In what he announced might be his last "performance" in our debates, Friedrich Jansson commendably cut a bit on the rhetoric in the introduction, merely referring to "some more messes" of mine (read: some more arguments uncomfortable to his articles of faith), regarding which he would undertake one more "clean up job" (read: one more attempt to restore his peace of mind by restating what he is eager to believe and/or eagerly expects his readers to believe). Someone among his fellow "Revisionists" must have told him that he was putting on the rhetorical bullshit way too thick.
However, Jansson wouldn’t be Jansson if he had managed to stick with this line instead of again disgracing himself with at least one further "lie" accusation and his customary abusive bluster, as he tried to address those of my arguments he thought he could address (ignoring the rest, as usual). His attempts will be commented in this blog.
1. On topics other than the "main topics"
Jansson starts out on the wrong foot by repeating a claim he should have kept to himself, so as not to dig himself in further.
Obviously bothered by my having repeatedly pointed out his dishonesty exposed here and here, he repeats the already discussed non-argument, regarding the first of these blogs, that he had referred to "improved food supply, at least among the pregnant population" in connection with the 79 births at the Leningrad State Pediatric Institute (LSPI) in the second half of 1942.
This non-argument contains two deliberate falsehoods.
One consists in obfuscating that, while Jansson had "conceded" that the fall of the prematurity rate among children born at the LSPI in the second half of 1942, if compared to the high prematurity rate in the first half that year, "may be partially the result of improved food supply, at least among the pregnant population", his argument had been that said fall of the prematurity rate was not so much due to the "improved food supply", but suggested that "prematurity rates for a population under sustained food pressure are likely to return to somewhat normal levels" (emphasis added).
The other, more serious falsehood is the obfuscation of Jansson’s having omitted the fact that Dr. Antonov chiefly attributed the comparatively normal prematurity rate in the second half of 1942 to the apparent fact that the women who gave birth in that period, or at least a large part of them, belonged to privileged population segments that were much better fed than the majority of the city’s female population.
As readers of my reply to Jansson’s Leningrad blog will recall, Jansson omitted this information in order to unduly (as the women giving birth in the second half of 1942 were not representative of the city’s female population at the time) raise newborn weights by not considering the weights of babies born prematurely.
Jansson did himself no favor by repeating a falsehood whereby he had tried to cover up another falsehood.
As concerns the second of the aforementioned blogs, Jansson at least had the good sense of keeping silent about his shameful paper-dragon-slaying exercise, instead of further disgracing himself by trying to justify it.
Jansson’s reply to what I last wrote regarding Ettling’s experiments (see section 2 of the blog The more you scratch Friedrich Jansson …) is not much better than his repeated Leningrad falsehoods.
After trying to make the 150-pound-ewe’s mass loss of just 20 % look "significant" (which it hardly was in comparison to the 170-pound-ewe’s mass loss of 70.6 %), and producing some arithmetic whereby a mass loss of 20 % due to external flammables would be 28.3 % of the 170-pound ewe’s total proportional weight loss, Jansson repeats his argument that the contribution of external flammables to the 170-pound ewe’s being consumed by fire must have been much higher than with the 150-pound ewe, due to a higher amount of gasoline being used on the 170-pound ewe and the different arrangement and longer duration of the fire.
Needless to say, what Jansson thinks must have been and what Ettling observed and concluded are two different pairs of boots, and while the latter is what matters here, the former is irrelevant.
If the external flammables had contributed more than the carcass’s own fat to the 170-pound-ewe’s combustion, Ettling would not have written that the "findings" (of observing the carcass’s combustion and the factors that contributed thereto, what else?) "showed that for a ewe, and presumably for a human also, the body can be rather thoroughly consumed by fire from its own fat" (emphasis added), provided that the body is "suspended in such a way that it is over the fire which is fed from the body fat" (emphasis added) – the very way the 170-pound ewe’s carcass had been found "suspended on the seat springs with a lot of char and ash underneath", due to which the fat rendered from the carcass had "dripped onto the char which acted like a candle wick and kept the fat burning".
If I understood Jansson correctly, he is arguing that Ettling’s above-quoted statements are about "something ... which was not directly supported by his experiments".
This is a rather absurd proposition, for while it may be that the author of a scientific paper about the results of experiments also mentions something other than these results in the "Discussion" section, Ettling wouldn’t be discussing his experimental results at all if Jansson were not just writing plain nonsense.
Moreover Jansson’s argument calls for deliberately and insistently ignoring a clear and unequivocal statement of Ettling’s, whereby the possibility of a carcass being largely consumed by (essentially) a fire fed by its own fat is a finding derived from, guess what, the experiments described in the article.
Unless Jansson can identify a source of Ettling’s findings and the conclusions derived from these other than Ettling’s carcass-burning experiments (good luck, Mr. Jansson), his claim to have read the paper "with a clear head" is but a laughable case of what Jansson, in characteristic "Revisionist" self-projection, lamely accuses me of – empty rhetoric.
As I presume that at least some readers following this discussion have become curious about the full contents of Ettling’s article, I have transcribed the entire article here. Feedback from our readers on what they think of Mr. "clear head" Jansson’s reading of this article will be much appreciated.
Next, Jansson tries to cover up the embarrassment of having made a fuss about oh-so-outrageous errors in tables included in the HC critique and in the blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on Aktion Reinhard(t) Cremation (4), only to be confronted with the fact that these errors
a) were nothing more than Excel formulae errors (the denominator of a formula in a cell was not "frozen" before copying that formula onto cells below), and
b) led to wood to body mass ratios less favorable to my argument than those resulting from a correct calculation (especially embarrassing as Jansson had hollered about my presumable "dishonesty").
He does so by, first of all, misrepresenting my argument:
Muehlenkamp also claims that my observation of his error regarding quantities of wood neglects another of his errors which works in his favor, namely one involving the wood equivalent of railroad ties.As readers of the blog last mentioned will have noticed, that was not my claim at all. I simply pointed out that an Excel formulae error had led to higher wood to body mass ratios than a calculation without that error would have.
Jansson claims having assumed that I had used different energy density values for wooden railway sleepers than for other wood, as if the tables in question did not clearly show that I used exactly the same BTU/kg values for "Sleepers" as I did for "Pallets" or "Wood". But then, Jansson’s falsehoods are usually transparent.
Then Jansson complains that I should have used different energy density values for sleepers and for (other) wood, acting as if it were a matter of intelligence to know that "railway sleepers are generally soaked with creosote (coal tar, amounting to perhaps an additional 15% of their weight) which has a higher energy density than wood".
Jansson doesn’t tell just how much this creosote soaking, assuming it was present in the sleepers in question (the "generally" suggests that this is not always the case) would make the energy density of sleepers increase in relation to that of wood not treated with creosote. But he can do that when responding to this blog, if he should decide to do so (which I expect him to). However, as concerns tables 8.41 (5.5) to 8.43 (5.7), he need not even try unless he should be able to demonstrate an energy density for sleepers above 18,300 BTU/kg, for otherwise he will only return to the original wood to body mass ratio of 1.982/1, this time correctly calculated.
So much for the already considerable amount of garbage accumulated by Jansson before he even turns to what he calls the "main topics". That's where the fun really starts.
2. On burial density (see the blog As Jansson continues producing junk … and its first update, section 5., as well as the blog The more you scratch Friedrich Jansson …, section 3.)
Following the inevitable blather about my having "finally managed" to read the article available for download here (to which Jansson failed to provide the link), Jansson commits the unbelievable stupidity of repeating one of his deliberate falsehoods, which reads as follows (emphasis added):
(Interestingly enough, the authors of this study had also supposed – without specific data – that higher densities of burial were possible, but found that supposition refuted by real-life experience.)The "without specific data" claim is what can be safely called a lie, as the supposedly non-existing specific data are clearly stated in the article in question, from which I quoted them in my previous blog about this subject (emphasis added):
The area and volume of burial pits for slaughtered animals were initially estimated from the data on animal weights and age distributions contained in Table 4.1, using the following assumptions:
• The bulk density of the animals is 0.9 g/cm³;
• The carcasses are placed randomly in the pit, with a packing factor of 1.4 (equivalent to 30% porosity), to arrive at typical burial volumes of about 0.6 m³ for cattle and between 0.04 and 0.05 m³ per sheep or pig.No specific data my ass. Jansson even discusses the first set of these specific data (the 0.9 g/cm³ "bulk density") as he goes on.
The second set of these data, except for the packing factor, he mentions only marginally, even though I referred to it prominently in my previous blog. It is characteristic of Jansson’s dishonesty that he makes a big fuss about my having noted the "bulk density" (wrong term in this context, according to Jansson) of 0.9 g/cm³, berating me for not having realized, as genius Jansson did "in less than ten seconds", that this value did not refer to the bulk density but to the "average density of carcass", because the bulk density, as Jansson informs, includes empty spaces between the carcasses.
What Jansson doesn’t tell his gullible readers is that I mentioned the 0.9 g/cm³ before focusing on what he considers the actual bulk density, as follows:
Also of interest are the typical burial volumes:It must have been a bitter pill for Jansson that I could (moreover based on information from his own source, which he had conveniently omitted) demonstrate that the bulk densities (as per Jansson’s understanding of the term, i.e. including empty spaces) projected by the article’s authors are close to or above my calculation whereby 663.40 kg of human mass can fit into one cubic meter, which he had decried as a "a truly enormous error".
- According to Table 4.2, whereby 100 cattle weigh 37.3 tons or 37,300 kg, one head of cattle weighs 373 kg. If one head of cattle typically occupies 0.6 m³, then the typical burial density for cattle is 373÷0.6 = ca. 622 kg per m³.
- According to Table 4.2, whereby 1,000 sheep weigh 31.8 tons or 31,800 kg, one head of sheep weighs 31.8 kg. If one head of sheep typically occupies 0.04 to 0.05 m³, then the typical burial density for sheep is 31.8÷0.05 = ca. 636 kg per m³ to 31.8÷0.04 = ca. 795 kg per m³.
- According to Table 4.2, whereby 1,000 pigs weigh 27.6 tons or 27,600 kg, one pig weighs 27.6 kg. If one pig typically occupies 0.04 to 0.05 m³, then the typical burial density for pigs is 27.6÷0.05 = ca. 552 kg per m³ to 27.6÷0.04 = ca. 690 kg per m³.
So much for Jansson’s claim that my calculation whereby 663.40 kg of human mass can fit into one cubic meter is "a truly enormous error".
Hence it’s understandable (taking into consideration Jansson’s amply demonstrated mendacity) that in his reply he doesn’t spend a word on my above-quoted text.
Fortunately for Jansson, in that it gave him the opportunity to fuss around a little bit more, I had misunderstood the "typical burial volumes of about 0.6 m³ for cattle and between 0.04 and 0.05 m³ per sheep or pig" as referring to what Jansson calls the "average density of carcass" (not including spaces between carcasses), as opposed to what, according to Jansson, is the actual bulk density. Accordingly I had assumed that the lower densities stated in Table 4.2 were because the carcasses, projected by the authors to be placed in the pit with "a packing factor of 1.4 (equivalent to 30% porosity)", had not been packed together tightly enough with that packing factor when placed "randomly" inside the pit, and that the projected densities in terms of mass per cubic meter or fraction of cubic meter per mass (which, as mentioned before, are close to or even above the density I calculated) could (only) be achieved by a team inside the pit packing the carcasses more tightly than "a packing factor of 1.4 (equivalent to 30% porosity)", so that the carcasses would occupy more than 70 % of the available space.
Thanks to Jansson’s clarification (which, by the way, renders completely superfluous his lengthy illustrated sermon about cords of wood and a packing factor of 1.4 being pretty tight), I’m now aware that densities of ca. 622 kg per m³ (cattle), ca. 636 to 795 kg per m³ (sheep) or ca. 552 to 690 kg per m³ can be achieved with a packing factor of 1.4 – which suggests that the same applies to my calculated density of 663.40 kg per m³ for human beings.
In what is arguably the least intelligent of his ubiquitous "lie" accusations, Jansson accuses me of lying on account of my having wrongly understood that the packing factor mentioned by the article’s authors was based on experience and not just projected.
So I’m supposed to have deliberately misrepresented the contents of a text that I had (quite unlike Jansson, who for obvious reasons kept it to himself) quoted verbatim before. And as if this proposition were not inane enough, Jansson also failed to take into account that it made no difference to my argument whether the packing I assumed to be insufficient had been projected or actually practiced. Last but not least, my assumption of insufficient packing was unfavorable to my argument, requiring me to speculate that a packing team inside the pit would be required to achieve densities corresponding to my calculations.
Jansson often forgets to think before writing (especially before spouting one of his "lie" accusations), but this occasion is particularly amusing even by Janssonian standards.
Now, why did the article’s authors, based on practical experience, eventually consider burial densities somewhat lower than their projections? Was the projected packing factor of 1.4 not achieved in practice (i.e. was the empty space between carcasses higher than 30 %)? Or did the average density of carcass turn out to be higher than the projected 0.9 g/cm³? Or was it both?
The last paragraph from the article, quoted in my previous blog about this subject (and also conveniently omitted by Jansson) suggests the second of these possibilities (emphasis added):
However, practical experience at some of the mass burial sites suggests that in practice the volumes for sheep and cattle are greater than above and appropriately adjusted values are incorporated in Table 4.2, for herds of 100 cattle or 1000 sheep or pigs. The increase is attributed in part to carcass bloat, which effectively reduces the bulk density.First of all, note the highlighted "some", which means that the mentioned practical experience did not occur at all of the mass burial sites and suggests that the authors, preferring to err on the side of caution, stated in their table densities corresponding to worst case scenarios, despite densities corresponding to their projections having been achieved on some occasions.
Second and more important, the reason for lower bulk density that is expressly pointed out is "carcass bloat", which presumably means that the carcass mass was increased by gasses building up inside the carcass during the decomposition process.
Unless the Jews at the AR camps were mostly placed inside the burial pits when in a state of bloating due to decomposition (which is not what becomes apparent from the evidence), Jansson was thus comparing apples with oranges when he claimed, based on the article’s Table 4.2, that the burial densities resulting from that table could be projected to the AR camps.
Jansson knew what he was doing when he showed only the table and omitted the related text. (It is in the above-quoted paragraph, incidentally, that no specific data are provided – and not regarding the projected higher densities, as Jansson mendaciously claimed. If I know my Jansson well, he will now start babbling about the unfortunate wording of his claim.)
Jansson shows this photograph of a partially filled burial carcass disposal pit in Birkshaw Forest, UK:
and asks what evidence I have that a stacking team inside the pit could increase the density of the carcass mass "by over 50% in comparison with this".
It seems that Jansson has a problem with his eyesight, for the answer to his question is partially provided by the picture itself, which shows a rather loose packing of carcasses especially on the left edge, and a large space close to that edge which doesn’t seem to contain any carcass at all. There is hardly a packing factor of 1.4 here – rather a packing factor that could already be improved by a bulldozer shoving the carcasses closer together, not to mention a hypothetical packing team inside the pit having arranged the carcasses in a space-saving manner in the first place.
While Jansson’s aforementioned clarification and the above picture suggest that a packing team is not necessary to achieve burial densities in the order of the 663.40 kg per cubic meter I calculated (actually I need only 604.55 kg per cubic meter as pointed out here, and when factoring in decomposition after the corpses were placed inside the pit, top-down burning for sanitary purposes and the fact – mentioned by Sara Berger and to be addressed in a future blog – that the last contingents of deportees were burned right after being killed and never buried, I will need even less), Jansson’s rambling against evidence to the existence of a packing team at Bełżec extermination camp is worth addressing for the sheer stupidity of Jansson’s arguments.
Against this paragraph of the aforementioned blog:
Reder’s observation that the corpses were thrown "without order" into the graves does not contradict the evidence whereby, once inside the graves (and obviously outside the range of Reder’s observation), the corpses were ordered systematically by a team created for that purpose in order to save space (see Berger, EdV, pp. 66, 113, 148 and 372; judgment LG Düsseldorf vom 3.9.1965, 8 I Ks 2/64 (1st Düsseldorf Treblinka Trial), transcribed online here; Claude Lanzmann’s interview with Franz Suchomel).Jansson blusters away as follows:
A Treblinka trial verdict is not about Belzec, and Suchomel was not at Belzec either. As for Muehlenkamp’s citations from Sara Berger’s Experten der Vernichtung, p. 66 refers to Sobibor and p. 148 to Treblinka, while p. 113 refers to Belzec but does not say that a stacking team arranged the bodies for the sake of highly efficient use of space, and p. 372 has nothing to do with the subject. None of the references support Muehlenkamp’s idea of a Belzec “stacking team”, and he is lying in implying that they do. (Incidentally, Berger lies outrageously on p. 113 about the dimensions of the Belzec graves, claiming that there was a 70×33 meter grave. More charitably, she could have been misled by Michael Tregenza’s numbers, which are close to hers, but as she cites Kola as well there’s little excuse for this.) As for the fact that careful use was supposedly made of burial space at Sobibor, this actually works against Muehlenkamp, as if one accepts Muehlenkamp’s claims about burial space at that camp, only a relatively low burial density was achieved there, indicating that contrary to his claims these measures did not lead to any extraordinary burial density.First, the objection that a Treblinka trial verdict is not about Bełżec and references to Treblinka are not references to Bełżec: certainly so, but Treblinka and Bełżec were akin camps with akin methods and procedures, essentially organized and implemented by one and the same person (Christian Wirth), so it stands to reason that procedures applied at one of these places were also applied at the other, all the more so as space constraints (especially if one assumes that there were only the 33 mass graves at Bełżec identified by Prof. Andrzej Kola, and not also the further mass graves that Alex Bay considers to be visible on an air photograph) were probably more pressing at Bełżec than at Treblinka. The same goes for the parallel between Sobibór and Bełżec, except that in the former camp the burial density was somewhat lower for reasons that will be addressed below. Jansson either hasn’t read enough about these camps or forgot to think before hitting the keyboard.
Second, Jansson obviously didn’t bother to listen to Claude Lanzmann’s interview with Franz Suchomel, otherwise he might have realized that Suchomel’s statements between minute 17:39 and minute 19:03 of the video, including the part about Wirth having ordered Franz, Oberhauser and Hackenholt to place corpses inside the pits "so that Wirth could see how much space he needed", minute 18:35 (which shows that there was a concern about saving space at an early stage), refer to Bełżec (where Suchomel had not served, so he must have obtained this information from colleagues who had been there) and not to Treblinka.
As to the "relatively low burial density" at Sobibór, this results from dividing the number of 80,000 corpses through the combined volume of mass graves 3, 4, 5 and 6 identified by Prof. Kola in 2001 (9,525 cubic meters), as stated i.a. in this blog. Given that Sobibór handled much less "traffic" than its sister camps and the body disposal procedure was changed from burial to burning at a relatively early stage, it is entirely possible that some of these graves were filled below their capacity. The much lower number of deportees to be "processed" also implies that less thoroughness had to be applied to saving mass grave space.
As concerns Jansson’s imbecilic claim that "Sara Berger lies outrageously on p. 113 about the dimensions of the Belzec graves", apparently our "lies" howler hasn’t considered the possibility – which is not unlikely considering how the related footnote 103 on p. 499 is worded – that the historian (who refers to Kola only as concerns her statement about what she calls the Ausgrabungen (excavations) in the late 1990s) assumed that Kola had not identified the full extent of the mass graves and relied in this respect on Tregenza and/or on one or more of the four witnesses mentioned in that footnote.
3. On the Dresden Altmarkt pyres (see the blog Jansson finally answered my Dresden Altmarkt question …)
In this section a desperate Jansson largely tries to make up for the weakness of his arguments with dodging, empty claims, deliberate misunderstanding and abusive patronizing ("Looks like we need another hand-holding session. I can only wonder at Muehlenkamp’s inability to do a word problem that one might assign to a nine year old.", etc.). That makes it more fun to deconstruct Jansson's garbage point by point, as I will do in the following.
Regarding my proof that his assumptions on pyre fueling are false, Muehlenkamp first contests the fact that there are serious doubts concerning the procedures involved in the execution of the pyres, their fueling, and their results.
So Jansson considers his "puddle" arithmetic, and his lame squealing about the source base being "inadequate", to be proof that gasoline was not the main combustion agent on the Dresden Altmarkt pyres. His standards of evidence seem to be unreachably high or abysmally low, depending on what suits his argument.
He notes that “there are photographs of pyres while and before burning” – but this is just the problem. The photographs only show pyres with largely intact bodies, and not a pyre that has burned down and largely cremated the carcasses. As the pictures do not show a complete cremation – not even close – they cannot be used to determine the amounts and types of fuels used, even supposing that complete cremation did eventually take place.
First of all, I was not referring to Hahn’s photographs alone, but to photographs plus eyewitness testimonies (presumed to be the source of Irving’s and Taylor’s writing about the fuel and procedures, quoted i.a. here) and documents (confirming that, as is suggested by one of the photographs, the end result of the cremation was something that could be called "ash" or "ashes". Unlike "Revisionists", I don’t expect a single source of evidence to tell all the story, but look for a convergence of various sources.
Second, I wasn’t asking Jansson to determine the amounts and types of fuels used, let alone to do that on the basis of photographs alone. I was asking him for an estimate on the amount of gasoline that would in his opinion have been required to burn 6,865 corpses on the Dresden Altmarkt between 21 February and 5 March 1945, assuming that (as all related evidence suggests) the main combustion agent was gasoline.
Last but not least, while I can understand Jansson’s seeing the corpses of sub-human Jews as "carcasses", I must take the strongest possible exception to his applying that term to the corpses of worthy Volksgenossen murdered by those Jew-dominated Allied airborne gangsters. I hope for Jansson that Jürgen Graf is not reading this.
As for Muehlenkamp’s claims that the ashes seen in the photos are from the pyres, this is his interpretation, nothing more. The city was full of ashes; even clearing a spot for the cremation would have left piles of ash pushed to the side.
The ashes of what exactly – if not of cremated human beings – does Jansson think he is seeing in the foreground of the picture below?
Why would such non-human ashes be covering an open square like the Altmarkt?
What evidence is there that they did?
Why would such non-human ashes not have been completely removed from the square before setting up the pyres by 21 February 1945, a full week after the end of the attacks?
And why would such ashes be shoved towards the pyres instead of away from them, when there was much other space to pile them up, as would under Jansson’s assumption be suggested by the picture below (the link of which suggests that it is featured by a source close to Jansson’s intellectual circles)?
Even if the photographed piles of ashes were from previous pyres, their presence would not show that they were the only remains: the larger remains could have been removed first.A rather difficult undertaking to say the least, if one considers that, according to the Schlußmeldung über die vier Luftangriffe auf den LS-Ort Dresden am 13., 14. und 15. Februar 1945 (link provided by Jansson himself), one of the reasons for deciding to burn the corpses was a lack of suitable vehicles for transporting corpses to the cemeteries. Especially if a substantial portion of the cremated body parts looked like Leleko’s description of such parts at Treblinka (emphasis added):
The parts of the body that had burned but had preserved their natural shape were put into a special mortar and pounded into flour. This was done in order to hide the traces of the crimes committed. Later on the ashes were buried in deep pits.Jansson
As for documents mentioning cremation, they only give an offhand mention without details on the full course of events, or on fueling, and do not come from anyone closely involved with carrying out cremations.If Jansson’s characterization of the documents mentioning cremation were accurate, first of all, then so what? Would this mean that the description of the cremation’s results as "ash" or "ashes" in these documents (which is what we’re talking about here) was inaccurate, that the authors of these documents had no first-hand experience or reliable sources on which to base these descriptions? Hardly so.
And as concerns one of these two documents, Jansson either has a short memory or is arguing against better knowledge, for the document in question goes into some detail in referring to the cremation results and the procedure to be adopted in disposing of these results. I’m talking about the document StAD, Marstall- und Bestattungsamt, Nachtrag I - Schreiben, 4.3.1945 (Matthias Neutzner, Martha Heinrich Acht, pp. 91, 93 and 221), partially quoted in the excerpt from Martha Heinrich Acht transcribed and translated here:
Thousands of corpses still had to be retrieved and buried. A task that the available forces were not up to: thus, after Gauleiter and city administration had agreed, corpses were collected on the sealed-off Altmarkt, registered and finally burned. This happened »in consideration of the quickly progressing decomposition and the existing extraordinary difficulties in retrieving [the corpses] as well as the lack of suitable vehicles for transportation to cemeteries«, was stated in the Order Police's final report. For two weeks the old market place in the city center became a crematorium. On 5 March the corpses collected in the streets had been retrieved, the pyres gone out. »By my estimate, 8 - 10 cubic meters of ash lay on the Altmarkt«, was reported to the city administration the day before. »The Brigadeführer wished that this ash be loaded into recipients (boxes or sacks) and transported to the Heidefriedhof, where it is to be sunk into the earth at the place marked in lead on the map. It is not necessary to leave the boxes or sacks in the soil. You shall thus pour the ash from the transport recipients into the soil, so that the recipients can be reused several times. Transport should start on Tuesday.«So someone was being instructed on how to handle the boxes or sacks containing what was referred to as "ash", in such a manner that these recipients would not be buried with their contents but could be used for several loads of similar contents. Offhand mention, Mr. Jansson? Not from someone closely involved in carrying out cremations (and/or disposing of their results)? Bullshit.
Moreover, even Muehlenkamp believes that there are wartime forgeries among the documents mentioning these cremations, which implies that the pool of documents has been subject to propagandistic manipulation. Muehlenkamp may imagine that only one version of a document was subject to this, but this is only an assumption, not a proven fact. This renders the evidence still more uncertain, …
Muehlenkamp doesn’t "believe" (believing I leave to ideologically motivated specimens like Jansson) that "there are wartime forgeries among the documents mentioning these cremations". He sees no room for reasonable doubt that, as was finally established on hand of a copy of the unaltered document, exactly one document related to the Dresden bombings and their aftermath was subsequently manipulated, the subject of the manipulation (inflating the figures stated in the document by a factor of ten for propagandistic purposes) being wholly unrelated to the cremation process or results.
The manipulators were in all probability the recipients of the original document at the "Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda", who had every reason to manipulate figures stated in the document but no reason whatsoever to manipulate the information that body disposal had partially been carried out by cremating the bodies.
The fact that the Schlußmeldung contains figures obviously not manipulated is strong evidence against any manipulation having taken place in regard to that document, besides the fact that cremation of a part of the corpses was a propagandistically irrelevant detail.
As to the document StAD, Marstall- und Bestattungsamt, Nachtrag I - Schreiben, 4.3.1945, this was obviously an internal document of the city administration, known prior to Neutzner’s book only to a few insider researchers, and there was no reason for anyone to manipulate information as innocuous and unspectacular as an instruction to reuse recipients containing cremation remains instead of burying them with such remains.
This means that, while I would have reasons to protest against Jansson’s attempt to saddle me with the burden of proof, I don’t have to do so because it can be considered proven beyond a reasonable doubt that neither the Schlußmeldung nor the document StAD, Marstall- und Bestattungsamt, Nachtrag I - Schreiben, 4.3.1945 were in any way manipulated.
By the way, it seems that Jansson accepts as fact the aforementioned manipulation of the figures in TB 47. I wonder what Jürgen Graf would say to that.
… and totally unsuitable for proving that something is possible which all other experience says is not possible. A piece of paper claiming something is very poor evidence for such an occurrence (if a document mentioned that someone drove a large truck from Lisbon to Moscow using only one gallon of fuel, would you believe it?) even under the best of circumstances, and the circumstances here are far from the best.The circumstances are actually pretty good when there is a convergence of eyewitness, photographic and (other) documentary evidence, as in regard to the Dresden Altmarkt cremations and their results. And while it is true that the best of documents cannot prove something that is obviously preposterous (or something "which all other experience says is not possible"), that’s not the case we have here. All there is to support the notion that burning air raid victims to something deserving the designation "ash" or "ashes" was not possible with the means at hand, unless I missed or forgot something, is Jansson’s say-so.
In short, as I stated, the evidence concerning the Dresden pyres is inadequate to allow for a technical analysis of the cremation (if complete cremation did indeed take place).The evidence is perfectly adequate for concluding that the Dresden pyres burned 6,865 corpses, with gasoline as the main combustion agent, to remains small enough to fit into the boxes and sacks that the city administration instructed to reuse, and thus allow for transportation to the cemetery despite the lack of suitable vehicles that had been a reason for ordering cremation in the first place.
And again, I didn’t ask for Jansson’s "technical analysis". I asked for an estimate on the amount of gasoline that would in his opinion have been required to burn 6,865 corpses on the Dresden Altmarkt between 21 February and 5 March 1945, assuming that (as all related evidence suggests) the main combustion agent was gasoline.
Muehlenkamp asks whether I can “point out any source mentioning a different type of flammables used in addition to the wood below the pyre?” As usual, he does not know his own sources. David Irving’s book on Dresden, which Muehlenkamp cites in this connection, refers to the inclusion of “more straw between each layer” of corpses.Witness Jansson playing dumb as he deliberately misunderstands my question, which obviously was about what, besides the other flammables mentioned by my sources and/or visible on Hahn’s photographs, is supposed to have been used as a combustion agent instead of gasoline.
Now that the question has been sufficiently clarified to keep Jansson from trying to weasel out of it, let’s what he’s got.
Unless, of course, he means to tell me that the straw between each layer of bodies did the trick, together with what flammable material was under the pyres, without any other fuel being added. That would also be fine.
Ultimately, however, one needs to examine the primary sources, which Muehlenkamp fails to do entirely.Does Jansson examine the primary sources before accepting as fact a historical event that does not run contrary to his preconceived notions, or does he only yell for primary sources when it comes to events inconvenient to his articles of faith? I submit that it’s the latter, but I’m open to Jansson trying to convince me that he’s just as rigorous when it comes to historical events other than the crimes of his Nazi heroes, especially against Jews.
Anyway, it’s not like British historian Charles Taylor, quoted i.a. in this blog, had invented what he wrote about those "huge grill racks" and the use of gasoline for incineration. Taylor’s source is an excellent study with the title Dresden im Luftkrieg, of which I own the 2006 edition by Flechsig Buchvertrieb. The author of this study is the late Götz Bergander, who was himself a survivor of the Dresden bombing on 13/14 February 1945. Bergander’s source is a man who must have known what he was talking about – Mr. Theodor Ellgering, in his capacity as Geschäftsführer Interministerieller Luftkriegsausschuβ (Manager of the Inter-ministerial Air War Committee).
Ellgering reported having been put in charge of directing aid measures by Goebbels, and of having received extensive powers for this purpose (Bergander, p. 179). Regarding the pyres on the Altmarkt, Ellgering wrote the following (Bergander, p. 180, after Rodenberger, Axel, Der Tod von Dresden, Dortmund 1951, pp. 158-160):
Wir standen trotz dieser doch gewiβ primitiven Bestattungsart vor der Notwendigkeit, das Tempo weiter zu beschleunigen, denn infolge des milden Wetters begannen die Leichen in Verwesung überzugehen. Dadurch verbreitete sich über der völlig zerstörten Innenstadt ein pestilenzartiger Gestank. Es war deshalb aus gesundheitspolizeilichen Gründen dringend notwendig, die Leichenbergung zu beschleunigen. Der von vielen Seiten gemachte Vorschlag, die Toten in den städtischen Grünanlagen – also an Ort und Stelle – zu beerdigen, war aber nach Ansicht der Hygieniker wegen Gefährdung der Trinkwasserversorgung nicht durchführbar. Um den Ausbruch von Seuchen zu vermeiden, wurde die Altstadt zum Sperrgebiet erklärt. Es blieb keine Wahl mehr, als die … Genehmigung zur Verbrennung der Leichen zu geben, die auf dem Altmarkt stattfand, wo aus Eisenträgern riesige Roste gebaut wurden, auf denen jeweils 500 Leichen zu Scheiterhaufen aufgeschichtet, mit Benzin getränkt und verbrannt wurden.
Despite this certainly primitive kind of burial we stood before the necessity to further accelerate the pace, for due to the mild weather the corpses began to decompose. Due to this a pestilential stench spread over the completely destroyed inner city. It was urgently necessary, for public health reasons, to accelerate the recovery of the corpses. However, the suggestion made from many sides to bury the dead in the municipal green areas – i.e. on the spot – was not executable according to the hygienists’ opinion as it would imperil the drinking water supply. In order to prevent the outbreak of epidemics, the old town was declared a restricted area. There was no choice but to … grant permission for the burning of the corpses, which took place on the Altmarkt, where they made giant grates with iron girders, on each of which 500 corpses were piled up in pyres, drenched with gasoline and burned.
So, what is Mr. "primary sources" Jansson going to argue now? That Ellgering was lying about the corpses being drenched with gasoline, just for the fun of it?
[Skip Jansson’s patronizing abuse, which is of no interest except for what it reveals about Jansson.]
Following Muehlenkamp’s assumptions on fuel demands and the number of bodies per pyre, one is looking at some 5,000 litres of fuel per pyre, or 5 cubic meters. Muehlenkamp has estimated the pyre dimensions at some 6×2.5 meters, or 15 square meters. Dividing, we see that the puddle should have been one third of a meter deep, or a little over a foot.
Muehlenkamp also asks a stupid question about what makes me think that the gasoline had been poured on the pictures that don’t show burning. Who said it was? There’s no deep puddle of gasoline in the pictures showing combustion either, even though they show largely intact corpses. In fact, the point it that it isn’t possible to pour that amount of gasoline on a pyre of those dimensions, unless you have some kind of sealed tub underneath it to keep it contained (which the pictures show there was not). If that amount of gasoline were poured on such a pyre, it would simply spread out all over the square. That’s what liquids do.
Just the kind of calculations and considerations I was expecting from Jansson, no surprise here. Ten liters per corpse and 5,000 liters per pyre is in line with my calculations and sources, but Jansson seems to be assuming that all of it would run off the pyre, as opposed to at least a considerable part of it being soaked up by the victims’ clothing and hair, the straw between the corpses and the wood and straw below the grate. Why does he expect this to be so, especially in a scenario in which the gasoline was not poured over the bodies all at once but each layer of bodies was drenched in gasoline before adding the next layer?
Anyway, I understand from Jansson’s "puddle" fussing that he’s considering an amount of gasoline (or whatever other fuel he should have in mind, if he should decide on squealing that Ellgering lied about the gasoline) way below the 68,000 liters I calculated. What amount would that be, Mr. Jansson?
Not that it matters, but my "stupid question" was about pre-ignition pictures because I would expect whatever gasoline made a puddle around the pyre (or "spread all over the square", as Jansson is now arguing) to have ignited pretty quickly once the pyre was lit. And how did Jansson determine that there’s no gasoline around the burning pyre on the color photo? For someone who can’t tell whether the cremation remains in the foreground are remains of human beings or of whatever else Jansson has in mind, even though they look like bone fragments, that’s quite an achievement.
4. On the term Ausrottung and its verbal forms (see the blog Friedrich Jansson proudly presents … including updates, as well as the blog The more you scratch Friedrich Jansson …, section 1.)
Guess what, Jansson again dodged my questions regarding the statements from illustrious contemporaries quoted here.
These questions, or his inability to provide a faith-conforming yet not absurd reply to them, must be hard on poor Jansson’s nerves. At least that what is suggested by his initial furious outburst in this section, which inaugurates the opportunity for some more refutation fun.
Regarding my statement that as Ausrottung was held to be an appropriate term to describe Nazi Jewish policy in the 1930s, it cannot imply any further radicalization from that point, such as to a policy of killing the Jews, Muehlenkamp states that
that argument is a non-sequitur, for the use of “Ausrottung” as meaning something other than physical extermination at a certain time would not preclude its use in the sense of physical extermination at a later time.
As usual, he has misread. If he is unable to understand the meaning of the verb “to imply” in this context, he should take some English lessons rather than boring everyone with imbecile blogs. As was clear to everyone except Muehlenkamp, the argument was not that Ausrottung applied to people cannot be used to refer to killing, but rather that it does not imply killing, i.e a conclusion of “killing” does not follow from the use of “Ausrottung” with respect to the Jews.
Who does Jansson think he’s fooling? The argument he now claims to have made was not the argument to which my comment referred. Regarding that argument (which was that Ausrottung could not have been used at a later stage with a more radical (literal) meaning than corresponded to its (figurative) use in the 1930s), my comment was entirely appropriate.
Look who’s talking about "boring everyone with imbecile blogs", by the way.
Muehlenkamp proves unable to respond to my explanation of the actual meaning of the “assassination” passage from Der Gelbe Fleck of which he is so fond, so he spams the text again, and then tries to change the subject.Mendacious rhetorical blather instead of arguments – typical Jansson.
He then tries to draw a sharp distinction between literal and figurative meanings, maintaining that at least ausrotten’s literal meaning involves killing.No, I do draw a sharp and appropriate distinction between a certain term as used in its literal sense (which is what our conversation is all about, after all) and that term as used in a figurative sense (which is irrelevant).
By conceding that it also has a figurative meaning, he effectively concedes the argument: it follows from the existence of a “figurative” meaning that Ausrottung does not imply killing, as I said.
By this amazing piece of Janssonian reasoning, terms like "murdering", "killing", "slaughtering", "butchering", "assassinating" also do not imply killing, because all of them can be and are often used in a figurative sense (e.g. "a murderous routine", "making people work so-and-so-many hours a day is sheer murder", "killing with laughter", "football team A was slaughtered by football team B in the match at C", "character assassination", etc.)
If this was Jansson’s argument, he was making no argument at all.
But I strongly doubt it was, unless Jansson can convince me that he thought Mr. Harrison was referring to "Ausrottung" in a figurative, non-literal sense.
To conceal this fact, Muehlenkamp tries a rhetoric aimed at minimizing the problem by giving the example of the verb “to kill” and the expression “you’re killing me”, where the former meaning is clearly dominant; one might also give examples of the figurative use of “to drown” (“we will shut the Jews in the ghettos and they will drown in their own filth”) or cases of the figurative use of “totschlagen” (strike dead). Here there is a sense that the verb has a very strong literal and lethal meaning, and the others meanings are of somewhat restricted and subordinate use. This is not the case for ausrotten (particularly not at the time; postwar reeducation has emphasized the lethal meaning of this word and its derivatives, which has led this sense to dominate in contemporary German, but this is irrelevant and anachronistic for the period we are studying). It is just not that explicit a verb. The literal meaning is “to root out” – no death implied, although death is certainly one possibility. In short, it is a polyseme, and the non-homicidal uses are not subordinate to the homicidal one in the way that they are with “to kill” or “totschlagen”.
Highly irrelevant babbling, unless Jansson can demonstrate that ausrotten was ever used in its literal sense, when describing something done to a group or population of human beings, as meaning anything other than killing all or a significant part of that group’s members.
As to the classic "postwar reeducation" claim, the contemporary quotes provided suggest that Otto von Bismarck, Bernhard Fürst von Bülow, Navy Higher War Tribunal Counsel Dr. Schattenberg, SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, General Governor Hans Frank, and Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, among many others, would laugh their heads of it they read such blatant nonsense. So might Joseph Goebbels, unless he was too fond of the German language to consider it a laughing matter.
I have no particular objection to referring to the homicidal sense as “literal” and the non-homicidal sense as “figurative”, but one cannot pretend that the homicidal sense is the “true” meaning of “ausrotten.” Both are true meanings.So now a term's figurative meaning is also its true meaning? This is getting better and better. Does Jansson feel physical pain when someone is figuratively kicking his butt?
Therefore the use of ausrotten or its derivatives with respect to the Jews is perfectly consistent with revisionism – which is what I said in the first place.With revisionism maybe, but not with the "Revisionism" of Jansson et al, which is the exact opposite of revisionism in that it challenges solid evidence on the basis of bullshit, as opposed of challenging bullshit on the basis of solid evidence. As to what Jansson claims to have "said in the first place", see above.
Muehlenkamp also tries to whine about the supposed anti-semitism in my explanation of Der Gelbe Fleck – but doesn’t dare try to prove me wrong. Evidently Muehlankamp is one of those who believes that the truth is antisemitic.I’ll give Jansson the benefit of assuming that he was drunk or had smoked something weird when regurgitating what must be one of the oldest catchphrases in his manual.
Jews may or not have made opportunistic usage of a Christian language "with themselves in the place of Jesus", but what would reveal where Jansson comes from (if that were not obvious already on account of, among other things, the sole and exclusive theme of his blog site) is his obvious preoccupation with the actual or supposed wrongdoings of "Jews".
As to the "dare" remark (which, like with the "truth is antisemitic" classic, is also a cherry on the cake), Jansson should cut out the infantile use of terms suggesting that his opponent is afraid of something. As I remember having told him already, it enhances the impression that Jansson is scared of a great many things beside historical facts inconvenient to his articles of faith.
Talk about "truth" ("Wahrheit", in German), here’s something that I’m sure Jansson will like.
It’s no surprise that this blog propelled Jansson headlong into another of his fits of hysteria, which he gave the title Muehlenkamp goes full retard and introduced with a whole paragraph of puerile abuse that should do wonders for his credibility outside his intellectual circles. But then, I presume that Jansson has long ceased caring about that and resigned himself to playing for an audience of fellow true believers only.
Yet this torrent of invective is by no means the sorriest part of his performance. That comes in what follows.
Regarding section 1 of this blog, Jansson further disgraces himself by dishing up yet another stupid lie meant to cover up the previous lies regarding his Leningrad source, one that he must have concocted on the previous sleepless night because he didn’t come up with it before. Now, all of a sudden, his readers (who he must expect to be dumb as doors, not unreasonably so where they are fellow "Revisionists") are asked to believe that when Jansson produced this pearl (emphasis added):
The prematurity rate increased dramatically in the first half of 1942, reaching 41.2%, and then fell to normal levels – 6.5% – in the second half of 1942. While this fall may be partially the result of improved food supply, at least among the pregnant population, the initial rise was also the result of premature births to women who became pregnant before food became scarce. This suggests that prematurity rates for a population under sustained food pressure are likely to return to somewhat normal levels. Therefore, for the purposes of inference to Polish Jewish populations, it would be desirable to separate out the effect of the increase in premature births.
he meant to say that "In a population under sustained food pressure, the only women who are able to become pregnant are those who are comparatively well fed".
Quite apart from this having obviously not been his previous argument, Jansson apparently failed to realize that, as these comparatively well-fed women were not representative of a population under sustained food pressure (whereas his above-quoted statement suggests that such population eventually adjusts to living under sustained food pressure to the point of prematurity rates in childbirth returning to normal, with "improved food supply" maybe giving a hand), his falsely claiming now that he made this argument implies admitting that he had no justification for separating out the effect of the increase in premature births – other than, of course, his desire to push up newborn weights as high as possible to "refute" my arguments about the weights of children in a severely malnourished population.
In other words, Jansson is not only an inveterate liar who will pile falsehood upon falsehood as he desperately tries to cover up the first falsehood, he is also not a very bright one.
The second paragraph of Jansson’s freak-out, regarding Ettling’s experiments, is a classic example of Jansson getting tangled up in his own mendacious rhetoric.
First he claims that I attributed to him a position he didn’t argue when I pointed out that his contention whereby the 170-pound ewe had essentially been consumed by the externally fueled fire and not by the fire fed by its own fat was contradicted by Ettling’s express observations and conclusions.
Then he restates the very argument that I’m supposed to have falsely attributed to him.
Finally he attributes to me an argument I never made, namely that "you can ignore the fuel that burned during the first phase and act as though the second phase of burning could stand alone and still lead to the same overall results". Where exactly did I write that? Exactly nowhere, I dare say; I even protested right here against this claim being attributed to me. When I considered that the external fire had not significantly contributed to the 170-pound ewe’s cremation, this of course meant that the external fire’s contribution to the 170-pound ewe’s being largely destroyed had been no or not much greater than the external fire’s contribution to the 150-pound ewe’s comparatively small reduction. The fire fed by the carcass’s own fat did most of the combustion work, but neither Ettling nor I argued that it did all the combustion work.
Now to what Jansson calls the "main topics".
Regarding the burial density issue (section 2 of this blog), Jansson lamely tries to justify his false claim that the authors of this study had supposed "without specific data" that higher densities of burial were possible (false because the authors provided specific values of projected average density of carcasses, bulk density and packing factor) by providing his own definition of the term "data", whereby assumptions and estimates are not data, but only the results of experiments are data. Where he got this definition from I don’t know; he obviously didn’t get it from this business dictionary:
Information in raw or unorganized form (such as alphabets, numbers, or symbols) that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects. Data is limitless and present everywhere in the universe. See also information and knowledge.But let’s be generous and assume that Jansson’s definition of "data" has some support elsewhere, or at least that he believed in that definition when making the contentious statement, as opposed to having made it up on the fly to excuse himself. In that case, Jansson’s "without specific data" claim would still have been misleading in the context of his statement, for it suggested to the reader that the article’s authors had merely mentioned the possibility of higher densities without stating what higher densities they had in mind. And as the authors’ information about the projected densities is favorable to my argument and unfavorable to his, Jansson would still have shown his dishonesty by omitting information in his own source that was inconvenient to his case.
He still doesn’t address that information now, instead jumping to a furious attack on my argument that the first sentence of the authors’ explanation for the difference between their projections and the figures in their table suggests that there were burial sites where practical experience had coincided with the authors’ projections, but they had for the sake of caution only considered those burial sites where it had not.
Jansson claims that, if this were so, the authors would have "written something like “while at certain sites these estimated densities were indeed attained, at others the density in practice fell short of these levels. Accordingly it would be wise to plan for the following conservative figures.”" Why would they? Their paper was not about showing how smart they had been, but about informing readers on what to expect as concerns burial capacity in a worst case scenario.
Jansson’s alternative explanation that they "referred to some of the sites simply because they did not claim to have data regarding burial density from every single site" also does not hold water, for then the reference to some of the mass burial sites from which they had experience-based information, as opposed to all sites from which they had such information, would make no sense at all.
Conveniently ignoring once more the second sentence of the article’s authors’ explanation for the differences between their projections and practical experience at some burial sites (in which "carcass bloat", presumably due to decomposition, was highlighted as a factor leading to bulk density) and the implications thereof that I pointed out (namely that, unless the Jews at the AR camps were mostly placed inside the burial pits when in a state of bloating due to decomposition – which is not what becomes apparent from the evidence –, Jansson was comparing apples with oranges when he claimed, based on the article’s Table 4.2, that the burial densities resulting from that table could be projected to the AR camps), Jansson makes a fuss about my observations regarding the Birkshaw Forest photograph shown in this blog, shows some other photos, and asks me to explain how "a packing team will be able to increase the density of this burial by over 50%".
Sorry, but it not my job to provide such explanation. Considering that
a) a higher density was not only mathematically established by me, but also projected by Young, Marshland and Smith,
b) these authors’ statement mentioned above suggests the possibility of such higher density having been achieved at some carcass burial sites at least, and
c) Jansson is the challenger of solid evidence (bar Alex Bay, whose conclusions about further mass graves, if correct, would make this whole discussion unnecessary), suggesting that the deportees murdered at Bełżec were buried at the density I calculated (663.40 kg/m³), or at the density of 604.55 kg/m³ I mentioned here, or at the lower density that will result from factoring in decomposition, top-down burning and the fact that the last contingents of deportees were never buried before being burned,
it is for Jansson to demonstrate that the packing projected by Young, Marshland and Smith could not be achieved by arranging the carcasses inside the grave in a space-saving manner, instead of just dumping them inside at random.
Jansson then repeats his crap – it cannot be called otherwise – about my having not provided any evidence to the existence of a packing team inside the Bełżec mass graves, as if evidence to the existence of such packing teams at Sobibór and Treblinka, sister camps akin to Bełżec organized by the same man, were not at least strong indirect evidence to the existence of such packing teams at Bełżec, where space constraints were probably more pressing than at Treblinka, and certainly more pressing than at Sobibór. He falsely claims that Reder’s and Gerstein’s testimonies – which one might think that Jansson puts much stock in, and which are inconclusive either way – contradict the notion that at Bełżec the corpses were arranged inside the graves just like at Treblinka and Sobibor. And regarding Suchomel’s information about Bełżec in his interview by Claude Lanzmann, he lamely squeals again that Suchomel was not at Bełżec (so what, he got his information from people who had been there before coming to Treblinka, like Kurt Franz) and goes on arguing that "Suchomel’s account mentions the question being raised of how much burial space was needed, but which does not state anything about there being the kind of “packing team” which Muehlenkamp asserts".
If Jansson had paused to think before writing (which he seldom does), he would have realized that Wirth’s apparent concern with saving burial space even before Bełżec started operating would lead him to implement space-saving measures at that camp already and not only at its sister camps starting operation later, and that the notion of packing teams at Sobibór and Treblinka but no packing teams at Bełżec makes no sense also for this reason.
To top of this comedy of ill-reasoning with a nice cherry on the cake, Jansson idiotically accuses me of having provided bogus references (on grounds that Sara Berger’s book "only" mentions packing teams at Sobibór and Treblinka, go figure). The guy definitely has more than loose screw inside his head.
Going in the same direction is his accusation of my having made a misleading claim (now look who’s talking) about Sobibór, on grounds that Sara Berger "does state that bodies were arranged particularly efficiently at Sobibor". Particularly efficiently as opposed to not so efficiently at Bełżec and Treblinka, you mean? Sara Berger writes no such thing (EdV, p. 66):
Nach der Öffnung der Gaskammern musste das Arbeitskommando des Lagers III gemeinsam mit zusätzlichen Arbeitskräften aus dem jeweiligen Transport die Leichen herausholen und sie mit der Lorenbahn zu den Gruben fahren, wo sie gestapelt wurden, um möglichst wenig Platz einzunehmen.My translation:
After the opening of the gas chambers the work detachment of Camp III together with additional workers from the respective transport had to take out the corpses and drive them with the trolley rail to the pits, where they were piled so as to occupy as little space as possible.As one can see, there’s nothing here about the bodies having been arranged in a more space-saving manner than at the sister camps. Jansson again tried to take his readers for a ride (and as concerns the "Revisionists" among them, I’m sure he succeeded).
Regarding section 3 of this blog (the Dresden pyres), Jansson provides the rare useful information that in the 1977 edition of Bergander’s Dresden im Luftkrieg, the source of Ellgering’s statement quoted in this blog (which Jansson was familiar with, without that having kept him from claiming that there was no evidence for the use of gasoline on the Dresden pyres) is given as a document collection called Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden and not as Rodenberger’s book, which Bergander is critical of. So there seems to be a mistake in my 2006 edition, as I presumed (the switch of sourcing from Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden to Rodenberger puzzled me so much that I checked several times if Rodenberger was actually the reference). As Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden is a more solid reference than Rodenberger, this adds value to Ellgering’s report. Thank you, Mr. Jansson.
However, Jansson would not be Jansson if this rare useful information were not surrounded by brainless and mendacious nonsense, besides Jansson’s bragging that he checked Bergander’s reference with Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden (bravo, Freddy!) and his schoolmaster corrections of British author Frederick Taylor’s first name and the designation of the entity that Ellgering belonged to, the Interministerieller Luftkriegsschädenausschuβ. I’ll leave it open if this silly bragging and patronizing (moreover about minor errors made in the heat of the moment) indicates an inferiority complex that calls for constant self-affirmation. In any case it makes Jansson’s having acted as if Ellgering’s report didn’t exist look all the more miserable, and the same goes for the rest of what he writes in this section.
First, there is the claim that most of the gasoline poured onto one of the Dresden pyres would not have been absorbed by the victims’ clothing and hair and the straw and wood in between and/or below the corpses, which Jansson is requested to substantiate with some of his vaunted arithmetic (if he should feel like making himself look even sillier by adding some of his abusive patronizing, that would be fine).
When he has done that, he can answer this question he has dodged so far:
Anyway, I understand from Jansson’s "puddle" fussing that he’s considering an amount of gasoline (or whatever other fuel he should have in mind, if he should decide on squealing that Ellgering lied about the gasoline) way below the 68,000 liters I calculated. What amount would that be, Mr. Jansson?As well as these questions:
The ashes of what exactly – if not of cremated human beings – does Jansson think he is seeing in the foreground of the picture below?For the latter questions I don’t need an answer if Jansson wants his ignoring them to be understood as a concession that what one sees in the foreground of the color photo are in all probability human cremation remains.
Why would such non-human ashes be covering an open square like the Altmarkt?
What evidence is there that they did?
Why would such non-human ashes not have been completely removed from the square before setting up the pyres by 21 February 1945, a full week after the end of the attacks?
And why would such ashes be shoved towards the pyres instead of away from them, when there was much other space to pile them up, as would under Jansson’s assumption be suggested by the picture below (the link of which suggests that it is featured by a source close to Jansson’s intellectual circles)?
Then there is his evasion of my "truly stupid question" how he had determined the absence of gasoline around the burning pyre on the color photo, which contradicts his previous claim that one could deduct the absence of "a puddle of gasoline around a foot deep covering the entire area of the pyre" from pictures of the pyres (pre-ignition or while burning).
But that’s a minor point. More "interesting" is Jansson’s new claim that there are indications "from the pictures" contrary to the "claim" that the Dresden pyres attained complete cremation. Really, Mr. Jansson? What indications from what pictures exactly do you have in mind? Please fire away, I’m all ears.
Regarding the documents mentioning cremation and/or ash disposal, Jansson comes up with a speculation, if I understood him correctly, that there might never have been an authentic TB 47 with accurate figures but the only TB 47 may have been the one with the obviously overblown 5 and 6 digit figures (which would mean that it was not necessarily a forgery, i.e. a document purporting another than its actual author, but could have been an authentic document containing false information for propaganda purposes). Apart from this argument not exactly helping his claim that "there is recorded forgery in this domain" (for an authentic propaganda document would be propaganda but not a forgery), the only argument Jansson can offer in support of this theory is that the only evidence to the existence of the TB 47’s version with the accurate figures is an eyewitness testimony. A rather lousy argument, because a) eyewitness testimony can be (and in this case was considered by historians to be) very solid evidence, and b) in support of Jansson’s speculation there’s no evidence whatsoever.
Other than this speculation exercise, Jansson offers no new arguments but simply restates his previous ones (if such they can be called), lamely babbling about "all this uncertainty" that I have to but cannot eliminate. Strictly for the birds. Regarding the documents that interest us here (the Schlußmeldung über die vier Luftangriffe auf den LS-Ort Dresden am 13., 14. und 15. Februar 1945 and the document StAD, Marstall- und Bestattungsamt, Nachtrag I - Schreiben, 4.3.1945 quoted in Neutzner’s book), there is no uncertainty whatsoever. I have explained in detail why a manipulation of either of these documents can be safely ruled out, and Jansson’s only argument against my explanation is deafening silence.
Now to Ellgering’s report about his activities as Geschäftsführer Interministerieller Luftkriegsschädenausschuβ (Manager of the Inter-ministerial Air War Damage Committee) sent by Goebbels to direct the relief efforts, including without limitation the cremation of the corpses on the Altmarkt. After having conveniently kept silent about this report, although (as he bragged) he even read it in the original source collection in which it is included, Jansson is now forced to address this evidence. And he does so very poorly. First with this bizarre statement (note the highlighted passages):
Earlier, Muehlenkamp had opined that a document recording the Dresden cremations had “in all probability” been forged by “the ‘Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda’, who had every reason to manipulate figures stated in the document but no reason whatsoever to manipulate the information that body disposal had partially been carried out by cremating the bodies.” The reader will recall that Goebbels was the head of this Ministry, so Muehlenkamp is arguing that Goebbels’ underlings were forging documents about the Dresden cremations.Jansson seems to have very reading comprehension problems that he has accused me of having more than once.
Then Jansson makes what he apparently thinks is a spectacular announcement:
Bergander suggests that Goebbels himself may have been behind this. Now, to precisely whom was Ellgering subordinate? Who was ultimately in charge of the Interministerielle Luftkriegsschädenausschuβ? Well… wait for it… that’s right: Joseph Goebbels. Ellgering himself was one of Goebbels’ underlings. He received his authority in Dresden from… Goebbels. Isn’t that interesting?Actually it’s irrelevant, except perhaps in Jansson’s illogical mind. If Goebbels had someone add a zero to each figure in TB 47, this doesn’t imply that Ellgering reported inaccurately to his superior (if that was what he did and his report included in the Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden was not written after the war), or that he was instructed to misreport about a detail as irrelevant under propagandistic aspects as the kind of fuel used for burning the corpses on the Altmarkt. Jansson is clearly grasping at straws here.
Jansson’s next attempt (in which he again misspells my name):
Muehlankamp argues that “cremation of a part of the corpses was a propagandistically irrelevant detail” – yet Goebbels’ underling Ellgering would beg to differ. He described the Dresden pyres – not the attacks, just the pyres specifically – as representing a particularly serious atrocity.Actually he wasn’t describing it as an atrocity at all, but just as an undignified form of body disposal that he regretted having had to authorize after alternative possibilities, as he pointed out to justify his decision (which moreover involved the use of a scarce and precious commodity for other than military purposes, something that would also have to be justified), had been discussed and dismissed as impracticable. Jansson apparently expect his readers to not read what Ellgering wrote.
Jansson’s last attempt, before repeating his run-away conclusion:
This suggests that the Propaganda Minister (perhaps taking a cue from Soviet propaganda concerning Majdanek) may have taken an interest in the potential propaganda value of pyres, or claims and images thereof at any rate.Actually what Ellgering’s writing suggests is that he saw himself in the need of justifying why he had authorized the undignified open-air incineration of worthy Volksgenossen, for the quoted excerpt from his report is all about the reasons leading to this decision.
If Goebbels had been interested in the potential propaganda value of pyres, then Walter Hahn wouldn’t have had to shoot his Altmarkt pictures despite a prohibition to do so. A camera team from the Reich propaganda ministry would have been on the Altmarkt, footage of the burning pyres would have been shown in the Wochenschau, and grisly photos would have been sent to the neutral press. None of this happened.
And of course the type of combustion agent wouldn’t have interested Goebbels under propagandistic aspects, even if he had seen a propaganda potential in publicizing the cremation of the corpses. It might have interested him under aspects of war economy, but that was not the propaganda minister’s area of competence.
Jansson has again put up a very poor show. Even by his low standards.
I move on to Jansson’s latest linguistic exercise regarding the term "Ausrottung", in response to section 4 of this blog. This one I’ll address point by point for extra fun.
The issue at hand is whether the word Ausrottung as used with respect to the Jews in certain documents deriving from prominent National Socialists proves that NS policy was to kill the Jews.No, the issue at hand is whether the word Ausrottung was used with respect to "the" Jews in certain Nazi documents and statements as describing the objective to physically exterminate that population group and/or measures taken to reach that objective and/or the essential accomplishment of that objective. Nobody said that the use of Ausrottung alone "proves that NS policy was to kill the Jews", unless I missed something.
Faced with examples where Ausrottung has been used with respect to non-homicidal policy, Muehlenkamp tries to minimise these examples by declaring them figurative and then simply brushing them to the side. His argument is perfectly circular. First, he declares that by (his) definition, non-lethal uses of “ausrotten” are figurative. Second, he declares that we are discussing literal uses of “ausrotten”. But as he just defined the literal meaning of “ausrotten” to be “killing”, he’s reasoned in a perfect circle.Jansson has learned his sophistry well, but that doesn’t make it anything other than sophistry.
Needless to say, it’s not "my" definition of Ausrottung. It’s the definition you find in dictionaries, encyclopedias and translations (a fellow blogger has provided some examples here, and here is another, which by the way mentions Luther in section 3), and the one that becomes apparent from the overwhelming majority of contexts in which the term is used, of which the examples provided here are a sample. When a term is linguistically defined in a certain sense and most of its uses are in this sense, it’s entirely justified to assume that this sense is the term’s literal sense, and that exceptional uses of the term in another sense are figurative. Especially when such exceptional uses don’t signal any form of eradication or extirpation, even if by non-homicidal means.
Muehlenkamp objects to mention of non-lethal uses of “ausrotten” by noting that such argument can be extended to show that “terms like “murdering”, “killing”, “slaughtering”, “butchering”, “assassinating” also do not imply killing, because all of them can be and are often used in a figurative sense”. Indeed, even though they are far more explicit words than is Ausrottung, or “rooting-out”, they can also be used non-homicidally. Therefore they do not, in themselves, imply killing. Whether any given passage in which one of those words appears implies killing requires examination of the context. With these particular words, making this determination is usually (though not always) fairly easy, as the lethal and non-lethal usages tend to be quite distinct. With respect to “ausrotten”, the two categories of usage are much closer together than they are for the above-mentioned words, making it considerably harder.Do you think so, Mr. Jansson? Then please give us some examples in which Ausrottung is not clearly used, when describing something done to a group of people or population, in either its (literal) sense implying homicide or in its (non-literal) sense not implying homicide, but it is hard to tell which of the two is meant. Fire away.
Authors critical of the Jews have even being accused (by Jewish authors) of hiding their homicidal intentions behind ambiguous words like “ausrotten”, which permit them to say something that could refer to killing the Jews while still giving themselves plausible deniability. Such a position is the height of refinement in comparison with Muehlenkamp’s crudity.Is that so? Then let’s see some quotes from these refined Jewish authors, please. Until convinced that they have good points, I’d rather stick with my "crudity".
As he has compiled a list of usages of “ausrotten” which he imagines to be homicidal, Muehlenkamp asks me to explicate the meaning of each entry on his list. There is no reason for me to do this. First of all, even if all of his examples did mean killing, this would not establish his claim that the word implies killing whenever it is applied to a group of people, for giving some examples where a proposition is true does not establish that it is always true.First of all, it’s not each entry in my list. It’s just Fegelein, Frank and Himmler.
Second, if killing is meant in this three examples, it would not establish that Ausrottung means killing in each case in which it is used, but it would establish something far more important in the context of our discussion, namely that Fegelein, Frank and Himmler were talking about the physical, homicidal extermination of the Jewish populations they were referring to (which in Fegelein’s case were just the Jews living in areas entered by his unit, while Frank was referring to all Jews of Poland and Himmler to all Jews that he had taken care of).
We’re not doing an academic language exercise here, after all.
We are discussing whether Nazi bigwigs used the term Ausrottung and/or its verbal forms to describe the physical, homicidal extermination of Jews or the endeavor to do so.
A list of examples of “ausrotten” being used to mean killing would not prove the non-existence of cases where it is applied to a group of people in a non-lethal sense, for example with respect to expulsion.Same as above.
Second, Muehlenkamp has not offered any proof that ausrotten means killing in all of his examples. He has simply asserted it without evidence. Such unevidenced assertions require no response.So now I have to provide evidence of homicidal meaning before Jansson issues his erudite opinion on the meaning of certain terms in a certain context?
That’s a very comfortable position Jansson is putting himself into, but also one that stinks (guess of what).
Nevertheless, it’s not hard to prove that ausrotten meant killing in the statements quoted, for the statements themselves and the context in which they were made clearly point in that direction.
Fegelein ordered that Jews were to be put in Jewish quarters or ghettoes if they could not be immediately ausgerottet. The only alternative to ausrotten by killing (which was what Fegelein’s unit abundantly did and reported about) would have been ausrotten by expulsion, assuming for a moment that there is such a thing as ausrotten by expulsion, from the area in question to some adjacent area. That alternative was not practicable, however, as it would imply either saddling another German authority with those undesirable Jews or increasing the ranks of the partisans. So the only form of ausrotten that would serve the purpose of removing the local Jews rather than turn them into a burden or hazard was to kill them.
Frank claimed that the Ausrottung of Poland’s Jews had destroyed the biological basis of Jewry because Poland’s Jews were the only reproductive ones. Such claim would make no sense of the reproductive Polish Jews had been moved to a place where they could go on breeding like rabbits. It only made sense if the reproductive Polish Jews were dead.
And as to Himmler, he was as explicit as can be about what he meant by ausrotten:
I ask you that what I tell you in this circle you will really only hear and never talk about it. The question came up to us: What do to with the women and children? I decided to find a very clear solution also in this respect. This because I didn’t consider myself entitled to exterminate the men, that is, to kill them or to have them killed, and to let the children grow up as avengers against our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth.Jansson’s pathetic attempt to chicken out of addressing these statements is duly noted.
As Muehlenkamp simply defines the literal sense to mean killing, this is a logical impossibility. Every time that I give an example of ausrotten being used non-homicidally with respect to a group of people, Muehlenkamp will simply declare that it wasn’t being used literally by definition.Not if you can show me a statement whereby a population group is to or was or was meant to be eradicated or extirpated through non-homicidal measures, e.g. by sterilization or forcible expulsion. But there is no such statement, is there?
But simply declaring this proves nothing.I’ll give you my reasons for "declaring this", relax.
Indeed, Muehlenkamp has no answer to the fact that the Luther bible used “ausrotten” to express a divine command to expel – not kill – certain people. As he still hasn’t addressed this example, I’m not motivated to supply more – yet.Let me introduce you to a simple rule of debate, Mr. Jansson:
My example, I quote it.
Your example, you quote it.
And not your example, I look it up.