Since I just debunked a Holocaust affirming meme I thought I’d be fair and address a Holocaust denying meme. This meme is correct in spirit, but not in execution.
It is true that it takes at least an hour for a body to be cremated (I will discuss this in detail later) with the type of ovens used at Auschwitz/Birkenau. It’s true that there were four main crematories in Birkenau, however, there were 46 individual ovens (muffles) not 15. Altogether the crematoriums existed for 2,367 days but were actually operational for only 1,164 of those days, so this is not quite five years. Lastly, and most importantly, 1.1 million were alleged to have been murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau, not 6 million. It was never claimed that all of the alleged 6 million Holocaust victims were cremated in ovens.
We must address a few claims. Starting with the claim that more than one body was put into a muffle to speed up the process of cremation. The muffles were designed for one person and putting in more than one doesn’t not speed up the cremation time. If fact trying to cremate more than one body in a muffle actually compounds the amount of time it would take. This practice would also damage the crematory ovens.
There is also the claim that they used outdoor pits for ‘when there were too many bodies to be handled by the cremation ovens’. Right there you have an admission that the crematoriums were not enough to handle burning all the bodies that were allegedly gassed. I have previously written about how there is no evidence for the outdoor burning pits.
Crematoriums can not run for 24 hours a day as daily maintenance must be done. The most they could run for is 20 hours, and that is being generous. Very generous as there is documentation that the crematoriums were only run for 12 hours a day. But for the sake of argument I will give the orthodox Holocaust historians their 20 hours.
As I said before the crematoriums did not exist for the entirety of the war. They were built throughout 1943 and ran until various dates in 1944. The crematoriums were also not running the total time of their existence due to maintenance and breakdowns (and yes, there are records of this). Altogether the
crematoriums existed for 2,367 days but were actually operational for only 1,164 of those days.
All of the following figures are all theoretical and assume optimal conditions. Factors such as individual ovens not running despite the facility being in operation, availability of labor, availability of fuel and other unseen variables would negatively affect the speed of cremation.
Let’s get down to business, math business. I am getting my numbers from Carlo Mattogno’s article, The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau.
First we must now break down the operational days of the crematoriums with the number of ovens in
Crematoria II and III together were in operation for 888 days and had a total of 30 ovens.
Crematoria IV and V together were in operation for 276 days and had a total of 16 ovens.
888 days times 30 ovens at 20 hours a day equals 31,968,000 minutes of burning time.
276 days times 16 ovens at 20 hours a day equals 5,299,200 minutes of burning time.
We have a total of 37,267,200 minutes of burning time and 1,100,000 bodies to burn. This comes
to about 33 minutes per body.
Is this enough time to cremate a corpse? Simply put, no. To quote Jürgen Graf, “In 1975, a group of English cremation experts investigated the required minimal duration with regard to the incineration of the corpse of an adult in a muffle. On average, this is 63 minutes (Jones 1975)” (see page 25).
The following is information about modern cremation. Even with today’s technology it takes the average human body two to three hours to burn completely. And that isn’t counting oven preheating time.
Even under optimal conditions the crematoriums at Birkenau could not have handled the workload of over a million bodies. If we are posed with the question, “If it took Cookie Monster one hour to bake a batch of cookies with 46 ovens going 20 hours a day is it possible for him to bake 1.1 million cookies in 39 months?”, the answer would be no.