Perhaps I judged the official story of Chelmno too harshly. Perhaps all traces of the alleged gas vans really did disappear off the face of the earth somehow. Perhaps all the conflicting witness testimony was just the result of being confused from trauma. Perhaps the Nazis did create a gas van that defied the physical impossibilities.
According to Holocaust fabulist Patrick Montague, “little physical evidence” remaining, the “absence of camp records and other relevant Nazi documents,” and “[camp] photographs remain tragically lost to history.” (source) When the Soviets captured the town of Chelmno on January 17, 1945 the camp was already destroyed, presumably by the Germans. This is why little physical evidence remains. Depending on who you ask (see image below) there were 100,000 to 300,000, or more, alleged victims. Because of this, there would undoubtedly be evidence of the alleged remains that the Germans could not hide.
In 1945, 1951, 1986–1987 and in 2003–2004, various Polish teams conducted investigations of Chelmno. In his book, Chelmno—A German Camp in History and Propaganda, Carlo Mattogno describes the first phase of archeological investigation:
The only mass grave found in the first phase of archeological investigations is that in Sector II. However, as I said above, it was identified basically only by five drillings, which I have numbered from 1 to 5 in
an enlargement of the map (see Document 12d [below]). From this it can be seen clearly that Drill Sample no. 3 was taken from outside the area of the alleged mass grave, which is about 20 meters wide and about 60 meters long. This huge area was then allegedly identified on the basis of four drillings made at great distances from each other. This is neither scientific nor can it be taken seriously. Apart from the width of the trench – about 20 meters – it contradicts the testimony of “Szlamek” and Podchlebnik, who speak of 5 meters and 6.7 meters, respectively. I remind the reader that Sector II was the alleged “killing and burial place of the first group of Jews,” i.e. of the first Jews to arrive at the camp, among whom also these two witnesses are said to have been. (source page 101)
In November of 1988, the Koniń District Museum asked the Medical Academy of Poznań to analyze four bags of dirt taken from Chelmno in order to determine whether these fragments contained bones and human ashes and what their percentage was. The Medical Academy of Poznań determined that the samples contained a “few percent” of residual bone (source page 97). The problem with this is that even the lowest estimate of alleged Chelmno victims, 152,000, would have amounted to 456 tons of human ashes. In 1945 the Chełmno camp was examined by Judge Bednarz. In his investigation he determined that “[t]he ashes were dumped in trenches 4 meters deep and 8-10 meters wide. They were then covered with earth. On that site a stand of partly conifers and partly birches was planted.” Assuming that one of the soil samples was from this trench, a low residual bone percentage contradicts the claim of mass murder (source page 104).
In 2003–2004, the Koniń District Museum carried out further archeological investigations. However, reports on the findings are not transparent. Mass graves are said to have been discovered “by random testing and drilling,” but it is not explained what criteria were used. Conveniently enough, the findings of this investigation precisely matched a map created in 1989, and updated in 1996, by Zdzisław Lorek. Lorek created this map on behalf of the Koniń District Museum (source 100,101). Because of this lack of transparency Mattogno is unable to do a thorough examination of these investigations. Make of that what you will while at the same time remembering that it is illegal to deny the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, with the information that is available, we have no assurance that the grounds of Chelmno contain at least 456 tons of human ashes.
What about a facility, or facilities, that would be required to cremate the alleged victims?
Per the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland:
In the summer of 1942, two crematoria were built to cremate the victims. At the end of this phase, the mansion was demolished, the crematoria destroyed, and the forest camp dissolved. (source)
According to Bednarz:
2 new furnaces were built in 1944, during the period when the camp resumed its activities. Witnesses Żurawski, Srebrnik and the policeman in custody Bruno Israel, who had seen the reconstructed furnaces, described them as follows: the furnaces were built into the ground and did not protrude above ground level. They had the shape of a cone with a base of equal angles and its apex in the ground. At the top the furnace measured 6 × 10 meters and had a height and a depth of 4 meters. (source page 104)
Reality would prove Bednarz and the Central Commission wrong. Because the underground structure of the furnace had a reinforced concrete base, it could not be completely destroyed using explosives. And yes, I am using the singular word because only one furnace was discovered, not four. Bednarz was also off on the measurements as they were 6m × 5m, not 6m x 10m. That is quite a difference.
Did Chelmno have the capability to cremate at least 152,000 alleged victims? Read part three to find out!