Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jews Shot because They Were Jews

Author: Jonathan Harrison
In response to the brainless denier meme that Jews were only shot in the USSR because they were partisans, Communists, saboteurs or provocateurs (a meme that is antisemitic on its face, because no other group was automatically shot because it was assumed to inherently possess those characteristics), below are a list of quotes from Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Reports [hereafter EMs] which show that being a Jew alone - and for no other reason - was sufficient to get a person shot, regardless of age, class, gender or political history.

1) EM 173:
In the course of a routine Security Police screening of an additional part of the civilian population around Leningrad, 140 more people had to be shot. The reasons for this were as follows:

a) Active participation in the Communist Party before the arrival of the German troops;

b) Seditious and provocative activity since the arrival of the German Army;
c) Partisan activity;

d) Espionage;

e) Belonging to the Jewish race. 
2) EM 133. Although various pretexts are given here, the inclusion of children of all ages clearly shows that the motive was exclusively racial:
As a result of numereous complaints about their provocative behavior in Gorki (northeast of Mogilev) as well as in the surrounding area, a total of 2,200 Jews of all ages were liquidated in mopping-up operations in eight localities. They were, for the most part, Jews who had immigrated from the district of Minsk. Like the rest, they committed offences against the regulations of the German [occupation] forces. The operation was carried out in close cooperation with the Military Police.
In Mstislavl, about 80 km east of Mogilev, 900 Jews were liquidated for breaking regulations of the German forces, harboring partisans in transit, and providing them with food and clothing.
On October 19, 1941, a large-scale operation against the Jews was carried out in Mogilev with the aid of the Police Regiment 'Center.' 3,726 Jews of both sexes and all ages were liquidated by this action. These measures were necessary because, ever since the town of Mogilev was occupied by German troops, the Jews ignored the authority of the Occupying forces. In spite of previous measures taken against them, they not only failed to desist but continued their anti-German activities (sabotage, support of partisans, refusal to work, etc.) to such an extent and with such persistance that, in the interests of establishing order in the rear areas, it could no longer be tolerated.
On October 23, 1941, to prevent further acts of sabotage and to combat the partisans, a further number of Jews from Mogilev and the surrounding area, 239 of both sexes, were liquidated.
3) EM 92 demonstrates that "racial inferiority" was a criterion in Minsk:
All the executed persons were inferior elements whose presence here could not be tolerated [The Einsatzgruppen Reports edited Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, Yad Vashem, 1999, p. 154].
In addition to this, the term "Jewish question" or "Jewish problem" appears regularly in these reports. For example, EM 128 views the Reichenau Order in the context of the "Jewish problem":
Only with respect to the Jewish problem could a complete understanding with junior Army officers not be reached until quite recently. This was most noticeable during the taking over of prisoner-of-war camps. As a particularly clear example, the conduct of a camp commander in Vinitsa is to be mentioned. He strongly objected to the transfer of 362 Jewish prisoners-of-war carried out by his deputy, and even started court martial proceedings against the deputy and two other officers. Unfortunately, it often occurred that the Einsatzkommandos had to suffer more or less hidden reproaches for their persistent stand on the Jewish problem. Another difficulty was added by the order from the Army High Command prohibiting entry by the SD into the POW transit camps. (1) These difficulties have probably been overcome by now due to a new order from the Army High Command. This order clearly states that the Wehrmacht has to cooperate in the solution of this problem, and, in particular, that the necessary authorizations must be granted the SD to the fullest extent. However, it became evident in the past few days that this policy-making order still has not reached lower [military] authorities. In the future, further cooperation and assistance by the Wehrmacht authorities can be expected. As far as the province of the 6th Army HQ is concerned, Generalfeldmarschall von Reichenau issued an order on October 10, 1941, which states clearly that the Russian soldier has to be considered in principal to be a representative of Bolshevism and thus to be treated accordingly by the Wehrmacht.
Given that Reichenau had referred to "pitiless extermination" and "Jewish subhumanity" (and excused the killing of captured women because they were "unnatural women"), there can be no doubt that the application of the order was purely racist.   

27 comments:

Aaron Richards said...

Cheers for this one. A question I have though, is whether scans of these Ereignismeldungen are available on the net?

Jonathan Harrison said...

Partially at this thread: T175/233, 235 and 236

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=223939

Jonathan Harrison said...

Direct link:

https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AJ6lSXpsJsgijt8&id=4BE0D867A0FFD616%2113781&cid=4BE0D867A0FFD616

Joseph said...

Well, that's kind of dishonest and ignores the nuance of the scenarios. EM173 reads "140 more people had to be shot....Belonging to the Jewish race."
This is a fallacy of composition. Extending a part to the whole (140 were shot, of which some were Jews=Einsatzgruppen mass shootings Jews proof). The statement is true when it comes to the issue, but the nuanced approach is more reasonable when considering the next passage.
From EM133: "On October 23, 1941, to prevent further acts of sabotage and to combat the partisans, a further number of Jews from Mogilev and the surrounding area, 239 of both sexes, were liquidated."
We can use the same fallacious line of reasoning to assert the part to the whole again (i.e., Jews were all shot to "avoid acts of sabotage"). This doesn't really seem feasible anyways. And all of this assumes the validity of the assertions made. One would have to take it at face value. So taking the Einsatzgruppen's word at face value is alright when it is convenient, but when they claim something else, then we can't possibly rely on hearsay for solid evidence.
Generally speaking, when you are discussing these mass shootings, a part of the argument must be providing the proof. We can take what is said at face value, but that will also rely on taking everything that is said at face value. Were the bodies exhumed and analyzed? What is the breakdown of the deceased? The reports are only that: reports. They still require substantiation. I'm sure the information is readily available if you wish to provide it, but that should have been done initially. How large were the graves and how many were exhumed? What was the gender/age of the deceased? Again, you can take the reports at face value, but the moment the story is switched over, you have no choice but to take the claims at face value (at the risk of appearing biased, picking and choosing which conclusions you wish to believe).

Nathan said...

Joseph has lots of the usual pretentious "word salad", but has absolutely no substance or evidence to support his assertions.

Joseph said...

Addressing the tone of the inquiry for evidence over presenting proof. Try again, that isn't a real argument. If the conclusion is so overt that your best case is to resort to petty name-calling and asking me to give you proof for your own assertions, why not just buck up and fulfil your end of the bargain? If it's so obvious, prove it. But no, let's resort on composition fallacies and ignore it when it is convenient to our worldview. Lol!

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«The reports are only that: reports. They still require substantiation.»


Why, is there any reason to doubt their accuracy?

Anyway, the Einsatzgruppen reports are abundantly substantiated by other evidence.

See the blogs collected under the label Einsatzgruppen and the following articles:

An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen

The Einsatzgruppen reports (Ereignismeldungen).

«Again, you can take the reports at face value, but the moment the story is switched over, you have no choice but to take the claims at face value (at the risk of appearing biased, picking and choosing which conclusions you wish to believe).»

What claims exactly did you have in mind? Is there any documentary evidence (like the EG reports) to support such claims?

Joseph said...

"Why, is there any reason to doubt their accuracy? "
Assertions are not self-evident. Otherwise you're making unfalsifiable claims.
"Anyway, the Einsatzgruppen reports are abundantly substantiated by other evidence. "
How many bodies were exhumed? That's a good place to start.
"What claims exactly did you have in mind? Is there any documentary evidence (like the EG reports) to support such claims?"
The point was to show the limitations of the 'evidence'. All that is required is "well, no that's not what we did" and (if you wish to remain consistent) that's what is taken at face value.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"Why, is there any reason to doubt their accuracy? "
Assertions are not self-evident. Otherwise you're making unfalsifiable claims.»

The assertion here would be that the Einsatzgruppen murdered so-and-so-many people.

Their own reports are part of the evidence supporting that assertion.

The assertion could be falsified by demonstrating that the reports were falsified or contained exaggerated claims.

So, what reason is there to doubt the accuracy of the reports?

«"Anyway, the Einsatzgruppen reports are abundantly substantiated by other evidence. "
How many bodies were exhumed? That's a good place to start.»

Why necessarily exhumed bodies? There are also other forms of evidence.

As concerns the physical evidence of the Einsatzgruppen killings, what is known is the following:

"21) Were mass graves exhumed after the war?

Yes. Contrary to popular belief, Sonderkommando 1005 only visited a fraction of the sites, notably the larger cities, but even in these cases, a mass-grave sized pit with ashes must be considered corroboration of the document and the witnesses. There were no such exhumations and incinerations by the Germans in among other cities: Smolensk, Kharkov, Pinsk, Rovno, Bryansk, Orel, the Crimea as a whole, and pretty much every smaller town. There mass graves were located, exhumed and in some cases autopsied. Probably better than two-thirds of the mass graves were found intact after the war. A number have been re-exhumed or relocated since the end of the Cold War, notably at Marijampole in Lithuania (contrary to claims by Germar Rudolf based on a premature news story), in Galicia and the western Ukraine, and in Belarus, though given the extent of the mass graves there is no plan to re-examine all of them: this would satisfy the curiosity of only a tiny minority who would refuse to believe it anyway, so would be a complete waste of time and effort.

There are now memorials by almost all major sites just as there are also memorials identifying the locations of villages wiped off the face of the map and not rebuilt after the war, and memorials for smaller mass graves of those executed in reprisals."


The Einsatzgruppen reports (Ereignismeldungen)

"What claims exactly did you have in mind? Is there any documentary evidence (like the EG reports) to support such claims?"

«The point was to show the limitations of the 'evidence'. All that is required is "well, no that's not what we did" and (if you wish to remain consistent) that's what is taken at face value.»

Someone's claiming "that's not what we did" is the response to someone's claiming "that's what you did", not to reports submitted by "you" about what "you" did. These reports are evidence supporting the "that's what you did" claim, against which a "that's not what we did" claim is manifestly insufficient.

Anyway, who claimed "that's not what we did", and how did that someone explain the reports?

Joseph said...

"Their own reports are part of the evidence supporting that assertion. "
Which must be substantiated with real-world evidence (in the form of exhuming bodies to fulfil their claims).
"So, what reason is there to doubt the accuracy of the reports? "
That depends: how many bodies were exhumed?
"Why necessarily exhumed bodies? There are also other forms of evidence."
Well, 1005 deals with exhuming bodies, but we can use other methods to find the deceased, sure.
"There mass graves were located, exhumed and in some cases autopsied. Probably better than two-thirds of the mass graves were found intact after the war. A number have been re-exhumed or relocated since the end of the Cold War, notably at Marijampole in Lithuania (contrary to claims by Germar Rudolf based on a premature news story), in Galicia and the western Ukraine, and in Belarus, though given the extent of the mass graves there is no plan to re-examine all of them: this would satisfy the curiosity of only a tiny minority who would refuse to believe it anyway, so would be a complete waste of time and effort. "
So we would assume two-thirds of the death toll substantiated, given uniform distribution (although this is not usually the case). A complete waste of time is making unfalsifiable claims. What isn't a waste of time is sourcing how many bodies were exhumed, if "probably two thirds" of the graves were found intact. Your own source affirms that the evidence is right there, or at least most of it.
"Someone's claiming "that's not what we did" is the response to someone's claiming "that's what you did", not to reports submitted by "you" about what "you" did. These reports are evidence supporting the "that's what you did" claim, against which a "that's not what we did" claim is manifestly insufficient."
Like I mentioned before, presuming guilt before innocence and opting for a weaker standard of evidence. How many bodies were exhumed? It must align with what they are accused of if most of the graves were intact.
"Anyway, who claimed "that's not what we did", and how did that someone explain the reports?"
Substantiation of the reports with the bodies of the deceased. The reports can be grounded in fact when they are substantiated with the bodies. Otherwise, you are relying on the reports as the authority/self-evident over the amount of bodies that were exhumed.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"Their own reports are part of the evidence supporting that assertion. "
Which must be substantiated with real-world evidence (in the form of exhuming bodies to fulfil their claims).»

According to you, or according to rules and standards of evidence applied in historical research and criminal investigation, which you can show us? Where is it stated that only exhumed bodies are "real-world evidence"?

«"So, what reason is there to doubt the accuracy of the reports? "
That depends: how many bodies were exhumed?»

According to what rules and standards of evidence can the accuracy of the reports only be verified on hand of the number of bodies exhumed? Your irrelevant own, or those applied in historical research and criminal investigation?

«"Why necessarily exhumed bodies? There are also other forms of evidence."
Well, 1005 deals with exhuming bodies, but we can use other methods to find the deceased, sure.»

That was not the question. The question was why it should necessarily take exhumed bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence.

«"There mass graves were located, exhumed and in some cases autopsied. Probably better than two-thirds of the mass graves were found intact after the war. A number have been re-exhumed or relocated since the end of the Cold War, notably at Marijampole in Lithuania (contrary to claims by Germar Rudolf based on a premature news story), in Galicia and the western Ukraine, and in Belarus, though given the extent of the mass graves there is no plan to re-examine all of them: this would satisfy the curiosity of only a tiny minority who would refuse to believe it anyway, so would be a complete waste of time and effort. "

So we would assume two-thirds of the death toll substantiated, given uniform distribution (although this is not usually the case). A complete waste of time is making unfalsifiable claims.»

Nonsense. The claims can be falsified by other means than establishing the number of bodies exhumed.

«What isn't a waste of time is sourcing how many bodies were exhumed, if "probably two thirds" of the graves were found intact.»

That can be done on hand of postwar crime site investigation reports, without having to open the graves again.

«Your own source affirms that the evidence is right there, or at least most of it.»

Yeah, but why should it necessarily take exhumation of the bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence?

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"Someone's claiming "that's not what we did" is the response to someone's claiming "that's what you did", not to reports submitted by "you" about what "you" did. These reports are evidence supporting the "that's what you did" claim, against which a "that's not what we did" claim is manifestly insufficient."
Like I mentioned before, presuming guilt before innocence and opting for a weaker standard of evidence.»

Nonsense. Where there's documentary evidence stating what they did, concluding that they did what becomes apparent from the documentary evidence (bar stronger evidence that they did not) is not "presuming guilt before innocence".

«How many bodies were exhumed? It must align with what they are accused of if most of the graves were intact.»

Why so? Suppose that only a part of the bodies were extracted from the graves, but the contents of the Einsatzgruppen reports are corroborated by eyewitness testimony and other documentary evidence independent of them. What court would rule that the killings are not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, regardless of what part of the physical evidence has been exhumed?

«"Anyway, who claimed "that's not what we did", and how did that someone explain the reports?"
Substantiation of the reports with the bodies of the deceased.»

May be your proclaimed wish, but it's not you who gets to set the standards of evidence that apply in historical research and criminal investigation.

«The reports can be grounded in fact when they are substantiated with the bodies.»

Says who, you?

«Otherwise, you are relying on the reports as the authority/self-evident over the amount of bodies that were exhumed.»

No, otherwise I'm relying on the perpetrators' description of their own deeds, outside the context of criminal investigation, as evidence to such deeds.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Nathan, please modify your comment. Don't get personal.

Joseph said...

"According to you, or according to rules and standards of evidence applied in historical research and criminal investigation, which you can show us? Where is it stated that only exhumed bodies are "real-world evidence"?"
You don't try somebody unless you can prove their guilt. When you allege that mass murder of millions occurred, a great step to start, especially (this is in the previous thread, suggest reading up on it in case you can substantiate some of the empty assertions made) when it is alleged that 1005 did not cover up all the tracks (leaving "probably two-thirds" of the graves intact; quote by Sergey, not me), would be to exhume the bodies from the graves and substantiate the reports.
I am not claiming that this is a universal rule applied in all cases when trying to prove guilt. In the context of this conversational topic, "real-world evidence" for proving guilt (murder of mass millions) would be to exhume the bodies in question. Those that have been analyzed and exhumed can be confirmed to have been executed. The question was simple: how many, as of today, have been successfully exhumed and can be attributed to your assertion? I mentioned this in the other thread, but that is, obviously, not the only step. There are other steps to take in order to prove guilt, and one pivotal point for this specific allegation involves ascertaining the locations of said graves (namely, by exhuming the deceased).
"According to what rules and standards of evidence can the accuracy of the reports only be verified on hand of the number of bodies exhumed? Your irrelevant own, or those applied in historical research and criminal investigation?"
Soviet authorities can send around messages speaking of high crimes, like mass murder, all they want, but that is not sufficient information to actually come to the conclusion of said crimes. The main source of evidence used when the body cannot be found is circumstantial evidence, which is not as compelling as "real world evidence" (in this case, exhuming the bodies). In fact, it is already admitted that the graves are still intact. So simply exhume the dead and fulfil the 'millions deceased' claim. It is much harder to prove guilt when there isn't a body, but it is possible. Can be corroborated with specifics of the deceased, like the bones in the graves (at this point, exhuming a fully intact body is not possible).
"The question was why it should necessarily take exhumed bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence."
Because the graves were not entirely destroyed and exhumation of the bodies is the best source of evidence to fulfil your assertion. When you sly away from the evidence, even if the body exists, that is illogical. It is another source of evidence you can use for your case, but (even though the graves are intact), it isn't touched? Not an argument. When the best case is mere reports (empty assertions) being sent around speaking in the third person about said crimes, then that standard of evidence provided is not as rigorous as actual bodies. Just consider my backyard example. If you accuse me of mass murder, but the only evidence for my guilt is messages sent around of my crimes (instead of analyzing the crime scene and exhuming the alleged bodies), then the standard of evidence is decreased (if a court uses that as guilt). Using this logic, there was no need to observe the graves at Babi Yar because messages speaking of it in passing are enough accuse somebody.

Joseph said...

"Nonsense. The claims can be falsified by other means than establishing the number of bodies exhumed."
So your own assertion is self-admittedly falsified? When you say that it can "be falsified by other means", does that mean it is currently falsified and you are presenting other methods to falsify your own "two-thirds" assertion? Also, my point was not centred around the 'two-thirds' claim being false: we can assume that this is true, mainly because you used it as an argument to begin with. If that is the case, then we can substantiate the claim and verify the death toll by examining the intact graves, which is the next logical step (assertion made, messages speaking of mass graves and death tolls, graves intact, examine graves and exhume bodies).
"That can be done on hand of postwar crime site investigation reports, without having to open the graves again."
So the investigation reports walk right up to the graves, assess the environment around them, but leave the actual bodies unexamined? Like I mentioned above, drastically decreased the standard of evidence for a case is not an argument.
Why the reaction towards actually examining the bodies? I understand it is a grotesque task, but why is there this aversion towards this piece of evidence? Is it because it has not been brought forth to the table and the assertion is made prior to such examinations? It's a simple question to answer, a number really: how many bodies were exhumed?
"Yeah, but why should it necessarily take exhumation of the bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence?"
See the train of logic above. I'll type it out again.
You accuse me of mass murder and hiding the bodies in my backyard. I tried to go back and destroy the evidence, but left two-thirds of the graves intact. There are messages between me and my neighbour discussing how we will all destroy the evidence before the authorities catch on. Too late, authorities get here and bust me. Now they need to prove my guilt beyond reasonable doubt. They find the messages outlining the intention to destroy the graves, so logically the next step is to go to the graves and analyze the bodies that are left. This fact is self-evident given the information that you, yourself, provided. How could they know that two-thirds of the graves were left intact were it not for an investigation of the graves and the bodies within to come to this?
"Nonsense. Where there's documentary evidence stating what they did, concluding that they did what becomes apparent from the documentary evidence (bar stronger evidence that they did not) is not "presuming guilt before innocence"."
Documentary evidence is not enough to fulfil the figures that are being alleged unless you examine the graves and exhume the bodies. I can state that I, myself, am guilty of many crimes: until it can be proven that I, say, murdered a person, there can be no verdict. There is reasonable suspicion, but that is not in the same realm as absolute guilt. Any war crime is not substantiated by the mere mentioning of such crimes: an actual investigation into the assertion is required, fulfilling what it states (in this case, x million died by this method during this timeframe...).

Joseph said...

"Why so? Suppose that only a part of the bodies were extracted from the graves, but the contents of the Einsatzgruppen reports are corroborated by eyewitness testimony and other documentary evidence independent of them. What court would rule that the killings are not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, regardless of what part of the physical evidence has been exhumed? "
Did they slice off heads and limbs? This is not speaking during a time where enough time has passed for the bodies to have decomposed to that point. The contents of such messages are not sufficient enough evidence by themselves to verify assertions (because they are just that: empty assertions without substantive evidence of what is being claimed). And if eyewitness testimony is enough evidence to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, then the existence of God has also been confirmed. The Bible speaks many times of such a God, describing in detail how he speaks. There are eyewitness accounts, many more so than your claim, "proving" the existence of God. There are messages sent forth by "religious authorities" affirming this and people say they saw it, so there's enough evidence following your weak standard of proof. Just as the mass shootings require concrete evidence, so, too, does God. Actually proving the existence of God is what is required for this to be true, just as you need to examine the assertion WITHIN the messages and what the witnesses STATE to have seen in order to affirm the contents.
"May be your proclaimed wish, but it's not you who gets to set the standards of evidence that apply in historical research and criminal investigation."
These aren't my own arbitrary rules, this is the logical result of claiming messages were sent speaking of graves/their destruction and people talking about witnessing the graves: analyzing the graves and the bodies within them.
It wouldn't be the case if your worldview conveniently requires a lower standard of evidence, but that just means that there is an aversion to evidence further proving the claims to completion (right now, there is suspicion of guilt which is not enough to put forth positive claims).
"Says who, you?"
No, it's generally regarded as truth to first prove an assertion as being grounded in fact over mere suspicion. Let's say you send a detailed message about a murder you state you have committed. One cannot use my testimony that "I totally saw it happen" and an argument from silence (well, if Rob didn't kill this guy, then who else possibly could have?) to prove guilt without some further evidence (such as a DNA analysis to test for, say, bone fragments). Those pieces of evidence are not as compelling as actually investigating the crime scene/deceased. Right now, you have a motive and some testimony (i.e. the alias is established). You still need proof of the bodies that were allegedly killed.
"No, otherwise I'm relying on the perpetrators' description of their own deeds, outside the context of criminal investigation, as evidence to such deeds."
That's what I just said: you are relying on the reports as the authority over the evidence of the bodies they are referencing. It's a circular argument: they did it because they spoke of it, and we know they spoke of it because they did it. Just because I write a letter to you saying that I murdered somebody and that I plan to get rid of their body doesn't mean I am actually guilty of the murder. It raises probable suspicion, but is not guilty in and of itself.

Nathan said...

-«"Someone's claiming "that's not what we did" is the response to someone's claiming "that's what you did", not to reports submitted by "you" about what "you" did. These reports are evidence supporting the "that's what you did" claim, against which a "that's not what we did" claim is manifestly insufficient."
Like I mentioned before, presuming guilt before innocence and opting for a weaker standard of evidence.»-

Joseph doesn't understand how the presumption of innocence works. The presumption of innocence comes from the court reviewing the facts to determine whether or not so and so party is guilty. Since it primarily comes from the court or judge, documents and records prepared by the perpetrators about their actions isn't covered, just as Roberto said.

Nathan said...

I hate Deniers, but this is your blog and I respect your rules. I'm sorry if I offended you. I will tone it down.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"According to you, or according to rules and standards of evidence applied in historical research and criminal investigation, which you can show us? Where is it stated that only exhumed bodies are "real-world evidence"?"

You don't try somebody unless you can prove their guilt. When you allege that mass murder of millions occurred, a great step to start, especially (this is in the previous thread, suggest reading up on it in case you can substantiate some of the empty assertions made) when it is alleged that 1005 did not cover up all the tracks (leaving "probably two-thirds" of the graves intact; quote by Sergey, not me), would be to exhume the bodies from the graves and substantiate the reports.»

Another great place to start, especially when the graves are inaccessible (as they were during the Nuremberg Einsatzgruppen Trial and later trials before West German court) is to check the information in the reports against evidence independent of them, such as other documentary references to the killings and eyewitness testimonies. Today the graves are no longer inaccessible, but (re)exhuming them would require an enormous amount of effort and cost, which is unnecessary as the killings have already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by other means.

«I am not claiming that this is a universal rule applied in all cases when trying to prove guilt. In the context of this conversational topic, "real-world evidence" for proving guilt (murder of mass millions) would be to exhume the bodies in question. Those that have been analyzed and exhumed can be confirmed to have been executed.»

The question was where it is stated that only exhumed bodies are "real-world evidence". You didn’t answer the question.

«The question was simple: how many, as of today, have been successfully exhumed and can be attributed to your assertion?»

Probably a great many, but where is it stated that exhuming bodies is required to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt when there is conclusive documentary and eyewitness evidence?

« I mentioned this in the other thread, but that is, obviously, not the only step. There are other steps to take in order to prove guilt, and one pivotal point for this specific allegation involves ascertaining the locations of said graves (namely, by exhuming the deceased).»

You keep repeating your assertions instead of substantiating them. Exhuming the bodies of mass murder victims may be done where it is possible and expedient to do so, but where is it stated that it must be done to prove a crime when other evidence leaves no room for doubt that the crime was committed?

«"According to what rules and standards of evidence can the accuracy of the reports only be verified on hand of the number of bodies exhumed? Your irrelevant own, or those applied in historical research and criminal investigation?"
Soviet authorities can send around messages speaking of high crimes, like mass murder, all they want, but that is not sufficient information to actually come to the conclusion of said crimes.»

The Soviets were the ones who did most of the exhumations, actually. And you didn’t answer my question.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

« The main source of evidence used when the body cannot be found is circumstantial evidence, which is not as compelling as "real world evidence" (in this case, exhuming the bodies).»

So a report about the crimes, other documents mentioning the same and testimonies of direct eyewitnesses to the crimes are circumstantial evidence, according to you? Where did you get that idea?

« In fact, it is already admitted that the graves are still intact. So simply exhume the dead and fulfil the 'millions deceased' claim. It is much harder to prove guilt when there isn't a body, but it is possible. Can be corroborated with specifics of the deceased, like the bones in the graves (at this point, exhuming a fully intact body is not possible).»

What is possible is one thing, what is necessary is another. Why should exhuming the bodies, which would require a great deal of effort, time and cost, be necessary to prove the crimes in question when they are borne out by documentary evidence (including but not limited to the reports) and eyewitness testimonies? Where is such exhumation stated to be a must? I’m not saying that no exhumation took place - cases where Soviet crime exhumation reports are matched by evidence independent of the Soviets are addressed in several blogs on the HC site. I’m asking why exhuming the bodies should be a sine qua non regardless of what other evidence is available.

«"The question was why it should necessarily take exhumed bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence."
Because the graves were not entirely destroyed and exhumation of the bodies is the best source of evidence to fulfil your assertion.»

No better and no worse than the documentary evidence (including, without limitation, the reports), the perpetrators’ own depositions and eyewitness testimonies at the Nuremberg Einsatzgruppen Trial and later trials before West German courts.

« When you sly away from the evidence, even if the body exists, that is illogical. It is another source of evidence you can use for your case, but (even though the graves are intact), it isn't touched? Not an argument.»

Actually a good argument when the fact and scale of the crime follows beyond reasonable doubt from other evidence, while on the other hand (re)exhuming the corpses would require an enormous amount of effort, time and cost.

«When the best case is mere reports (empty assertions) being sent around speaking in the third person about said crimes, then that standard of evidence provided is not as rigorous as actual bodies. Just consider my backyard example.»

Accomplishment reports sent to superiors are not "empty assertions", especially when their contents are matched by evidence independent of the reports. Which can be exhumations but also other documents referring to the crimes and/or eyewitness testimonies.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

« If you accuse me of mass murder, but the only evidence for my guilt is messages sent around of my crimes (instead of analyzing the crime scene and exhuming the alleged bodies), then the standard of evidence is decreased (if a court uses that as guilt).»

Actually the messages sent around wouldn’t be the only evidence. Your assertions regarding those messages would also be evidence, as would be testimonies of eyewitnesses who saw the crime being committed. And where analyzing the crime scene and exhuming the bodies is impossible or inexpedient (e.g. you committed your crime in another country than the one you’re being tried in), that evidence may be perfectly sufficient. Talk about courts, what courts are supposed to have used your proclaimed "higher" standards of evidence as concerns the Einsatzgruppen crimes.

«Using this logic, there was no need to observe the graves at Babi Yar because messages speaking of it in passing are enough accuse somebody.»

What court went to "observe the mass graves at Babi Yar" rather than basing its findings of fact on documentary evidence (including but not limited to the reports), the perpetrators’ own depositions and eyewitness testimonies?

«"Nonsense. The claims can be falsified by other means than establishing the number of bodies exhumed."
So your own assertion is self-admittedly falsified? When you say that it can "be falsified by other means", does that mean it is currently falsified and you are presenting other methods to falsify your own "two-thirds" assertion?»

I’m saying that it can be falsified, not that it is or has been. Means of falsification would include evidence that the reports were manipulated or exaggerated.

«Also, my point was not centred around the 'two-thirds' claim being false: we can assume that this is true, mainly because you used it as an argument to begin with.»

I mentioned what physical evidence is available, but didn’t use that as an argument.

«If that is the case, then we can substantiate the claim and verify the death toll by examining the intact graves, which is the next logical step (assertion made, messages speaking of mass graves and death tolls, graves intact, examine graves and exhume bodies).»

Sure, we could do all that. We could also check past exhumation reports and see to what extent they match the Einsatzgruppen Reports. The question is whether it is necessary to do what could be done. The logical step could also be "assertion made, messages speaking of mass graves and death tolls, other documents independent of such messages also mentioning the same, perpetrators confessing to the killings and eyewitnesses describing the same in court".

«"That can be done on hand of postwar crime site investigation reports, without having to open the graves again."
So the investigation reports walk right up to the graves, assess the environment around them, but leave the actual bodies unexamined?»

No, they also opened the graves, took pictures of the bodies and exhumed and examined some of them.

«Like I mentioned above, drastically decreased the standard of evidence for a case is not an argument.»

What standard of evidence are you talking about? Your irrelevant own, or any that would be worth considering?

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«Why the reaction towards actually examining the bodies? I understand it is a grotesque task, but why is there this aversion towards this piece of evidence?»

There is no aversion towards this piece of evidence at all. The question is whether this piece of evidence needs to be examined (which, as already mentioned, would require an inordinate amount of effort) in order to establish the crimes in question.

«Is it because it has not been brought forth to the table and the assertion is made prior to such examinations?»

No, such examinations have taken place and match the EG reports and eyewitness testimonies in a number of cases mentioned on HC.

«It's a simple question to answer, a number really: how many bodies were exhumed?»

Actually the answer to your simple question would require assessing all Soviet exhumation reports regarding sites visited by the Einsatzgruppen, and your question would be relevant only if exhumed bodies were the only means of corroborating the EG reports. Which is not the case, however.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"Yeah, but why should it necessarily take exhumation of the bodies to substantiate the reports by other evidence?"
See the train of logic above. I'll type it out again.
You accuse me of mass murder and hiding the bodies in my backyard. I tried to go back and destroy the evidence, but left two-thirds of the graves intact. There are messages between me and my neighbour discussing how we will all destroy the evidence before the authorities catch on. Too late, authorities get here and bust me. Now they need to prove my guilt beyond reasonable doubt. They find the messages outlining the intention to destroy the graves, so logically the next step is to go to the graves and analyze the bodies that are left. This fact is self-evident given the information that you, yourself, provided.»

Yep, but suppose you didn’t do the killing and burial in your backyard but in a foreign country where exhuming the grave would require a large amount of time and cost, while on the other hand you confess to the crime and eyewitnesses testifying independently of each other provide coincident accounts of the crimes. Why should the court in such case take the trouble of trying to exhume the grave in that foreign country? And do you know of any court that has done so?

«How could they know that two-thirds of the graves were left intact were it not for an investigation of the graves and the bodies within to come to this?»

Who said the graves were not investigated? The Soviets investigated them, and some have been reinvestigated in post-Soviet times.

«"Nonsense. Where there's documentary evidence stating what they did, concluding that they did what becomes apparent from the documentary evidence (bar stronger evidence that they did not) is not "presuming guilt before innocence"."
Documentary evidence is not enough to fulfil the figures that are being alleged unless you examine the graves and exhume the bodies.»

Says who, you? Or does that follow from any standards of evidence applied in criminal investigation, which you can quote or show to have been applied in mass murder cases?

«I can state that I, myself, am guilty of many crimes: until it can be proven that I, say, murdered a person, there can be no verdict. There is reasonable suspicion, but that is not in the same realm as absolute guilt. Any war crime is not substantiated by the mere mentioning of such crimes: an actual investigation into the assertion is required, fulfilling what it states (in this case, x million died by this method during this timeframe...).»

The mere mentioning of such crimes in accusing communiqués is one thing, the mentioning of such crimes in accomplishment reports sent to superiors is another. And proof established in the course of an investigation may include the perpetrators’ confessions, documents other than the perpetrators’ own statements and eyewitness testimonies. Ideally, and if practicable and expedient, it will also include an assessment of the physical evidence. But even without such assessment murder or mass murder can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court, on hand of other evidence.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"Why so? Suppose that only a part of the bodies were extracted from the graves, but the contents of the Einsatzgruppen reports are corroborated by eyewitness testimony and other documentary evidence independent of them. What court would rule that the killings are not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, regardless of what part of the physical evidence has been exhumed? "
Did they slice off heads and limbs? This is not speaking during a time where enough time has passed for the bodies to have decomposed to that point. The contents of such messages are not sufficient enough evidence by themselves to verify assertions (because they are just that: empty assertions without substantive evidence of what is being claimed).»

Accomplishment reports for superiors are not just empty assertions, they are evidence. Especially if matched by other evidence independent of them, such as other documents referring to the killings, perpetrators’ depositions and eyewitness testimonies.

«And if eyewitness testimony is enough evidence to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, then the existence of God has also been confirmed. The Bible speaks many times of such a God, describing in detail how he speaks. There are eyewitness accounts, many more so than your claim, "proving" the existence of God. There are messages sent forth by "religious authorities" affirming this and people say they saw it, so there's enough evidence following your weak standard of proof. Just as the mass shootings require concrete evidence, so, too, does God. Actually proving the existence of God is what is required for this to be true, just as you need to examine the assertion WITHIN the messages and what the witnesses STATE to have seen in order to affirm the contents.»

Nice try, but I was referring to eyewitness testimonies that are a) plausible, b) essentially coincident and c) in line with what becomes apparent from the documentary evidence.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«"May be your proclaimed wish, but it's not you who gets to set the standards of evidence that apply in historical research and criminal investigation."
These aren't my own arbitrary rules, this is the logical result of claiming messages were sent speaking of graves/their destruction and people talking about witnessing the graves: analyzing the graves and the bodies within them.»

An equally logical result would be to question suspects and witnesses about the contents of these reports and looking for other documentary evidence mentioning the killings in question.

And yes, your rules are arbitrary unless you can demonstrate that establishing a mass crime in historical research and criminal investigation requires exhuming the corpses from the graves. What historian has stated that such rules must be applied? In what judicial rules of evidence document can I find them?

«It wouldn't be the case if your worldview conveniently requires a lower standard of evidence, but that just means that there is an aversion to evidence further proving the claims to completion (right now, there is suspicion of guilt which is not enough to put forth positive claims).»

There is no aversion to further evidence. The point is that such further evidence is not necessary to prove the crimes in question. And if you consider that a lower standard of evidence, please show us what courts applied your proclaimed higher standard of evidence regarding the Einsatzgruppen killings. And if you should argue that such courts didn’t act according to established procedural rules or rules of evidence, thereby violating the defendants’ rights, please identify the rules they are supposed to have violated.

«"Says who, you?"
No, it's generally regarded as truth to first prove an assertion as being grounded in fact over mere suspicion. Let's say you send a detailed message about a murder you state you have committed. One cannot use my testimony that "I totally saw it happen" and an argument from silence (well, if Rob didn't kill this guy, then who else possibly could have?) to prove guilt without some further evidence (such as a DNA analysis to test for, say, bone fragments).»

Why not? It all depends on the credibility of your testimony, as assessed by the court following cross-examination.

« Those pieces of evidence are not as compelling as actually investigating the crime scene/deceased.»

They may be less impressive, but they may also be equally conclusive.

«Right now, you have a motive and some testimony (i.e. the alias is established).»

Plus the perpetrators’ own accomplishment reports, plus further documents describing the killings in question. Plus Soviet exhumation reports made available to West German criminal justice authorities, but I’m not taking these into account for my argument.

«You still need proof of the bodies that were allegedly killed.»

Says who, you? What "proof of the bodies that were allegedly killed" was used at the Nuremberg Einsatzgruppen Trial? If you should argue that said trial was not in accordance with established rules of evidence or of judicial procedure, please identify the rules that are supposed to have been violated.

«"No, otherwise I'm relying on the perpetrators' description of their own deeds, outside the context of criminal investigation, as evidence to such deeds."
That's what I just said: you are relying on the reports as the authority over the evidence of the bodies they are referencing.»

No, that I would only be doing if the physical evidence contradicted the reports.
«It's a circular argument: they did it because they spoke of it, and we know they spoke of it because they did it.»

There’s not circularity here, as one usually has done what one reports to superiors about. The argument is more like this: they did it because a) they reported about it, b) other documents and/or eyewitnesses also mentioned their having done it, and c) they confessed to it.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«Just because I write a letter to you saying that I murdered somebody and that I plan to get rid of their body doesn't mean I am actually guilty of the murder. It raises probable suspicion, but is not guilty in and of itself.»

If you write a letter to a superior who ordered you to murder stating that you did murder, that’s strong evidence that you did murder. If your murder is additionally mentioned in letters, diaries or official documents issued by other, that evidence is further reinforced. And if there are credible eyewitnesses who describe the killing and you yourself confess to it, there is no room for reasonable doubt that you committed the murder you wrote to your superior about.

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