Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Alvarez" and Marais lie about the judgment LG München I vom 14.07.1972, 114 Ks 4/70

The judgment mentioned in this blog’s title, which I quoted from in the blog Further information about what death in a gas van could be like, is commented on pp. 231-32 of a "Holocaust Handbook" with the title The Gas Vans. A Critical Investigation, which is authored by one "Santiago Alvarez" (presumably a(nother) pseudonym of our old acquaintance Thomas Kues), "with major contributions by Pierre Marais". The authors are hereinafter referred to as "A(lvarez)&M(arais)".
  


A&M's rendering/commentary of this judgment is the following:

3.7.5.3. LG München I, Verdict of 14 July 1972

This trial was against three defendants (Kurt Tri.[?], Friedrich Sev.[?], Heinrich Gö.[?]), each of whom received a four year prison term for adding and abetting in mass murder ostensibly committed while a member of Einsatkommando 10a of Einsatzgruppe D in southern Ukraine. For the present study only the case of Dr. med. Heinrich Gö. is relevant, as he was accused of ordering the asphyxiation of 214 sick children residing at a children hospital in Eysk (Jeissk in the verdict) in October 1942 by means of a gas van.

The verdict’s description of the gas van is again rather short and reads as follows (p. 408):

"The 'gas van' or – as the Russians called it – the 'soul killer' was a large truck with a cargo box. It had false windows painted on the outside walls, and a large double door at the back with which the cargo compartment could be closed. The cargo box was lined withwhite sheet metal on the inside, and the floor was covered with a wooden grate. A hose permitted the exhaust fumes to be directed into the interior from below."

Although the verdict claims that this is the summary of a number of “basically” (whatever that means) congruent witness statements (p. 419), the alleged Russian nick name for this vehicle – “soul killer” – as well as the false windows were first claimed by the Soviet show trial in Krasnodar (The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 16f.), but are otherwise conspicuously absent in witness statements and court verdicts.120 This gives us a clue where the entire theme of this trial comes from: it is basically a repetition of the Krasnodar show trial, with new defendants and a different children hospital (cf. The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 27-31, 35), but otherwise all the old claims and methods, including the uncritical acceptance of testimonies made by Soviet "witnesses" – or as the verdict puts it naïvely: “no manipulation of the [Soviet] witnesses has been noticeable” – plus a forensic expert report about 214 exhumed children allegedly killed with carbon monoxide produced by the Soviets back in 1943 (pp. 412, 419; cf. The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 31f.; see chapter 3.2. in this present study).

That neither the defendant nor the witnesses knew why these 214 had to be killed is of no relevance. The court knew it: they had to make room for injured German soldiers (p. 421).

The defendant, by the way, denied having had any knowledge, let alone having been involved, in the murder of these children. He also claimed to have seen a gas van only twice and from a distance (p. 422). How he could have known "from a distance" that this was "the" gas van is a mystery, though. Of course the judges did not believe him.

In the following I shall check A&M's claims against what is actually stated in the judgment in question, which I received from the University of Amsterdam’s Justiz und NS-Verbrechen collection and used for my blog Further information about what death in a gas van could be like. As in that blog, translations of text from the judgment are mine.

A&M
3.7.5.3. LG München I, Verdict of 14 July 1972

This trial was against three defendants (Kurt Tri.[?], Friedrich Sev.[?], Heinrich Gö.[?]), each of whom received a four year prison term for adding and abetting in mass murder ostensibly committed while a member of Einsatkommando 10a of Einsatzgruppe D in southern Ukraine. For the present study only the case of Dr. med. Heinrich Gö. is relevant, as he was accused of ordering the asphyxiation of 214 sick children residing at a children hospital in Eysk (Jeissk in the verdict) in October 1942 by means of a gas van.

Actually Dr. med. Heinrich Gö. was never accused of having ordered the asphyxiation of the 214 handicapped children in the Eysk hospital on 9 and 10 October 1942. As clearly stated in the judgment’s findings of fact, it could not be established who had ordered the killing, and the defendant Dr. Gö's participation therein had been a comparatively marginal one:
Who gave the respective order and who commanded the operation can no longer be established.

Together with other members of the delegation that had arrived at Krasnodar and the partial detachment stationed at Jeissk, the defendant Dr. Gö. participated in the operation. In execution of the corresponding order he stood by the gas van on the first day, 9 October 1942, during the loading of the children and observed the operation, without having any noteworthy influence on its execution. He gave instructions to the Russian auxiliaries and the asylum’s nurses and told them what they were to do.

The question marks made by A&M after the abbreviations of the defendants' surnames are quite amusing, by the way. Apparently it didn't occur to these geniuses that the court may have refrained from revealing the defendants' full names in compliance with contemporary German legal provisions about protection of private data, which also benefited sentenced defendants up to certain lengths of imprisonment terms.

A&M
The verdict’s description of the gas van is again rather short and reads as follows (p. 408):

"The 'gas van' or – as the Russians called it – the 'soul killer' was a large truck with a cargo box. It had false windows painted on the outside walls, and a large double door at the back with which the cargo compartment could be closed. The cargo box was lined with white sheet metal on the inside, and the floor was covered with a wooden grate. A hose permitted the exhaust fumes to be directed into the interior from below."

What are A&M trying to tell their readers here?

Are details about the construction and functioning of the gas van supposed to have been relevant to the court's findings of fact about the crime committed and the defendant Dr. Gö.'s participation therein?

I don't see how, and I doubt that A&M would be able to explain the relevance of such details to these findings of fact.

That being so, what is supposed to be problematic about the "rather short" description of the gas van in question?

A&M
Although the verdict claims that this is the summary of a number of "basically" (whatever that means) congruent witness statements (p. 419), the alleged Russian nick name for this vehicle – "soul killer" – as well as the false windows were first claimed by the Soviet show trial in Krasnodar (The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 16f.), but are otherwise conspicuously absent in witness statements and court verdicts.120

If the "soul killer" and false windows details mentioned at the Krasnodar trial are "conspicuously absent" (whatever that's supposed to mean) from subsequent witness statements and court verdicts, what exactly is that supposed to mean, except that the false windows camouflage attempt was not undertaken in all gas vans and/or was not a detail that need have stuck in every witness’s memory, and that testimonies at other trials essentially came from witnesses on the perpetrator side, who unlike Soviet witnesses (such as the former staff members of the Eysk children's asylum whose testimony was assessed by the Munich court) need not have been familiar with the "alleged Russian nick name" for the gas vans? Nothing, I dare say.

A&M
This gives us a clue where the entire theme of this trial comes from: it is basically a repetition of the Krasnodar show trial, with new defendants and a different children hospital (cf. The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 27-31, 35), but otherwise all the old claims and methods, including the uncritical acceptance of testimonies made by Soviet “witnesses” – or as the verdict puts it naïvely: “no manipulation of the [Soviet] witnesses has been noticeable” – plus a forensic expert report about 214 exhumed children allegedly killed with carbon monoxide produced by the Soviets back in 1943 (pp. 412, 419; cf. The People’s Verdict 1944, pp. 31f.; see chapter 3.2. in this present study).

Being no more inclined than other "Revisionist" propagandists to let the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy theory (the insinuation seems to be that corrupt West German criminal justice authorities, for some obscure reason, sentenced innocent people in order to vindicate the findings of a Soviet "show trial", or something like that), A&M conveniently "forgot" to inform their readers that:

a) The Munich court explained in detail on what evidence (Soviet witnesses from among the asylum's former staff or inmates, German witnesses from the perpetrator side, contemporary German documentation, a contemporary Soviet forensic examination report and a largely concurring expert assessment rendered before the court) it based its findings of fact about the gas van, the course of events and the defendant's participation therein (see the first translated quote from the judgment in the blog Further information about what death in a gas van could be like).

b) Rather than uncritically accepting testimonies made by Soviet witnesses and "naïvely" stating that "no manipulation of the [Soviet] witnesses has been noticeable", the court i) interrogated what seems to have been a German examining judge (Dr. Wes.) on his impression of the witnesses' interrogation by Soviet authorities and of the witnesses themselves, and ii) explained with solid arguments why it had considered the testimonies of the Soviet witnesses’ credible (emphases added):
As becomes apparent from the testimonies of witnesses Ko., Lik., Dwo. and Get., they still have a good memory of the event. For them this operation was a unique, shocking and stirring event that they could not forget. The witness Ko., who at that time had been 27 years old and head of the instruction and education department, was still deeply shocked about the occurrence when she testified on 7.8.1970, according to the credible statements of witness Dr. Wes. Also the witness Dwo. had been deeply moved internally when testifying on 6.8.1970. The witnesses Lik., at that time 45 years old and manager of the economy department, Dwo. and Get., at that time about 19 and 13 years old and accommodated in the asylum, could watch what was happening from close up. Their descriptions are detailed, clear and illustrative. According to the credible statements of witness Dr. Wes. the instruction of these witnesses was thorough and careful, the interrogation extraordinarily correct and the right to ask questions unlimited. Furthermore there had been no indication of any influence being exercised on the witnesses.

c) Rather than relying on the testimonies of Soviet witnesses alone, the court checked these testimonies against the defendants’ depositions and German testimonies from the perpetrator side (emphases added):
Additionally the description of the sequence of events provided by the witnesses Ko., Lik., Dwo. and Get. is largely confirmed by the statements of witnesses Boc., Bö., Su. and Vol. The court also considers credible the information provided by these witnesses in this context. The witness Boc. had himself participated in the operation. The same applies to the witnesses Vol., Bö. and Su. Vol. pointed out that the operation been one of the ugliest he had experienced. Both Bö. and Su. made their statements as defendants. Bö. admitted to having helped in loading the children [onto the van]. Su. conceded to have taken part in the loading of the children and to have thrown the dead children out of the van. The accounts of these witnesses are objective and precise and largely consistent with each other.

A&M
That neither the defendant nor the witnesses knew why these 214 had to be killed is of no relevance. The court knew it: they had to make room for injured German soldiers (p. 421).

In the first sentence of this paragraph, A&M follow up on their mendacious claim that Dr. Gö. had been charged with ordering the gas van killings at Eysk by ridiculing a notion that would be incompatible with this charge (for how can the man who ordered the operation not have known why he ordered it?) but is perfectly comprehensible if one considers the court's actual findings of fact, whereby it could not be established who had ordered the killings, Dr. Gö.'s participation therein had been a rather marginal one (one of the reasons for his being given a relatively lenient sentence, as becomes apparent from the court's considerations quoted in my aforementioned post and blog) and the other two defendants had not been involved in the gas van killings at all.

In the second sentence of this paragraph, A&M try to create the impression that the court based its findings of fact on the reason for the killings on mere unsubstantiated conjecture. This is another showpiece of A&M’s mendacity, as the court clearly identified the evidence that had led it to reach its conclusion about why the killing of the handicapped children had been ordered:
About the purpose of the whole undertaking neither the defendants nor the witnesses could provide precise information. However, from the final report of the Ortskommandantur I (V) 296 dated 25.9.1942, in which it is stated that 500 beds in School III and in the children’s asylum at M-Street would be made available to Sick Collection Point 604, the court concludes that by clearing out the children’s asylum in question rooms were to be obtained for a sick collection point. In this context it is of special significance that according to the defendant Tri. there had also been a war hospital at Jeissk, while the witness Schu. stated that, after Tri. had moved on, he had still remained at Jeissk and transferred two field hospitals to Rostov.
(Emphases added.)

A&M
The defendant, by the way, denied having had any knowledge, let alone having been involved, in the murder of these children. He also claimed to have seen a gas van only twice and from a distance (p. 422). How he could have known “from a distance” that this was “the” gas van is a mystery, though.

A notably stupid remark, if one considers that the defendants was a member of Einsatzkommando 10a and it beggars belief that he should not at least have learned from other members of that unit that a certain van was being used by that unit for gassing people. A&M also omit the fact that the defendant Dr. Gö. admitted to his awareness of the gassing and emphasized his rejection thereof, and that witnesses testified to the defendant’s having been deeply disturbed by what he had seen and experienced while a member of Einsatzkommando 10a:
The findings of fact about the defendant Dr. Gö.’s inner attitude towards National Socialism and the children's asylum operation at Jeissk (Section II (B) 2 c of the reasons) are especially based on the defendant's statements – insofar as they could be believed – and on the statements of witnesses Hir., Ker., Schl. und Syl.

The defendant Dr. Gö. especially declared that he had been indignant about the children's having been killed. He had considered killings with a gas van to be very cruel, particularly abominable and eerie, terrible and torturous.

In the course of his defense he especially also expressed that the consequence of a refusal to follow orders would have been his being placed before and SS- or police court and with certainty given a high sentence or even a death sentence.

The statements made by the defendant in this context are – except as concerns the issue of refusing to obey orders – at least not refutable, also as they are essentially confirmed by the witnesses Hir., Ker., Schl. und Syl., insofar as these could provide information at all. The witness Schl. testified that Dr. Gö. had been supposed to be a physician at the detachment, but never been taken quite seriously. He had – as was also confirmed by the witness Hir. – been the right hand of [detachment commander] Seetzen. The witness Ker. credibly stated that Seetzen promoted people according to his whims. The witness Syl. finally stated that Dr. Gö. had visited her and her husband during his leave in the winter of 1941/42. He had made a completely desperate and dissolute impression. To her husband he had said that he would rather be at the front than again experience something like the persecution of the Jews. The court sees no reason to call in question the statements made by the witnesses in this respect.

(Emphases added.)

A&M
Of course the judges did not believe him.

This reads like those sinister judges refused to believe the poor defendant without a good reason because they were all too eager to convict them – a claim that, apart from being at odds with the court's willingness to accept the defendants claims about his conflicts of conscience, see previous quote, omits the fact that the court's refusal to accept Dr. Gö.'s story of non-involvement in the gas van killings was based on several eyewitness testimonies incriminating the defendant. These testimonies came not from Soviet witnesses but – judging by the context, and by the surname abbreviations suggesting German names – from fellow members of Einsatzkommando 10a:
As concerns the nature of his participation in the operation the defendant Dr. Gö. claimed the following: he had once driven together with Jurieff from Krasnodar in the direction of Rostov. What task Jurieff had had he didn’t know. After some time they had arrived at a larger location with about 10,000 inhabitants. Whether this location was Jeissk he didn’t know. Jurieff had talked to members of the police. In this conversation it had been mentioned that nearby there was a home for mentally handicapped children. Jurieff and he had thereafter driven to this children’s home. He had entered the building and found already in the first room 15 small hydro-cephalic children. Beside the little beds there had stood small mongoloid children. In total he had seen 20 to 30 children. He also still remembered two nurses. He had then left the building and driven away with Jurieff. He had not seen that the children had been brought into the gas van. He had only later, in Krasnodar, heard that the children had been gassed. The gas van he had only seen twice in his life and only from afar, once at this specific place.

However, the defendant’s participation described in Section II (B) 2 b of the reasons is proven by the testimonies of witness Vol., Boc., Su. and Bö..

Whereas the statements of the [Soviet] witnesses Ko., Lik., Dwo. und Get. provide no indications that the defendant Dr. Gö. – who of course was not known to them – participated in the operation, the witnesses Vol. and Boc. concurrently testified that the defendant had been there and had "given instructions", "told the people what they had to do". The witness Su. stated that in early October 1942 Dr. Gö. and Jurieff had ordered him and a group of soldiers to drive to the city of Jeissk. Dr. Gö. and Jurieff had come along in a passenger car. They had all driven with the gas van to the children’s asylum. There Dr. Gö. and Jurieff had commanded the operation. The witness Bö. finally stated that Dr. Gö. had come to Jeissk with the "soul killer", driven along to the children’s asylum, there stood by the door of the "soul killer" and helped in loading the children.

(Emphases added.)

These conclusions are followed in the judgment by a long exposition of why the court, after thorough examination of their credibility ("nach eingehender Prüfung ihrer Glaubwürdigkeit") made these witnesses’ testimonies the basis of its findings of fact as concerns the defendant Dr. Gö.'s participation in the gas van killings. A large part of this exposition is dedicated to explaining why the court considered credible the incriminating testimony of witness Vol. (who had held the rank of Scharführer and been considered an "evil character" by defendant Tri. and an enthusiastic Nazi by witnesses Boc. and Schl.) and ruled out the possibility that Vol. had been biased against Dr. Gö. or inclined to incriminate him against better knowledge.


The conclusion of the above assessment is that A&M’s rendering of the judgment LG München I vom 14.07.1972, 114 Ks 4/70, besides showing the conspiracy thinking and other ill-reasoning that characterizes "Revisionism", is full of dishonest omissions and other falsehoods and has got little to do with the rendered judgment's actual contents.

And I don’t think one should expect the rest of A&M's screed to be much better. If a section covering less than two pages of the book is as full of nonsense and mendacity as demonstrated above, searching for similar fallacies in the rest of the book should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Whenever I should have the necessary time and nothing better to do, I may further entertain myself with such sport.

3 comments:

NorfolkTurkey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NorfolkTurkey said...

Smashing article Roberto... I enjoyed every minute of it. How does anyone think they are going to get away with such lies?

Nathan said...

- How does anyone think they are going to get away with such lies?-

"Revisionists" get away with their lies because of the gullibility and in some cases, outright dishonesty of their followers.