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Crematoria Smoke

A compendium of Holocaust deniers' confusion

Subject: "smoke" citations
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 13:17:44 -0800 (PST)
From: "Jamie McCarthy" <jamie@nizkor.almanac.bc.ca>

References to crematorium smoke in the archives break down into two categories, based on two distinguishable deniers' claims:

  1. Crematories emit smoke, and the aerial photographs do not show cremation smoke, so therefore there was no cremation taking place at the time of the photographs, so therefore there was not much cremation taking place at that point in time generally.
  2. Crematories do not emit smoke, and eyewitnesses claim that they did, so therefore the eyewitnesses are all lying.

Obviously, the second argument contradicts the validity of the first, since if the second argument is true, the first argument has no weight.

Apart from the contradiction, and the fallacies in both arguments, it should be pointed out that Holocaust-deniers never actually deny that huge crematories were built at Auschwitz for the purpose of incinerating corpses. Thus, I'm not sure what the point of the argument about not seeing smoke in the aerial photographs would be. They don't deny that _some_ incineration was going on; the only question is how much during the months when the Hungarian Jews were being killed, and any question requiring quantification obviously cannot be answered authoritatively by the kind of spot-checking done with the aerial photography. I suppose the deniers do not want authoritative answers, though, they merely want to hint and make innuendo.

I could not find anyone actually claiming that "bodies were not burned at Birkenau," which would be a bit ridiculous. There are some claims that the burning pits did not exist.

Anyway, here are the hits in the Nizkor archive that are relevant to these claims.

Category One
The aerial photographs show no cremation smoke

Doyal Gudgel ("Thomas Doyal") has typed in a transcript of a rambling speech by David Irving.

[much deletia -JRM]

So it is in Auschwitz two. And so you can prove it too from the photographs which were only released in the 1970s. Until the mid 1970s these "holocaust eyewitnesses " had no idea that the REAL eyewitness evidence existed in the form of the incontrovertible evidence of the cameras.

[5 1/2 paragraphs deleted -JRM]

What else is not visible on the photograph? There is no smoke. Remember the eyewitnesses who describe how the chimneys continuously spewed smoke? See Schindler's list, ashes flutter down and he flicks it off his lapel. None of this is visible on the photographs either, No columns of people lining up outside. No lines of people standing up outside the gas chambers,

All these things in the eyewitness accounts are missing in the phonographs. So what did happen in Auschwitz? Can we begin to speculate? From hard evidence what I call real history. It is this word "Real History" which makes our enemies squirm and go chanting around the building here, in canting against us.

Jeff Roberts quotes Walendy at the Zuendel trial:

[Reitlinger quote deleted -JRM]

Christie (defence counsel for Zundel) turned his attention to the numerous aerial photographs of Auschwitz made by the Allies in 1944, and released in 1979, and to (Udo) Walendy's Historical Fact No. 9," whose title posed the question, Holocaust Now Underground? Could you just tell us," asked Christie, what it is you indicated on the front cover of that publication?" Walendy: [It's] an enlargement of a section of those aerial photographs taken by the American Air Force, showing two crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and also several barracks, these enlargements show that the crematoria did not show any smoke around. No dug-out areas [pits] were seen. There, apparently, people were buried and burned. It is also shown here [in the booklet] that the Americans, in 1944, photographed the whole area every 10 days from a height of 6000 meters, and on not a single one of those photographs can smoke be seen coming from the crematoria, and also the area around those crematoria did not show what was allegedly to be seen, and since that time [1979] there are more and more claims that the Holocaust had taken place underground, and it could not have been seen from above ground.

[Page 259 The Holocaust on Trial ,The case of Ernst Zundel by Robert Lenski.]

The Holocaust on Trial is available from:-

The Institute of Historical Review PO Box 241556, Newport Beach, CA 92659 USA.

Al Baron claims the smoke was painted onto the aerial photographs:

In article <41ah6n$5nn@kelly.teleport.com> kathleen@teleport.com "Kathleen Mulhern" writes:

"Thick black smoke emminating from the crematoriams is not a rumor if there are pictures of them. "

Are you sure the smoke wasn't painted on? In case you think that is a facetious remark there are many more blatant fabrications, some of which are admitted.

Al Baron claims that no smoke was visible on the photographs, painted-on or otherwise.

[deletia -JRM]

"48. Do Allied wartime aerial reconnaissance photos of Auschwitz (taken during the period when the "gas chambers" and crematoria were supposedly in full operation) show evidence of extermination? No. In fact, these photographs do not even reveal a trace of the enormous amount of smoke that supposedly was constantly over the camp, nor do they show evidence of the "open pits" in which bodies were allegedly burned.

"Overflight of Auschwitz were very few and were carried out in late 1944, when the extermination process was almost finished. Some aerial photos were taken after the gas chambers were destroyed. "

In other words, no.

Friedrich Berg:

Dear Mr. Nenonen,

I do not have much time tonight but I will try to give you something in the way of answer.

[one paragraph about diesel CO deleted -JRM]

As to the aerial photos, they were taken every month from April 1944 until January 1945--during the period of many months when the alleged mass murders and cremations were going on with the greatest intensity, supposedly. When I was in Auschwitz the guide told my group that in the summer of 1944 as many as 24,000 people were murdered and cremated per day--and since the crematoria could only dispose of a maximum of 8,000 per day, the rest (up to 16,000 per day) had to be burned in open pits. That story is simply insane.

Also, it was claimed that the crematoria chimneys poured forth smoke and flame that could be seen for miles 24 hours per day. In a report entitled "THE HOLOCAUST REVISITED" published by the CIA in February 1979 on page 11 we have the following statement: "Although survivors recalled that smoke and flame emanated continually from the crematoria chimneys and was visible for miles, the photographs we examined gave no positive proof of this." That statement is an understatement because if you do examine the photos and large duplicate negatives which can be purchased through the National Archives in Washington, DC.--you will find that there is not even a whisper of smoke near any of the chimneys on any of the photos or negatives. Clearly, the "survivors" were lying. No open pits with burning bodies or bodies of any other kind either.

Auschwitz was a nice place to spend the war compared to many of the alternatives.


Friedrich Berg again:

[much deletia -JRM]

One kind of hard evidence which clearly refutes the extermination story is aerial reconnaisance photographs such as the ones taken by Allied aircraft over Auschwitz every month from April 1944 through January 1945. Those photos clearly show that many of the most often used "eyewitness" stories are simply lies. The story was that the chimneys of the crematoria at Auschwitz spewed forth smoke and flame 24 hours per day which could be seen for miles and that as many as 16,000 corpses were burned in open pits every day also. The photos, in all cases, fail to show even so much as a whisper of smoke from any of the crematoria chimneys. As to burning open pits which certainly should have been even more visible, far more visible, there was absolutely nothing at all.

Dan Gannon quotes IHR material, presumably an IHR Newsletter:

[much deletia -JRM]

The Video that Justifies Buying a Video Player

New Documentary Video Torpedos Battleship Auschwitz
"Gas Chambers" Suffer Direct Hit

IN THE JULY 1992 _IHR Newsletter_, we told you about historian David Irving's dramatic trial....

[much deletia -JRM]

[Shot from the video, "Alicia and Cole discuss a wartime aerial reconaissance photo of Auschwitz: No belching smoke from the chimneys, no lines of people awaiting gassing."]

The JHR again:

>From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 12, Number 4 (Winter 1992-93):

[From the REVIEWS section:]
Book-Length "Scholarly" Polemic
Fails to Discredit Leuchter

TRUTH PREVAILS: Demolishing Holocaust Denial: The End of the Leuchter Report. Edited by Shelly Shapiro. New York, N.Y.: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, and Holocaust Survivors & Friends in Pursuit of Justice, 1990. Softcover. 135 pages. Illustrations. Index. $15.00. ISBN 1-879437-00-7.

Reviewed by Mark Weber

[much deletia -JRM]

The preface also sets the tone of _Truth Prevails_, where the reader is told: "The incomprehensible death factories 'with their bulging gas chambers and smoke-belching crematoria eclipsed man's visions of hell.' The name of Auschwitz means the epitomy [SIC] of evil." Overlooking the emotion-charged rhetoric here, it should be pointed out that, as anyone who is even superficially familiar with the reality of Auschwitz knows, there were no "smoke-belching crematoria" there (or anywhere, for that matter). Like similar facilities elsewhere, the crematory facilities at Auschwitz were structurally not able to "belch" smoke. (Accordingly, Allied aerial reconnaissance photos taken of the camp complex in 1944 -- at the height of the supposed extermination process there -- show absolutely no trace of any smoke whatsoever.)

rs241@delphi.com (name unknown to me) suggests that the burning pits were drawn onto the photos (and quotes me responding to a quote from John Ball suggesting the same thing):

Jamie McCarthy <jamie@voyager.net> writes:

>> Though John Ball does not specifically designate the "pit" behind KII as
>> a "mark" drawn of aerial photos, he does believe the "pits" near KIII are
>> drawn there. Since the pits in both locations look alike, I would hazard a
>> guess that the pit near KII is also a CIA enhancement of the original
>> imagery. In any case, there is no smoke eminating from these locations in
>> any of the air photographs.

"Does John Ball explain why or how someone would have forged a photo that sat in archives until the late 70s? A photo that was filed under the military photographs of the Monowitz facility, and whose worth to Holocaust historians was only discovered by researchers more than thirty years after the war was over?

No, I didn't think so."

No I do not believe that Mr. Ball explains who placed the marks on Krema II & III. I myself would not be surprised that the CIA during the 1970's placed these marks after the publication of Dr. Butz's book.

Category Two
There wouldn't have been any cremation smoke

Al Baron, "a miniscule amount of smoke."

In article <43q1da$5fj@dns.enter.net> yawen@enter.net "Yale F. Edeiken" writes:

"All of us froze into one. Staring at each other, not speaking a word, we looked and wondered at those tall chimneys spewing a peculiar reddish flame. A smell none of us had ever experienced before hung in the air." [1]"

"Now Lyin' Al explain how an impartial judge looked at it, looked at the evidence, looked at the allegations about and concluded that it was true. Or are you going to repeat Raven's lie about the case?"

There were flames issuing from these tall chimneys? Have you ever seen them? Have you visited a crematorium? I did as part of the research for my book. They give off a minuscule amount of smoke and no flames at all. And what was the smell he claimed to have experienced?

Al Baron again:

[deletia -- the below is unpublished work by Al Baron -JRM]

Appendix I: The "Trust Me, I'm A Lawyer"
Technique Of Anti-Revisionism

$SIX MILLION DID DIE: the truth shall prevail$ was first published
in South Africa in October 1976, and, according to the $PREFACE

[much deletia -JRM]

"In 1944 a second crematorium was built on the other side of the bunkers and the black stinking smoke which belched out of the chimneys became one of the ordinary features of the Ravensbrueck scene...The overseers and SS men were fond of telling us that the only way we should ever leave Ravensbrueck would be 'up the chimney'." This sounds remarkably like the origin of Gitta Sereny's claim (see Appendix L), which was related to non-extermination camps. Again there is the nonsense about the black smoke belching out: again, consult someone who works in a crematorium. (9)

Al Baron, "the tales of fire and smoke are fantasy."

In article <43v593$58b@dns.enter.net> yawen@enter.net "Yale F. Edeiken" writes:

"There was indeed fire, and smoke, and acrid stench. > I was at both kinds of facilities for the same reason. Litigation over the Clean Air Act. That is, of course, one of the obvious reasons that modern crematories are operated in a different manner than Auschwitz. No-one at Auschwitz was about to complain about the smoke and fire and smell."

What you appear to be forgetting is that Auschwitz was a huge industrial complex and, among other things, manufactured synthetic rubber. Which is where the smell came from. The tales of fire and smoke from the crematoria are fantasy. And this was all done in secret, remember?

The JHR again:

>From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 13, Number 3 (May/June 1993):

Historical Truth Survives "Politically Correct" Exploitation

Mark Weber and Greg Raven

[much deletia -JRM]

_Liberators_ (p. 135) also reports that

In Buchenwald, that summer of '44, [inmate] Ben Bender could only gaze, in numbed horror, at the gray clouds billowing twenty-four hours a day from the crematorium's towering smokestacks.

Actually, crematories are designed in such a way that they do not "billow" smoke.

The JHR again:

From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 13, Number 6 (Nov./Dec. 1993):

My Lunch With George
How an Influential Journalist Twists the Truth

[much deletia -JRM]

I reminded Will of something he had written about Auschwitz a decade earlier. In his _Washington Post_ syndicated column of March 10, 1983, he told readers:

You could tell from the smoke the sort of persons consumed in the crematoria. Newcomers to Auschwitz, who still had some fat on their bones, made black smoke. Persons who had been there for awhile made white smoke. There: that is an emblematic fact of 20th century politics.

What Will calls an "emblematic fact" is, rather, an instructive fable, and the way he cites it not only points up the reverential, even awestruck way he regards the Holocaust story, but shows his careless disregard for facts.

When I told him that this statement is simply not true -- that in fact crematory chimneys give off no flame and almost no smoke -- he asked me how I know this. I explained that I had studied the matter, and had spoken with crematory managers -- adding that anyone who takes a little time to look into this question can determine the truth for himself.

The Lueftl Report, cited in the JHR:

From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 12, Number 4 (Winter 1992-93):

The Luftl Report

An Austrian Engineer's Report on the
"Gas Chambers" of Auschwitz and Mauthausen


[much deletia -JRM]

Turning now to technology, because objective proof is always far more conclusive than witness testimony.

In the book _Bauentwurfslehre_ ["Textbook on Construction Design"] by Ernst Neufert (Ullstein Fachverlag, 1962), p. 423, one can read:

Cremation takes place in special ovens which are coke-fired, electically-fired (cremation of a body requires about 45 Kw of energy), or gas-fired...[and is] entirely free of smoke [Staub] or odor.

(This puts an end to the fairy tales of noticeable odor of the cremated corpses!)

Dan Gannon quotes Carlos Porter, source unknown:

The following text is from Carlos Porter of Belgium:

Dear Sirs,

It might be noted that the book SCHINDLER'S LIST (an admitted work of fiction) contains the following factual assertions which are UNTRUE:

[two claims deleted -JRM]

CLAIM: Crematory ovens burn corpses in a few minutes <p. 484>

<TRUTH: actual time: 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. using gas or electricity, 4-6 hrs. using coal. The ovens must be pre-heated, and then cooled. They do not smell or emit smoke.>

Jeff Roberts quotes Lagace from the Zuendel trial:

The following extract is just part of the testimony at the Zundel trial of Ivan Lagace, a funeral director and crematorium manager and operator from Calgary, Alberta. Lagace has disposed of more than 10,000 bodies since 1976, and cremated more than 1000 since 1984. He has handled victims of fire, accident, and disease, and has seen every stage of bodily composition.

He was accorded EXPERT status at the Zundel trial.

Lagace next explained some calculations he had made after studying the plans for the 46 retorts at Birkenau.(Auschwitz II) Christie [defence counsel for Zundel] asked him how these compared to the plans for his own crematorium.

Well, said Lagace, When I first looked at these [Birkenau plans], I was amazed." The specifications were almost identical to his own retort, including the unusually high 45-foot stack. Based on the afterburner design, he added, it is obvious they were concerned with environmental effects. There would be no smoke and no odor."

Lagace estimated that the 46 retorts at Birkenau could handle about 184 bodies daily, or four apiece.

Jamie McCarthy http://www.absence.prismatix.com/jamie/
jamie@voyager.net Co-Webmaster of http://www.almanac.bc.ca/
Unless you specify otherwise, I assume pro-"revisionism" email
to be in the public domain. I speak only for myself.

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