Yitzhak Arad is a celebrated orthodox Holocaust historian. His book, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard Death Camps, provides us with an explanation of why there are so few bone fragments in the Treblinka camp where some 900,000 Jews were said to be murdered and cremated on outdoor pyres.
According to Arad, a group was tasked with collecting the bones that had not burned completely and smashing them with sticks on sheets of tin. Must have been pretty noisy. After that they ran the bones through a fine screen and smashed again until they were the desired consistency.
Dean Irebodd talks about this in length in episode 24 of his documentary, One Third of the Holocaust—A holocaust denial movie on the subject of Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec. It is only seven minutes and I highly recommend you watch it before you read the response from Holocaust Denial on Trial, or HDoT, so you can see how his argument is misrepresented.
Dean Irebodd clearly stated that he was just guessing at the bone crushing configuration as the historians, Arad and Raul Hilberg, do not describe where the bone crushing took place. They also complain that map he used was not to scale. Perhaps Arad should have mentioned that in his book.
Real quick, I would like to point out that none of the maps list a space for the bone crushing operation. Not even the highly detailed map by Yankel Wiernik who was allegedly spent a year in the camp.
In the second paragraph from above HDoT provides a source for what they say are better maps. The following map is the most accurately scaled one available according to the site. The source mentioned in the third paragraph is no longer available so we will just have to go with this map.
While it looks like there could be space for a bone crushing operation, one may have difficulty visualizing how big the space actually is, even when using the scale.
I have previously written about the problem of space for the 700,000 bodies that Arad claimed were buried at one time in Treblinka before they were dug up and burned. In that article, I provided two aerial photographs taken from about the same distance. On the left is Treblinka and on the right is the Rose Bowl stadium which was designed to hold about 90,000 people. This should give you a better idea of the size of the camp.
We also have considered that Arad claims that they increased the number of cremation pyres to six and that they took up much of the space of the area east of the gas chambers. The map above does not account for this.
The site that provided the map had this to say: “This redrawn map should by no means be considered as an exact representation of the camp—this would never be entirely possible.” A statement in which I wholeheartedly agree. It is impossible to know what the camp looked like especially considering that no proper archaeological investigations were done at the site of the alleged death camp. Are the new maps drawn with seeking truth in mind or are they drawn with cherrypicked information and redesigned to account for problems in the previous maps? Remember, the question is not “could it have happened?”; it is “did it happen?”. Could there have been bone crushing stations? Maybe. Were there bone crushing stations based on evidence given? Unlikely.
Just so I don’t get accused of taking HDoT out of context, in the following section they do say that there were photos taken that could have been people crushing bones. Unfortunately, both sources they link to are unavailable and I was unable to find any photos from Kurt Franz (see this article for more about his photos) that looked like people crushing bones using the usual search methods. I emailed the site about this issue, I will see if they reply. (Update: they didn’t reply.)
In the end, HDoT hasn’t given me one good reason that I should believe the bone crushing procedure is nothing more than a just-so story.