Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How many people were killed at Ponary?

Author: Roberto Muehlenkamp
In the community Rudamina, in the small forest Paneriai[1],near the railway station of Paneriai, a neighborhood of Vilnius, the largest killing site in Lithuania during its occupation by Nazi Germany was located. Known as Ponary to Poles and as Paneriai to Lithuanians[2],the place was mainly used for killing Jews from the Vilna Ghetto, but Jews from other places, non-Jewish civilians and Soviet prisoners of war were also shot there. In this article the Polish name Ponary will be used.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Wehrmacht Involvement in Extermination Actions in the Crimea

Author: Jonathan Harrison
The Wehrmacht's role in the extermination of Jews in Crimea can be summarized in three forms of evidence. Firstly, Manstein gave an order on November 20, 1941, that was clearly incendiary, filled with biological racism and indicating a willingness to condone mass killing on racial grounds. Secondly, the fourteen command HQ[1]subordinated to Korueck 553 (11th Army Rear Army Command) issued killing reports that showed a willingness not just to hand over Jews to the SD but also to kill them using their own military police. Thirdly, documents and testimonies describe the involvement of the command HQ and their soldiers in providing transport and manpower to the Einsatzkommandos.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

What Did Reginald Paget Deny and Accept?

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Manstein's defence attorney Reginald Paget has been used by deniers, such as Mattogno and Graf here, to support their claim that there was no extermination policy in the Crimea. Below I will show that Paget's opening speech to the Manstein trial regarding extermination policy was far less convenient to modern deniers than they assume. On the one hand, Manstein supported denial to the extent of claiming that killing numbers in Operational Situation Reports were massively exaggerated and that the SD did not have the manpower or time to carry out that volume of killing. He also denied that the Wehrmacht shot Jews because they were Jews rather than because of partisan warfare. On the other hand, however, Paget accepted that the SD had received "an assignment to exterminate the Jews" and that "resettlement" was a camouflage term for execution.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Rubin and Schwanitz can't tell Ukraine from East Prussia.

Author: Sergey Romanov
While researching the topic of the Mufti's collaboration with the Nazis I stumbled upon a really embarrassing series of mistakes in Barry Rubin's and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz's Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Yale University Press, 2014).

The authors zealously struggle to pin as many crimes on the Mufti (surely an execrable Nazi collaborator) as they can get away with, specifically they try to show the plausibility of him having visited some extermination camps including Auschwitz (even though there is no credible evidence of such a visit). And so they write on p. 164:

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Did Wisliceny claim that the Mufti visited Auschwitz and was one of the initiators of the Final Solution?

Author: Sergey Romanov
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al-Husseini was without a doubt a vicious Nazi collaborator. On 28.11.1941 he met with Hitler who personally promised the following to him:
Germany’s goal would then be solely the extermination of the Jewry living in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most competent spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operation secretly prepared by him.
Das deutsche Ziel würde dann lediglich die Vernichtung des im arabischen Raum unter der Protektion der britischen Macht lebenden Judentums sein. In dieser Stunde würde dann auch der Mufti der berufenste Sprecher der arabischen Welt sein. Es würde ihm obliegen, die von ihm insgeheim vorbereitete arabische Aktion auszulösen.
In 1943 he was trying to block the transfer of 4000 Jewish children from Bulgaria to Palestine, suggesting to Ribbentrop they should be sent to Poland instead. In 1944 he was calling onto Arabs to "kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion. This serves your honor, God is with you".

According to his own memoir (published in Damascus) he was privy to the information about the extermination of Jews. He tells about a meeting with Himmler in the summer of 1943 during which he was told by the latter:
up to now we have exterminated around three million of them.
In the memoir the Mufti feigns surprise at this revelation. He admits though:
Their losses in the course of the Second World War represented more than thirty percent of the total number of their people...
So at least he was not a Holocaust denier. Now, all this aside, let's look at some widespread claims about the Mufti.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Evidence of Extermination in Pyatigorsk, North Caucacus

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Back in 2011, Roberto included this image of a child called Svetlana in his excellent article The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in the USSR (1). By comparing the image with this Yad Vashem page, I was able to establish that her full name was Svetlana Rudinskaya, she was killed on December 31, 1942 (or the following day), at the Mashuk Mountain overlooking Pyatigorsk in Stavropol Krai of the North Caucacus, and her body was exhumed on January 13, 1943.

The killing of the Jews of Pyatigorsk began on September 6-8, 1941, at the glass factory of Mineralnye Vody, according to the testimony of Pfeifer at his Soviet trial in 1968, after Jews from Essentuki and Zheleznovosk had been killed on September 2-5 and before Kislovodosk Jews were killed on September 9 (source: The Complete Black Book of Soviet Jewry). This was followed in October by murders in gas vans, according to testimonies here. The final action of the New Year was just prior to the German retreat and seems to have targeted professionals.

Friday, March 30, 2018

How the Fate of the Krymchaks Refutes Mattogno

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Mattogno claims repeatedly that Soviet Jews were shot for security reasons rather than on racial grounds. In Treblinka, for example, he and Graf paraphrased Mayer's formulation to claim that "the massacres of the eastern Jews was not part of a comprehensive plan of extermination, but occurred as the result of the inexorable radicalization of the war in the east and because the eastern Jews were classified by the SS as carriers of Bolshevism." However, Kiril Feferman's work has shown how German killing policies for Krymchaks directly reflected changes in racial policy. To demonstrate this, I will discuss two documents in my possession. Feferman originally cited these documents from different archives than those from which my copies are sourced, so the references below are mine, not his.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Killing of Jews and Krymchaks in Karasubazar, Crimea

Author: Jonathan Harrison
A report by Ortskommandantur II/937 on February 14, 1942, included a survey showing that, of 8,789 people counted in Karasubazar (today Bilohirsk), only one was a Jew and one a Krymchak (NOKW-1688, BArch B 162/657, p.76). Other documents show how the killing of the rest had occurred in stages.

On December 14, 1941, Ortskommandantur Karasubasar Stab Wachbatl. (B) 49 had reported that 76 Jewish men, women (referred to as "Weiber") and children had been taken to a field four days previously and not seen again (BArch B 162/657, p.163); a Soviet Commission report from 1944 shown here collected testimonies about the shooting of the adult Jews and poisoning of the children; killings at this location were also noted in the West German indictment against Johannes Schlupper, 1971. A Soviet testimony from 1973 is shown here. On January 2, 1942, EM 150 recorded Karasubazar as one of the locations in western Crimea that was "free of Jews" due to 17,645 having been liquidated in the region between November 16 and December 15, 1941.

The Krymchaks (numbering 468) were killed in two gas vans on January 17-18, 1942, according to the testimonies given here and here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Georg Leibbrandt and the Killing of Jews in the USSR: A Case Study of Mattogno's Methods

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Georg Leibbrandt was one of two members of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (RMfdbO) who attended the Wannsee conference. Mattogno has discussed him on numerous occasions, most recently in the Italian edition of volume 1 of his forthcoming Einsatzgruppen Handbook where Mattogno cites him seven times, six of which are duplicated from his response of 2013 to our White Paper. The one new reference in the Italian edition is the false claim, as shown below, that Leibbrandt regarded Soviet Jews as only a political and partisan enemy rather than a race that had to be eliminated on biological grounds. The six recycled references entail a misrepresentation of Leibbrandt's correspondence with Hinrich Lohse of the Reichskommissariat Ostland in the Autumn of 1941 as supporting resettlement of Jews eastwards. An analysis of Leibbrandt's involvement in anti-Jewish policy can therefore form a useful case study of how Mattogno manipulates sources on German perpetrators.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Farewell (1943)

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

Until 31 December 1942, the Sonderkommando Kulmhof had systematically murdered about 4,400 Sinti and Roma and 145,301 Jews  (Document 234). The Jews of the Warthegau had been wiped out except for the "labour ghetto" in Litzmannstadt and Jews loaned to outside work-sites. Since life as a Sonderkommando member was comparable pleasant and beneficial - with bonus payments, free tabacco and alcohol, no front duty, absence of military discipline, access to cheap goods from the rich warehouses of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Administration - and facing the prospect of front-line service, the Kulmhof commandant Hans Bothmann seemed to have stretched the dismantling and closing of the camp over the whole Winter 1942/43. [1]

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Correction Corner #7: false Stuckart quote about the "extermination of Jews".

Author: Sergey Romanov
Sometimes the following alleged quote is ascribed to Wilhelm Stuckart (a Wannsee conference participant):
Die Judenvernichtung findet ihre Rechtfertigung daher nicht nur in der Andersartigkeit, sondern auch in der Anderswertigkeit des Judentums. 
The extermination of the Jews is therefore justified not only by the otherness, but also by the different value of the Jewry.
This allegedly comes from Stuckart's and Schiedermair's book Rassen- und Erbpflege in der Gesetzgebung des Reiches, 3rd edition, 1942.

The citation or a mention of it appears e.g. in Christian Gerlach's The Extermination of the European Jews, 2016, p. 146 (with a reference to U. Herbert, Best: Biographische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft 1903-1989, 1996, p. 286); in Hans-Christian Jasch's Staatssekretär Wilhelm Stuckart und die Judenpolitik, 2012, p. 364 and in the article "Civil service lawyers and the Holocaust" in A. Steinweis, R. Rachlin (eds.), The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice, 2013, p. 52 (both times with a reference to D. Majer, Grundlagen des nationalsozialistischen Rechtssystems, 1987, pp. 142ff.; in the first source Jasch points out that this sentence is not found in the 2nd and the 4th editions); in Mark Roseman, "Beyond Conviction? ...", in F. Biess, M. Roseman, H. Schissler (eds.), Conflict, Catastrophe and Continuity: Essays on Modern German History, 2007, p. 95 (with a reference to Herbert, 1996);  et cetera.

However Horst Dreier points out (among other places, in Die deutsche Staatsrechtslehre in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, 2001, p. 40n150 and in Staatsrecht in Demokratie und Diktatur, 2016, p. 217n150) that the word "Judenvernichtung" (extermination of Jews) does not appear in the 3rd edition (or in the whole 3rd Reich literature on the constitutional law that he had read). Rather, the following does appear there:
Die Judenvorschriften finden ihre Rechtfertigung daher nicht nur in der Andersartigkeit, sondern auch in der Anderswertigkeit des Judentums. 
The Jewish regulations are therefore justified not only by the otherness, but also by the different value of the Jewry.
The third edition of Stuckart's and Schiedermair's book is available online, so we can see that Dreier is correct:

It would seem that the incorrect quote was first used by Diemut Majer. Thus, we see it in "Fremdvölkische" im Dritten Reich: ein Beitrag zur nationalsozialistichen Rechtssetzung und Rechtspraxis in Verwaltung und Justiz unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der eingegliederten Ostgebiete und des Generalgouvernements, 1981, p. 121 and Majer's subsequent 1987 book and Herbert's 1996 book (that must have relied on Majer) are the main sources for the spread of the false version.

The latest publication of the English translation of Majer's book - “Non-Germans” Under The Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe, with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939–1945, 2013, still contains the quote.

Herbert corrected the quote in the 2016 edition of his book (p. 306).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book chapter "Holocaust denial in the age of web 2.0" by Nicholas Terry Available Online

Author: Hans Metzner
The multi-author book Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective edited by Paul Behrens, Olaf Jensen and Nicholas Terry (2017) is a more recent publication on the development, incidence and encountering of Genocide Denial in general and Holocaust Denial specifically. The chapter Holocaust denial in the age of web 2.0 by Holocaust Controversies' Nick Terry is online available at google books. Its conclusion points out these seven reasons which "can be adduced for the decline of Holocaust denial":
1 Consistent social disapproval
2 Its political ineffectiveness
3 The ease of finding other ways of expressing anti-Semitism or delegitimising Israel
4 Loss of 'market share' to other conspiracy theories
5 Inability to cope with the volume of recent Holocaust research
6 Lack of novelty
7 The ageing of the 'movement'
(Behrens et al., Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective, p. 53)

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Drinks and Tobacco (With Excursus on the Extermination of the Sinti and Roma)

Author: Hans Metzner

Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

The fate of the about 5,000 Sinti and Roma deported from the Reichsgaue Niederdonau (Lower Danube) and Steiermark in annexed Austria to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in early November 1941 and forced to vegetate in the most inadequate conditions was sealed when a typhus epidemic broke out in early December 1941 [1] and, incidentally, an extermination camp was established 70 km North-West of Litzmannstadt: Kulmhof. The liquidation of the Sinti and Roma from the Ghetto by the Sonderkommando in December 1941/January 1942 was going beyond its initially assigned task to exterminate 100,000 Warthegau Jews and marked another escalation of the type of victims targeted after mental patients and unfit Jews.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Motor Pool and Fuel

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

Unlike the extermination camps in the Generalgouvernement, Kulmhof was not located next and connected to a main railway line. The victims were buried and disposed not on site, but some 4 km north in a forest. The Sonderkommando had to put considerable own effort in the transport logistics to get the victims to the killing site and the corpses to the burial site. Moreover, the belongings of the killed Jews had to be transported away again. Its motor pool and fuel supply - the latter provided by the State Economic Office of the Warthegau (Gerlich) via the Gestapo Posen (Lohse) to the Kulmhof commandants (Lange, Bothmann) - were thus essential for the smooth operation of the mass murder.

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Motor Pool and Fuel (Appendix)

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

Documents-Appendix to Motor Pool and Fuel

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

More on "Biological eradication (biologische Ausmerzung)"

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Back in 2015, in this posting, I took Mattogno to task for his ridiculous attempt (made here, pp.281-282) to neutralize Rosenberg's press briefing of November 18, 1941. I would now like to expand upon this by citing an observation made by Alex J. Kay, in this book, which includes an excellent discussion of Rosenberg's role in the planning process for occupation of the USSR up to July 1941. On June 20, 1941, Rosenberg used the term "evacuation" to refer to the starvation, not deportation, of ethnic Russians, who Hitler had decided should not be allowed to survive the bombardment of major cities, most notably Leningrad and Moscow (and subsequently Kiev).

Rosenberg's usage came in the speech presented in the International Military Tribunal as 1058-PS; Hartley Shawcross read the following extract to the court on July 27, 1946:
The object of feeding the German people stands this year without a doubt at the top of the list of Germany's claims on the East, and there the southern territories and the Northern Caucasus will have to serve as a balance for the feeding of the German people. We see absolutely no reason for any obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people with the products of that surplus territory. We know that this is a harsh necessity bare of any feelings. A very extensive evacuation will be necessary without any doubt, and it is sure that the future will hold very hard years in store for the Russians [translation in National Conspiracy and Aggression, III, pp.716-717].
Rosenberg's use of expulsion as a euphemism for mass death therefore had a genesis in Rosenberg's contribution to the pre-Barbarossa starvation proposals, which had been initiated by Backe but not explicitly endorsed by Rosenberg until this "evacuation" speech. As Kay shows (here, p.689), Rosenberg was using "evacuation" to euphemize the deaths of 30 million people.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Hitler and the "Asiatic Races"

Author: Jonathan Harrison
In December 1942, Hitler held a meeting concerning the Netherlands with Mussert, Seyss-Inquart, Himmler, Lammers, Schmidt and Bormann. The meeting's notes, written up by Bormann, were published in 1976 in the collection De SS en Nederland Documenten uit de SS-archieven 1935-1945, which was recently made available through NIOD and Wikimedia Commons here in two pdf files. The first file, from pages 893-899, reproduces Bormann's record of the meeting.

In one of its key passages, Hitler depicts the war in the East as a life-or-death struggle because the Bolsheviks would exterminate all European strata (p.895). Hitler also makes it clear that his opposition to the Bolsheviks is racial, not political or ideological: Germany is up against the Asiatic races who intend to destroy European civilization and impose race-mixing (p.894).

These remarks can be compared to other sources. Hitler was, in part, echoing Diewerge's formulation "Who Should Die — Germans or Jews?" The same day that Bormann produced his notes, Goebbels wrote in his diary, "Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Fuehrer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world." Crucially, however, Hitler's comments were not just antisemitic but pointed to a willingness to exterminate all 'Asiatic' life in his path that was incompatible with his view of European civilization. They therefore converge with the starvation goals of May 1941, in which the Nazis were willing to condemn to death thirty million people (see, for example, Kay, p.689), and the plan to to totally destroy the major Soviet cities and make the areas uninhabitable (see here).

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Mattogno on the Mass Graves at Ponary (Part 3)

Author: Roberto Muehlenkamp
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Now, let’s look at the Ponary photos that Mattogno "examined", and at what (other) photos that may be relevant to Mattogno’s argument regarding the exhumed corpses mentioned in the 26 August 1944 report (and/or to his other arguments presented in this context) are available in the online archives of The Ghetto Fighters House and Yad Vashem. All photos must, of course, be credited to the respective institution in whose archives they are featured, respectively The Ghetto Fighters’ House and Yad Vashem. Photos that appear in both collections are shown only once, with the references in each of these collections.

Whether or not they were taken at Ponary, some of these photos are very graphic and should not be viewed by sensitive readers.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Photographic Documentation of the Shooting of a Woman and Child in Miropol

Author: Jonathan Harrison
This photograph was taken by the Slovak soldier, Skrovina Lubomir, in Miropol, Ukraine in October 1941. It is one of two known photographs documenting the shooting of women and children at close range in a public park by Ukrainian policemen attached to Order Police Battalion 303. Lubomir testified in Prague in 1958 that he was in a unit guarding bridges when he and two others were assigned to attend the execution, at which 94 Jews (including 49 children) were murdered. The two shooters on the photo are Ukrainian, the 3 Order Police commanders are German.

Source of the photo is USHMM, originally from Security Services Archive, Prague, H-770-3.0020. Source of the context and archival reference is Wendy Lower, 'Axis Collaboration, Operation Barbarossa, and the Holocaust in Ukraine', in A. Kay, J. Rutherford, & D. Stahel (eds.), Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization, Boydell & Brewer, 2012, p.200.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mattogno on the Mass Graves at Ponary (Part 2)

Author: Roberto Muehlenkamp
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Back now to Mattogno’s considerations regarding the August 1944 commission’s report as concerns excavations at Ponary and finds of human corpses and cremation remains.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Mattogno on the Mass Graves at Ponary (Part 1)

Author: Roberto Muehlenkamp
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Introduction

This is the first of a series of articles discussing Carlo Mattogno’s claims and arguments regarding mass graves at the Ponary mass killing site near Vilnius, Lithuania. It is based on the 153rd of my posts on the forum of the "Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust" that was censored (i.e. "disapproved" or truncated beyond recognition, in both cases on the flimsiest of mendacious pretexts, or deleted after publication) since early July 2017 (the number would be higher if my job had not been such a hustle in the past months, leaving little if any time for pastimes both online and offline). Said censorship is further proof of what is already common knowledge, namely that open debate on the Holocaust is the last thing that said "Committee" is interested in and wishes to provide.

Commendably none other than Friedrich Paul Berg, one of the least commendable exponents of Holocaust denial, expressed his opinion about CODOH censorship with unusual frankness. He gets points for that.

That said, I move on to the first article of this series, which owes much to the gratefully acknowledged, very valuable input of my fellow bloggers Jonathan Harrison, Nick Terry and Sergey Romanov.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nazi shrunken heads, human skin lampshades, human soap, textiles from human hair? Sorting out the truth from the legends.

Author: Sergey Romanov
[Last updated on 12.02.2018]

In this article several claims about the use of the bodies of the Nazi victims will be examined. An attempt will be made to separate the facts from the rumors and legends that inevitably arose during and after the war and still live in the public consciousness.

1. Shrunken heads.
2. Human skin lampshades.
3. Human soap.
4. Human hair.
5. Summary.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Fake Footage of Auschwitz-Birkenau Football Match in Hungarian Documentary

Author: Hans Metzner
As I learned from this youtube clip, there is a documentary KL Auschwitz by Bárány László from 2008 aired on Hungarian television including footage of a football match apparently taking place in Auschwitz-Birkenau (here and here). On a closer look, it turns out that the scenes are not authentic footage from the concentration camp.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - The Polish Working Detail

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

The Polish working detail of Sonderkommando Kulmhof was situated in the grey zone between prisoners and collaborators. Once imprisoned in Fort VII in Posen, the Poles were forced to empty the gas van and bury the corpses during the Euthanasia killings of Sonderkommando Lange in 1940/1941. At the beginning in December 1941, the same job awaited for them in Kulmhof extermination camp, until a permanent Jewish working detail was established for the forest camp at latest in early January 1942 (see section Mass Graves here). During the erection of the camp, the Polish prisoners constructed the wooden ramp and fence used for loading the gas vans. [1] They were regarded as sufficiently trustworthy and reliable by the Sonderkommando leadership for more critical and responsible work, like collecting the Jewelry and money of the Jews in the Kulmhof palace [2] (also ref 3 here), searching the orifices of the corpses for valuables (ref 5 here), accompanying the SS and police men outside the camp, [3] supervising the undressing of the Jewish victims and forcing them into the gas vans, [4] supervising the Jewish working details, [5] driving the vehicles including the gas vans, [6] possibly establishing the connection between the exhaust and the gassing box (the claim should be taken carefully as it was made by perpetrators to exculpate themselves), [7] maintenance services on the Sonderkommando motor pool. [8]

In return for their loyal service, the members of the Polish working detail were awarded with a large degree of freedom and preferential treatment. They were accommodated on the upper floor of the Kulmhof palace, but could move around freely in the camp and in the village [9] , as illustrated by a series of photographs showing them strolling and posing in Kulmhof village as well as drinking beer with members of the Police Sonderkommando at the Kulmhof palace (for example Figure 1 and 2). [10] They could meet Polish women and were in some cases allowed to pick Jewish girls from the transports for the night. [11] After the war, one of its members Henryk Mania claimed that "I did not run away, because I was afraid that my family will be killed as they threatened in the beginning" - a motive corroborated by the local residents Jozef Grabowski and Jan Krysinski, but contradicted by another Polish worker, Henryk Maliczak. [12]

Figure 1: Members of the Polish working detail on the bridge across the river Ner with the Kulmhof village in the background (1942/early 1943). From left to right: Henryk Mania, Stanislaw Polubinski, Lech Jaskolski, Kajetan Skrzypczynsk, Henryk Maliczak; photograph from Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, image 28, online available here (see also examination of Henryk Mania of  14 April 1964, Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 123 ff.).

Figure 2: Members of the Polish working detail and Police Sonderkommando drinking beer in front of the Kulmhof palace (1942/early 1943). Photograph from Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, image 27, online available here, see also close-up here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Funding

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

On 9 January 1942, when the killing of the Sinti and Roma of the Ghetto Litzmannstadt was completed, [1] the commandant Herbert Lange received a bar cheque for 20,000 RM from the Ghetto Administration "as special assignment for the gypsies' camp" (Document 105). The payment may have been a danger bonus for the Sonderkommando men because of typhus cases among the Sinti and Roma.

Apart from that, the extermination camp was apparently funded by the Provincial Government in Posen in this initial period of December - February 1942. The cash confiscated in Kulmhof was delivered to Posen, as shown by the transfer of a "surplus of Sonderkommando Kulmhof" of about 176,000 RM in late April 1942 from the Reich Governor's office to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Administration, which had been "accumulated at Sonderkommando Lange and [was] partly retained here" (Document 109). The transactions of the Sonderkommando were carried out with the postal cheque account 14551 of the "Landesversicherungsanstalt Wartheland" (State Insurance Institution) (Document 159). [2] Such cover up account - possibly related to the Health Insurance Department of Landesversicherungsanstalt Wartheland - might have been a relict of camouflaging the Euthanasia operations of Sonderkommando Lange.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Contemporary Handwritten Letter of Auschwitz Sonderkommando Prisoner Marcel Nadjari Deciphered

Author: Hans Metzner
According to a recent article Das Ungelesene lesen by the Russian historian Pavel Polian, 90% of the contemporary handwritten letter of the Sonderkommando prisoner Marcel Nadjari has been deciphered "through the use of multispectral images". Previously, the amount of readable text was limited to about 10%.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Pabianice Sorting Camp

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)
Part V: Funding
Part IX: Farewell (1943)

The first commandant Herbert Lange could resort in Kulmhof to his experience in organizing the killing and burial of people. In the first months of the extermination, he did, however, not anticipate the necessary efforts for properly storing and processing the luggage from the large scale mass killing. The effects were piled up behind the palace, thrown into in the nearby church and granary building.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Debunking the Partisan Meme: 2. Contents of Shooting Reports

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Further to Part 1, denier claims about Jews being shot on partisan grounds often ignore the elephant in the room, namely the overwhelming emphasis on the 'Jewish question' in the reports sent by the killers. The actions against Jews also fail to fulfill the criteria of partisan war, where one would expect the capture of enemy weapons and the killing of people on both sides in actual combat. Instead, the killers used euphemistic language such as "active or passive resistance", which enabled them to interpret any real or imagined gesture by a Jew as a hostile act. It often requires a deliberate and stubborn gullibility on the part of a denier to read the pretexts given in the Einsatzgruppen reports as genuine and valid reasons to execute someone.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Debunking the Partisan Meme: 1. The Killers' Racial Mission

Author: Jonathan Harrison
When deniers lamely seek to excuse German shooting policies in the USSR, one of their most common tactics is find references to partisans in the shooting reports and to take at face value the claim that Jews were shot because of their support for these partisans. For example, in 2013, Mattogno acknowledged Kube's report of July 1942 that 55,000 Jews had been shot in White Ruthenia in the last 10 weeks but claimed that the shootings were "motivated by the anti-partisan war and not by an extermination order of Jews for being Jews."[1]. This blog article debunks that claim in two parts. The first demonstrates that the Nazi leadership, Wehrmacht commanders and individual shooters often understood their mission to be a racial one: a war of extermination against Jews as a race. The second shows how the content of shooting reports betrays a racial motive and is inconsistent in its treatment of Jews as partisans.