of the documents that between 30 and 31 May 1944 about 21,950 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz. Zimmerman thinks the percentage of those which were (presumably) gassed to be 91% (=400,000 ÷ 437,400 × 100). It follows that 91% of these 21,950 people, around 19,800, were "gassed" during the days of 30 and 31 May 1944. Moreover, from 16 to 31 May 137 at least 184,000 Hungarian Jews arrived at Auschwitz, of whom therefore 91%, or about 167,400 were "gassed" and cremated in 16 days, on average about 10,500 per day.
The minimum number arriving on 30 May 1944 was around 9,050, of whom about 8,200 would have been "gassed."
Let us analyze this information on the basis Filip Müller's testimony, which describes the preparation of a "cremation pit" as follows. At the bottom of the pit a layer of wood was placed, on top of this 400 cadavers were placed, then another layer of wood and another 400 cadavers, followed by a further layer of wood and finally another layer of 400 cadavers.138
He does not specify if this refers to a pit of 40-50 m × 8 m, but the number of cadavers is perfectly in accord with such an area. 139
Let us examine the hypothesis most favorable to Zimmerman's thesis. We assume ad absurdum that:
The cremation of these 6,800 cadavers using the method described by Filip Müller would have required a burning area of about 1,800 m2, which would therefore be visible in the aerial photographs of 31 May 1944.
On the other hand, what have Zimmerman's "experts" found here? A presumed burning area of 320 m2! I omit the "three burning pits" in the region of the so-called Bunker 2 since its existence is denied by the Soviet on-site investigation of March 1945. At most another 30 m2 of burning area can be conceded, that is, by Zimmerman's method another 100 cremated cadavers.
Therefore, even assuming the patently absurd premises most favorable to Zimmerman's conjecture, the cremation capacity of the "cremation pits" would have been about 1,300 (=1,200 + 100) cadavers per day. And where would the remaining 5,500 (= 6,800 - 1,300) cadavers per day have been cremated? They could neither have been cremated in the "pits" nor in the crematory ovens.
Hence, in 15 days - from 16 to 30 May - 82,500 (=15 × 5,500) cadavers would have accumulated for cremation!
I am sure that with a bit of good will Zimmerman's "experts" shall succeed in "locating" these cadavers on the aerial photographs. Zimmerman need only explain carefully to them what it is they must "locate"!
Let us pass from the absurd to the probable.
The stratified system of combustion described by Filip Müller is similar to that tried by the Belgian chemist Créteur after the battle of Sedan for the disinfection of the common graves.
By pouring tar into the graves themselves and igniting it, Créteur's purpose was to burn the cadavers in the graves in which they lay to prevent the rise of epidemics. That was his intention. But what was the result? The following:
It is not by chance that Zimmerman tried to twist this fact by turning to the squalid impostures which I unmasked in points 5-7 of my Observations, and it is not by chance that in his Mea Culpa appearing in My Response he took good care to avoid admitting these "errors."
What can be conceded to the burning technique described by Filip Müller? At most the burning of 400 cadavers in 320 m2. 142
The maximum capacity of the four Birkenau ovens was 920 cadavers in 20 hours, so that these installations, assuming they operated every day at full speed, could have cremated a theoretical maximum of about 14,700 (=16 × 920) cadavers during the above 16 days. There remained 152,700 (=167,400 - 14,700) cadavers cremated in the open, on average about 9,500 (=152,700 ÷ 16) per day.
In order to cremate these cadavers, a burning area of 7,600 m2 would have been needed, that is, - to make a visual comparison - 9.5 times more than that of a crematorium of type IV/V!
Once more: what have Zimmerman's "experts" found in the photographs of 31 May 1944? A presumed burning area of 320 m2! With such "cremation pits" burning the above 152,700 cadavers would have ended in August 1945!
Thus the myth of open-air cremations en mass is definitely disposed of.
"The White Bunker"
In Body Disposal Zimmerman writes:
Van Alstine is able to confirm from the photo the existence of three huts that were used for prisoners undressing near the White Bunker. Recall that Hoess wrote that there were three huts near the White Bunker" (p.42).
Let us now confront the question of the "three huts":
The Birkenau camp consisted of brick buildings and wooden barracks that could be dismantled (zerlegbar). The most common type was the "Pferdestallbaracke Typ 260/9," which measured 40.76 m × 9.56 m and was used for various purposes. Moreover, these barracks made up most of the Effektenlager - 25 barracks among 30. The remaining five, of which three were east of the Zentralsauna, were of type "Typ 501/34" and measured 41,39 m × 12,64 m. The barracks which had a provisional use were dismantled and moved according to the needs of the day, as is attested to in the documentation of the Zentralbauleitung.
Now the "5 barracks for prisoners (special treatment) [Sonderbehandlung]" which Zimmerman realizes for the so-called Bunker 1 and 2 (Body Disposal, p.34) were Pferdestallbaracken.
Therefore, in the area of the "White Bunker" there should appear three barracks of this type.
To understand the groundless nature of Van Alstine's claim, it suffices to compare the barracks of the Effektenlager to the east of the Zentralsauna, which are perfectly visible and clear, with the blurred spots which should be the presumed "three huts," the longest of which measures about 22 meters, nearly half of a Pferdestallbaracke.
It is obvious that Zimmerman's "experts" find what Zimmerman wants them to find in the photographs!
In any case, in his future book our professor will know how to enlighten us on this point by pointing out the exact position of the "three huts" in the aerial photographs under discussion.
Let us proceed to the "White Bunker":
In Body Disposal Zimmerman falsified my statements on the denomination of "Bunker," "white house" and "red house." In My Response (p.10) Zimmerman had to admit his "error," adding:
With the same distorted logic one can argue as follows: The crematoria structures appear in the photographs ("identified by many eyewitness" as installations equipped with homicidal gas chambers), therefore the crematoria contained homicidal gas chambers!
That in the photographs there is a structure subsequently named "Bunker 2" is a fact; that this building was used as a homicidal gas chamber is an arbitrary conjecture - unless Zimmerman claims that the decisive factor is the witnesses: the structure in question is a homicidal gas chamber because that is what the witnesses say. But then (leaving aside the all but irrelevant credibility of the testimonies), why refute my writings at the technical and documentary level?
Having created from nothing the "three huts" and the homicidal function of the structure under discussion, Zimmerman ventures into a comical "prediction" of half a page in which he himself presents and refutes objections which are based on the two false conclusions mentioned above.
The thing is so absurd that it is not worth dwelling upon.
The pits "recently bulldozed":
On examining the aerial photograph of 31 May 1944, Zimmerman's other "expert" Lucas found
«four, possibly five large, recently bulldozed linear excavations... The total length of these excavations is between 1,200 and 1,500 feet. All appear to have recently been covered over, since no shadows are evident. These excavations have the classic appearance of a mass grave site...»
Mattogno claimed that these grave sites had ceased being used in 1943 with the completion of the four crematoria. However, Luca's observation about their recently being bulldozed shows that they were in current use (Body Disposal, p.43).
With his typical deceitfulness, Zimmerman writes that Mattogno "claimed that these grave sites had ceased being used in 1943 with the completion of the four crematoria." As he knows well, this is not my assertion but the official thesis of the Auschwitz Museum. In the previously cited article, Gas Chambers and Crematoria, an article Zimmerman is well aware of since he cites it more than once, Franciszek Piper writes:
So it is only arbitrarily - that is, without the support of any document or any testimony - "without any proof!" - that Zimmerman can claim that the presumed "cremation pits" or "grave sites" of the so-called Bunker were active after the crematoria came into operation.
As to the "four, possibly five large, recently bulldozed linear excavations" identified by Lucas, something similar is found 650 m directly east of Krema II, an area where no witness has ever asserted there were common graves. In fact, on the official map of Birkenau appearing on p. 27 of Danuta Czech's Kalendararium, this region is not even mentioned. The "Massengräber" are located in a region north of Krema V, beside the "Scheiterhaufen" of Bunker 1; other "Scheiterhaufen" are indicated in the area of Bunker 2. 144
Therefore, whatever these possible "excavations" may be, they are not associated with the homicidal Bunker.
The distance, as the crow flies, between possible "excavations" and Bunker 2 is about 600 meters, but the distance by road is much longer. The two areas are connected by two roads. One, of about 1,500 meters, first goes north-east, then turns back towards the south-west, then goes south. The other, about 1,300 meters long, enters the camp in a south-westerly direction, makes a long curve through the Kläranlage area and again leaves the camp in an easterly direction as an extension of the Lagestrasse which ran alongside the railway platform.
Since there was enough space for the "cremation pits" in the region of the "White Bunker" what was the point of digging so far away?
Zimmerman himself makes a similar objection to which I will respond below:
Finally, what does "recently bulldozed" mean in terms of time? The assertion of Van Alstine that "all appear to have recently been covered over, since no shadows are evident" is patently false because all the "excavations" show edges covered with thick vegetation, so that had they been common graves, nothing prevents them from being inactive already since the beginning of 1943.
The terrestrial photographs
In 1996 he cited the incomplete version of the photo..." (p.8).
Moreover Zimmerman shows - once again - his bibliographical ignorance. The two photographs had already appeared in the following publications, among others: in 1978 in the book Auschwitz (Oswiecim) Camp hitlérien d'extermination, 145 in 1980 in the book KL Auschwitz. Fotografie dokumentalne. 146 They were published by Pressac in 1983 in the book L'album d'Auschwitz, 147 and again by Pressac in 1989 in his Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (p. 422). The clearest photograph (that corresponding to negative 278) was already published by, among others, Jan Sehn in 1961 148 and also by Danuta Czech in the 1989 German edition of her Kalendarium (p.791).
I do not really understand what Zimmerman means when he speaks of the "expanded" photographs. The two photographs in question were taken through an open door from the inside of Krema V. The original photographs are those published by Pressac, which show the rectangular shape of the door. In any case, the photographs are cut to correspond with the door jambs, and it is probably this type of reproduction which Zimmerman names "expanded." 149 If this is so, he is also mistaken here, since the photograph published by Jan Sehn already in 1961 is "expanded" in this way.
"Cremation pits " or pyres?
Earlier I cited the expression "na stosach" which appears in the 13 November 1990 letter from the Auschwitz Museum. This expression means "on pyres." The roll of film containing the photographs under discussion (which refers to August 1944) was clandestinely removed from the camp. The note accompanying the roll says that the photographs depict "jeden ze stosów na wolnym powietrzu" ("one150 of the open-air pyres"). 151 Therefore, the person himself who obtained the clandestine roll of film in the first place and who must have known what he had photographed speaks of "pyres" and not of "cremation pits."
Analysis of the photographs
In My Banned Holocaust Interview (p.43) I wrote the following on the above photograph:
Our professor writes:
It is impossible to tell how many additional Sonderkommandos and bodies were involved because the photo simply does not cover the total relevant area from Krema V to the pits. (...).
Second, and more importantly, it is impossible to tell how many bodies are being burned because smoke is obscuring the pits. For all Mattogno knows there could have been hundreds of additional bodies being burned. The photo shows 50 cadavers - not the 30 claimed by Mattogno from the incomplete photo - which have not yet been burned. The thick smoke from the photo shows that a significant burning operation is underway. This means that there were more bodies than the 30 mentioned by Mattogno" (pp.8-9).
The photograph in question is presented by Zimmerman and his associates as proof of the reality of mass cremation, so as proof of mass extermination at Birkenau. The true problem then is this: Does the photograph in effect show mass cremation?
As I showed above, mass extermination and mass cremation means thousands of persons per day.
Let us therefore examine the order of magnitude of what is in the photograph. The photograph corresponding to negative No. 278 shows a field of vision of about nine meters, of which the smoke - at the level of the base of the wire fence poles - takes up a length of around seven meters. The photograph corresponding to negative No. 277 similarly shows a visual field of about nine meters but it was taken from a different angle. For this reason it extends the field of view by about two meters. Here, at the level of the base of the poles there is a space of about four meters without smoke. At the extreme left appears a rather blurred figure resembling a guard with a gun over his shoulder. In this area no smoke appears, so that this is the left-hand limit of the area under smoke.
In the first photograph there appears eight standing figures in civilian clothing who are assigned to the burning. On the extreme left the leg of a ninth person is visible which almost certainly belongs to the guard of the second photograph. In this photograph six figures in civilian clothing appear who are assigned to the burning and the guard. Since the two photographs show fields of vision which overlap laterally in about 75%, the figures in question are the same and their numbers do not need to be added together. Which is what Zimmerman has done in Body Disposal writing "it is possible to see 14 Sonderkommandos in uniform [sic!] " (p.45).
Here there are two possibilities: either Zimmerman is too inept to not have understood that the figures in the two photographs are the same - so 8 not 14 - or he has understood this and intended to deceive the reader.
It is now clear that the detainee who took the two photographs wanted to document the "atrocities" of the SS and photographed what seemed to him or what he thought the addressees of the photographs would regard as the most hideous. So if to the right of the field of vision of the first photograph there had been a more atrocious scene than in the second photograph, the detainee photographer would not have missed taking a picture of it: from his position it would have been enough to take half a step to the left rather than to the right. If then the detainee photographer preferred to overlap the field of vision of the two photographs on the left, wasting four meters of "atrocities" (the four meters without smoke), it signifies that on the right there was nothing "atrocious" of interest. That is, it means that the area under smoke began at the right-hand edge of the first photograph. For this reason the smoking area had a length of about 7-8 meters.
As to the number of cadavers, Zimmerman judges that the photograph "shows 50 cadavers." Incredibile dictu, in this tangle of inextricable bodies, our professor has counted them as exactly 50! And he admonishes me for having estimated them by eye to be "about thirty." 152
It is also possible that the number of cadavers is about 50, but that does not in the least change the order of magnitude of the number.
If, on the other hand, Zimmerman has examined them so thoroughly as to count 50 exactly, he will certainly have noticed the strangeness of certain cadavers. For example, the one lying at the feet of a standing man with his right arm stretched out could easily be the body of an alien. Another has no face. It is clear that the cadavers have been badly touched up on the negative.
Recapitulating, what is the order of magnitude which appears in the photographs under discussion?
To this point Zimmerman raises another objection, to which I already alluded above.
In 1944 there was no reason to transport the cadavers so far away. In my view, the courtyard north of Krema V was chosen as a burning area only because it was the zone within the camp most protected from indiscrete gazes. Besides, in this way the mortuary chambers for the accumulated cadavers awaiting cremation became available.
I do not wish to waste the documentation in my possession on any Zimmerman on the question of Sonderaktionen (and of Sonderbehandlung). The interested reader will find the matter discussed in the book I am preparing: Sonderbehandlung ad Auschwitz. Genesi e significato (Sonderbehandlung at Auschwitz. Its Genesis and Significance). I can only anticipate that, as usual, Zimmerman knows nothing and has understood nothing about this subject.
Here I limit myself to discussing the document of 16 December 1942. In Body Disposal Zimmerman provided an interpretation of this document - be it only in an hypothetical way - which is clearly refuted by the text itself. He supposed that the SS had executed "some of the workers" while the text says that "all civilian workers" were subjected to Sonderaktion! Now, instead of admitting his error, in My Response Zimmerman even tried to confirm his interpretation by clutching at straws:
But he should not be discouraged by this: perhaps he will obtain better results by interpreting the text with gematria!
Zimmerman rejects Pressac's interpretation, which is the most reasonable, for the following reason:
On 4 January 1943 Bischoff informed Kammler that it was not possible to respect even these terms, and Kammler accepted this state of affairs on condition that the workers went ahead as quickly as possible. Bischoff had kept him informed on the progress of the work by means of "Fernschreiben." 154
That Zimmerman has not understood anything of this, should not be surprising.
But why should a document on the crematoria have been "secret?" In this regard Zimmerman writes:
This is a reminder of decree Number 35 of June 19,1942.
As is stated in this decree SS-Lieutenant Colonel Dejaco 155 is personally responsible that all in and outgoing plans are registered in an orderly fashion in a specific book. All outgoing plans have to be signed by the person receiving them.
Furthermore, all this work is related to econo-military tasks that must be kept secret.
Specifically, the plans for the crematoria must be strictly controlled [strengstens zu beaufsichtigen]. No plans are to be passed to the work brigade of others. During the construction work they are to be kept under lock and key... In particular attention should be paid to the regulations of D.V. 91 (secret matters/documents). [Vorschluss (sic)156 -Sachen]" (pp.35-36).
In this regard I observe the following:
1. This document refers exclusively to "plans" in general and to those for the crematoria in particular. It does not in the least mention the ordinary correspondence on the crematoria.
Therefore Zimmerman's claim that there never appears any mention of "geheim" in this correspondence consequent to the above order is unfounded. This cannot even be inferred for the "plans" of the crematoria themselves. The document does not refer to the bureaucratic question of affixing the "geheim" stamp on these "plans," but to the practical problem of supervising them carefully.
As far as the crematoria are concerned, the motivation behind this arrangement was the fact that the Zentralbauleitung regularly entrusted the crematory plans to civilian firms which carried out the work, and it was not known in which hands the plans might end up.
2. The crematoria had no privilege of secrecy over other Bauwerke. A letter from the SS-Neubauleitung of Dachau of 30 September 1940 mentions the fact that "laut Befehl des Reichsführer-SS sämtliche Pläne über Bauten in Konzentrationslager als Geheimepläne zu betrachten sind." 157
3. Not even the concentration camps had any privilege of secrecy. In the «Vernichtungsprotokoll über die Vernichtung des "Geheimen Sachen" und "Geheimen Reichssachen"» of the Todt Organisation of 30 January 1945, we find among the "State Secrets" which were destroyed items such as "Fliegerschademeldung," "Belüftung Bunkertypen," "Baumaterial," "Bau eines zusätzl. Feuerlöschbunkers," "Trinkwasserversorgung," "Brücke Oderfurt," "Fliegerangriff." 158
If Zimmerman had adequate historical or documentary knowledge he would be aware that for the SS everything was "geheim," as Pressac pointed out!
The cremation and the "technical" fantasies of Daniel Keren
In his "technical" discussion, Keren repeats all of Zimmerman's absurd conjectures but adds some new ones. So here I will deal briefly with Daniel Keren's new "technical" conjectures.
"Burning more than one corpse simultaneously"
Keren immediately begins with a lie: the "Holocaust revisionists" do not say that multiple cremation in the crematory coke ovens of Auschwitz-Birkenau is "impossible" but that in this way an economically good cremation, that is, one effectively saving time and fuel, is "impossible."
The example cited by this other naïve person cannot even remotely serve as a term of comparison, because he considers ultramodern installations heated with gas or liquid fuel and also because he does not specify the duration of such multiple cremations nor how much fuel they require.
In the face of chemical and physical laws, the declarations of Tauber are worth as much as those of Zimmerman.
"Running the furnaces continually":
Keren then writes that the revisionists state that "continuous operation harms the furnaces." He objects saying that the truth is the contrary, as is indicated by the 14 July 1941 letter of Topf to the SS-Neubauleitung of Mauthausen (which this dilettante knows only through Kalendarium of Auschwitz!), which says (I cite from the original document):
The assertion of Topf is most true in theory, but in practice a forced draft would have exposed the refractory masonry to a larger thermal load, and so to a greater wear. In fact, it was about the guarantee for the oven - that is, the financial expenditure - for which Topf imposed the following conditions on its clients:
The second reason cited by Keren is this:
The story of cremations without fuel is a fable on which in non suspect times even Kurt Prüfer would have expressed irony.
When engineer Hans Volckmann wrote in 1930 that the gas-heated oven conceived by himself and Karl Ludwig (the famous Volckmann-Ludwig oven which became the most dangerous rival of the gas-heated Topf ovens) and which was installed in the Hamburg-Ohlsdorf crematorium, cremated 3,500 cadavers in seven months 165 with a total coke consumption of hardly 103 m3, Prüfer objected:
Should the assertions on cremation without supplementary gas be precise, the temperature of the exhaust gas 166 would have to be equal to the ambient temperature, which no technical expert on combustion can seriously maintain since in thermal balance the inevitable losses of heat from the exhaust gas and the cold air which flows in when the coffin is introduced 167 are disadvantages which cannot be avoided."
On the other hand, the Birkenau three-muffle coke ovens had a rather crude system for delivering air for combustion. They were equipped with a single blower [compressed air appliance] (Druckluftanlage) which served all three muffles without the possibility of regulating the flow of air into each muffle. The end-part of the air conduit was walled in over the bend of the muffle; the air emerged from the conduit by passing over four rectangular 10 cm × 8 cm apertures made in the refractory masonry, so from top to bottom, exactly the opposite principle of the Müller oven!
On the other hand, the eight-muffle ovens in Kremas IV and V were completely without Druckluftanlage. But in spite of this, according to the Zentralbauleitung letter of 28 June 1943 referring to one muffle, they had exactly the same cremation capacity as the three-muffle ovens, as the following calculation shows:
Eight-muffle oven: 768 ÷ 8 = 96 cadavers per muffle in 24 hours.
But then, what was the use of the Druckluftanlagen? Clearly none at all!
The fact that American Holocaust institutions, in spite of their enormous financial resources, have been reduced to placing their trust in naïve dilettanti like Zimmerman and Keren as the best "specialists" on cremation, is proof of the inexorable collapse of "Holocaust" history.
AMM: Archive of the Museum of Mauthausen
(Öffentliches Denkmal und Museum Mauthausen)
APMO: Archiwum Pastwowego Muzeum Oswiecim-Brzezinka
AK : Bundesarchiv Koblenz
TCIDK: Tsentr Chranenjia Istoriko-dokumental'nich Kollektsii
(Center for the Custody of the Historical-Documentary Collection),