In their article, Operation Reinhard Evidence: Theft of Possessions, HDoT poses the question, “How do we know that possessions shipped from the death camps of Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor actually came from Jews murdered there?” Does HDoT provide evidence that the Nazis stole goods from murdered Jews? Read on to find out.
In typical HDoT style, they did not fully represent the argument of the “Holocaust denier.” In this case, they are talking about Holocaust revisionist Carlo Mattogno, who they quote as saying, “There is nothing in the documents themselves to indicate that this material was actually the property of deported Jews.” For the sake of transparency here is the full paragraph from which HDoT made their citation:
“J. Gumkowski and A. Rutkowski published two documents, which supposedly supply documentary evidence for the alleged mass extermination in Treblinka. These consist of a Wehrmacht bill of lading with the date “Treblinka, the 13th of September 1942,” which references the dispatch of 50 train cars to Lublin with “articles of clothing of the Waffen-SS,” and a Wehrmacht bill of lading with the date “Treblinka, the 10th of September 1943,” which relates to the sending of a train car to Lublin with 5,200 kg of shoes. There is nothing in the documents themselves to indicate that this material was actually the property of deported Jews. This is particularly improbable in the case of the “articles of clothing of the Waffen-SS,” since the Waffen-SS had no relationship to the Treblinka Camp, and furthermore it is not clear what use the Waffen-SS would have for a collection of used civilian clothing. Perhaps the articles of clothing mentioned are simply Waffen-SS uniforms, which were being reloaded on their return from the eastern front for the purpose of cleaning/delousing/sorting.” (Source: Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf: Treblinka—Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?, pages 156-157)
Next, HDoT says the facts are: “There are numerous primary documents showing the theft of Jewish-owned valuables at the Operation Reinhard death camps; the Nazis and their collaborators stole the Jews’ possessions and then murdered them. Some of the documents in question include railroad shipping manifests, Nazi directives and reports, and eyewitness testimony.”
At this time, I am not interested in whether or not the Germans stole goods from the Jewish people and redistributed them. The crux of the Holocaust narrative is not Germans putting Jews in camps and taking their things. The Holocaust is Germans systematically murdering Jews and homicidal gas chambers. So the issue of property theft is a discussion for another time. Therefore, I will be addressing HDoT’s argument for the claim that “the Nazis and their collaborators stole the Jews’ possessions and then murdered them.”
HDoT’s article goes on about all the items that were allegedly stolen and adds some witness testimony for good measure. Because of the way the article is setup with the leading question at the beginning the reader is lead to assume all the items they are talking about are from murdered Jews.
Near the end of the article HDoT makes this bold assertion: “There is an overwhelming amount of persuasive evidence, including German documents, showing that these boxcars were filled with goods stolen from murdered Jews.” Interesting thing for HDoT to say when they hadn’t provided any such evidence up till that point. After HDoT’s bold statement, they provide their one bit of evidence for the claim that Jews had been murdered: “Further, in an affidavit provided after WWII, Pohl testified that there was no doubt that the clothing had belonged to Jews who had been ‘exterminated.'” I wouldn’t exactly call that overwhelming persuasive evidence.
HDoT claims there is persuasive evidence that shows the boxcars were filled with goods stolen from murdered Jews but fails to say what this overwhelming evidence is. In Carlo Mattogno’s Treblinka book that was mentioned earlier, Mattogno provides some persuasive logic that explains why it’s improbable that the items in question came from murdered Jews—this being that there wasn’t enough stuff. If the Nazis had taken a pair of shoes from all of Jews allegedly deported to Treblinka, there would have been many times more shoes than the 5,200 kg that was recorded in the 1943 bill of lading.
Similarly to the shoes, there also weren’t enough articles of clothing. If the alleged 870,000 Jews deported to Treblinka each had 10 kg of clothing and textiles each, then it would have taken over 1,000 railway cars to haul it all. However, according to the records, there were only 50 cars that contained both the 5600 kg of shoes and the “Waffen-SS” clothing.
In the conclusion of their article, HDoT makes a stunning admission: “Nazi documents and eyewitness testimony both claim the rampant plunder of Jewish property. In and of itself, this evidence does not conclusively prove homicidal gassings at the Operation Reinhard camps“ [emphasis mine]. How nice of HDoT to admit that. I guess the “Holocaust denier” claim that “the tons of clothing, personal possessions, and valuables shipped from the Operation Reinhard death camps of Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor do not prove that the camps were extermination facilities” is correct then. So if it is admitted that piles of stuff isn’t evidence of genocide, then why do Holocaust promoters use it in all their Holocaust-affirming propaganda? For emotional manipulation? As a substitute for actual physical evidence?
When HDoT asks the question, “How do we know that possessions shipped from the death camps of Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor actually came from Jews murdered there?“, the answer is that we don’t know that Jews were murdered there. This is just an assertion that has never actually been proven.
Bonus Content: in HDoT’s article they cite Arad Yitzhak’s book, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, 9 times. I have already discussed how Yitzhak’s book is full of dubious citations here. To further illustrate Yitzhak’s dishonesty, I present a photograph from one of the pages HDoT referenced. Yitzhak claims that is a “pile of shoes and boots at Belzec.” When Mattogno saw this, he knew better and pointed out how this picture is actually a barracks of the stored personal effects in Birkenau (page 158). This is just another example how you can’t always trust the captions of photos from the Holocaust.