Holocaust fabulists just want to grill.
Today I will be addressing the following topic from Holocaust Denial on Trial, or HDoT:
As is typical of Holocaust fabulists “debunking” Holocaust revisionists, the argument of the revisionist is portrayed in a stupid and inaccurate way. From HDoT:
Holocaust deniers claim:
The cremation grills used at Sobibor, Treblinka, and Belzec were terribly designed. The cremation grills should have been designed like a Hindu funeral pyre, where the remains rest directly on the wood. This design would have been far more efficient than the grills the Nazis allegedly used.
For example, the self-named “Denierbud,” an American Holocaust denier and YouTube video maker, claims that such a model would have been more efficient because “as the wood sinks so does the body.”
What a confusing and unhelpful way to describe Dean Irebodd‘s argument, which I will explain in a bit. You can also watch his argument directly from One Third of the Holocaust here, timestamp 3:02:55 to 3:12:13 for the relevant bits. Alternatively, you can download the relevant episodes 23 and 24 on Holocaust Handbooks.
First, I would like to point out the subterfuge employed when describing the alleged cremation method in the Operation Reinhard camps. If you were to look up Treblinka, which is the biggest of the Operation Reinhard camps, in the fabulist Holocaust Encyclopedia it would say this about the cremations: “The forced laborers were ordered to burn the bodies on open-air “ovens” made from rail track.” This implies that there was some sort of oven-like structure in which the bodies were placed in and burned. But that’s not exactly right.
Yitzhak Arad was an Israeli historian and a former director of Yad Vashem. He wrote a definitive book about the Operation Reinhard camps called Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard death camps in which he explains the alleged cremation process. For the supposed top-priority mission of killing Jews and hiding the evidence, the cremation pyres were made with railway lines and concrete blocks:
At that time SS Oberscharfiihrer or Hauptscharfiihrer [Herbert] Floss, who, as I assume, was previously in another extermination camp, arrived. He was in charge of the arrangements for cremating the corpses. The cremation took place in such a way that railway lines and concrete blocks were placed together. The corpses were piled on these rails. Brushwood was put under the rails. The wood was doused with petrol. (source)
The bodies were stacked in layers and squirted liquid all over the prison workers:
The SS “expert” on bodyburning ordered us to put women, particularly fat women, on the first layer on the grill, face down. The second layer could consist of whatever was brought — men, women, or children — and so on, layer on top of layer. . . . Then the “expert” ordered us to lay dry branches under the grill and to light them. Within a few minutes the fire would take so it was difficult to approach the crematorium from as far as 50 meters away. . . . The work was extremely difficult. The stench was awful. Liquid excretions from the corpses squirted all over the prisoner-workers. (source)
As I mentioned, Dean Irebodd recreated the alleged cremation process on a smaller scale in One Third of the Holocaust.
Now to explain Irebodd’s argument. Below we can see the grill setup where the wood has burned down for about 10 minutes without having any more wood added. There is a space between the thing being cremated (a leg of lamb in this experiment) and the fire. And as the fire goes down, that space gets larger and more and more heat from the fire is wasted. It doesn’t take long before there is not enough heat reaching the lamb to make it combust. Irebodd says that a Hindu pyre is more efficient than this setup because there is no grill, so the body stays on top of the fire and no heat is wasted.
You may be thinking that maybe wood was constantly being added, but that isn’t the claim. From Arad’s book:
The body-burning went on day and night. The corpses were transferred and arranged on the roasters during the day; at nightfall they were lit, and they burned throughout the night. When the fire went out, there were only skeletons or scattered bones on the roasters, and piles of ash underneath. (source)
As we can see from Irebodd’s recreation, putting wood underneath the grills and leaving it to burn overnight wouldn’t have worked with the method that was claimed to have been used.
Defying reality is one of the problems you run into when crafting a lie. Like the bit about squirting corpse liquid that was added for dramatic effect. It’s great for storytelling, but not great for actually being true. As my robot assistant, Sarah, points out:
HDoT has some more crazy claims which I will refute in part two. Stay tuned!