More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu May 11, 2017 11:36 am

Xcalibur wrote:So Roberto at HC hasn't covered this... for the last 13 years?


Of course, the poor thing.
But then that would have meant going through all those silly and endless discussion about cremation time, gas concentration...

Actually, Denying provided exactly what i am looking for: a global estimation of the time elapsed between the arrival of a convoy of victim and the complete restoration of the killing facility when it can get through the whole process again.
God prevent me from relaunching a discussion on the time needed to consume X or Y.

Denying gave this:
He doesn't outline the whole process but using his figures one can get a general idea. I don't believe that Pelt really ever gave any times for gassing's besides Broads account of 4 minutes. (Case p.228) So to give a bit more of a conservative figure I would use Greens (LC50) of 5 to 15 minutes limit for the gas release. Assuming a concentration of 1,000-10,000 ppm ventilation would take 30 to 40 minutes. (Case p.366) The elevator shaft on assumption took up twelve corpses at once and lasted about 10 minutes each or 150 corpses per hour. (Case [James Dalrymple] p. 471) So it would take 13 hours roughly to lift all the bodies up to the crematorium. And with a cremation rate of 1,440 corpses per 24 hours (Case p.342) would take around 33 hours to cremate 2,000 corpses on the basis.


And this is perfect, it is just that i was surprise not to find such a presentation easily.
For example, i cannot explain why GRIEF did not take the opportunity to ask this question directly to the SK, instead he always decompose the process asking how long for people to get all inside, how long the gassing, ventilation, cremation, etc, and as a consequence, one can only kind of guess like D-H, based on all the answers (which vary a lot), global estimations which are logically highly theoretical. How to expect that those inmates were in a position to evaluate time properly?

A direct question would have been much more effective like : how many shifts were needed to get through the whole process?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Thu May 11, 2017 11:44 am

Hoess talked about 8-10 hour operations, which was readily taken up by Fritjof Meyer. Although hoess also talked about operations starting early and continuing overnight. I don't exactly believe we have any set ideas to how long it would operate. Using the Gusen ovens as a model we can assume that an operation could last up to twenty hours.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu May 11, 2017 11:48 am

Balsamo wrote:i cannot explain why GRIEF did not take the opportunity to ask this question directly to the SK, instead he always decompose the process

Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu May 11, 2017 1:10 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:i cannot explain why GRIEF did not take the opportunity to ask this question directly to the SK, instead he always decompose the process

Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.


This aspect is true of course, as this is one of the reasons, i think it is impossible for them to answer properly to exact question.
The decomposition of the process, the turn over of such and such function make it difficult for them to have a global perception of the whole process, hence the variety of perceived time.

On the other hand, even of their individual role was decomposed, and even changing, they were in a position to count the number of shifts. Whatever their job, their role, a SK team members had the point in common to work during a 12 hours shift, and that is easy to identify. After 12 hours, another team would relief the first one and continue the same process for another 12 hours, and in case the process was not over yet, the first team would come back and relief the second one, etc...
How many shifts they did for the destruction of one convoy is the one thing that everyone could have counted quite precisely.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu May 11, 2017 1:24 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:i cannot explain why GRIEF did not take the opportunity to ask this question directly to the SK, instead he always decompose the process

Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.


This aspect is true of course, as this is one of the reasons, i think it is impossible for them to answer properly to exact question.
The decomposition of the process, the turn over of such and such function make it difficult for them to have a global perception of the whole process, hence the variety of perceived time.

On the other hand, even of their individual role was decomposed, and even changing, they were in a position to count the number of shifts. Whatever their job, their role, a SK team members had the point in common to work during a 12 hours shift, and that is easy to identify. After 12 hours, another team would relief the first one and continue the same process for another 12 hours, and in case the process was not over yet, the first team would come back and relief the second one, etc...
How many shifts they did for the destruction of one convoy is the one thing that everyone could have counted quite precisely.

Fail. Well not poisoned . . . of course Greif could have asked those he interviewed to do this but my point, contrary to what you wrote, is that it would have been a bit of stretch, given his focus. What you're now asking presupposes your exact concern being Greif's and his coming up with "shift counting." You started off saying you can't explain why Greif didn't ask the question you wish he had, when it's clear why he didn't and easily explained. He could have asked about shift-counts but it would have been a bit off focus. No surprise either way. Nothing there IMO.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu May 11, 2017 2:20 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:i cannot explain why GRIEF did not take the opportunity to ask this question directly to the SK, instead he always decompose the process

Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.


This aspect is true of course, as this is one of the reasons, i think it is impossible for them to answer properly to exact question.
The decomposition of the process, the turn over of such and such function make it difficult for them to have a global perception of the whole process, hence the variety of perceived time.

On the other hand, even of their individual role was decomposed, and even changing, they were in a position to count the number of shifts. Whatever their job, their role, a SK team members had the point in common to work during a 12 hours shift, and that is easy to identify. After 12 hours, another team would relief the first one and continue the same process for another 12 hours, and in case the process was not over yet, the first team would come back and relief the second one, etc...
How many shifts they did for the destruction of one convoy is the one thing that everyone could have counted quite precisely.

Fail. Well not poisoned . . . of course Greif could have asked those he interviewed to do this but my point, contrary to what you wrote, is that it would have been a bit of stretch, given his focus. What you're now asking presupposes your exact concern being Greif's and his coming up with "shift counting." You started off saying you can't explain why Greif didn't ask the question you wish he had, when it's clear why he didn't and easily explained. He could have asked about shift-counts but it would have been a bit off focus. No surprise either way. Nothing there IMO.


Greif being only one example. I can understand it was not his focus - although it seems to me that he focused a lot on the killing machine, and the role of the SK members - but more generally, i was just surprised after having read Venezia, that the latest was the only one who was actually asked or at least mentioned it. (i have to find the quote, i was planing to do it this afternoon), that i could not find anything similar (even only through a quick search, hence my question to all of you) dealing with this issue which seems quite important to me to understand the real nature of the work, that is on a every day basis.

I have admitted that i started my investigation with a very poor knowledge.
So even after having read Greif and Miklos, i was still under the impression that one shift corresponded to one killing process, even if only vaguely...because of course, some things were just not right, but still that one team would covered every aspect of the process, from the reception of the victims to the cleaning of the mess. Or to be more precise, i could not really figure out how the whole process was taking place from the beginning to the end.
When this was not the case, at least when the big four kremas are concerned.

I will stop there as i will look up in Venezia for the details. But i can already say that this reading answered a great deal of questions i still had after having read the others which is quite unusual as this one is the latest of a long series.

So to be continued.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu May 11, 2017 4:08 pm

Balsamo wrote:Greif being only one example. I can understand it was not his focus - although it seems to me that he focused a lot on the killing machine, and the role of the SK members - but more generally, i was just surprised after having read Venezia . . . was the only one who was actually asked or at least mentioned it.

How much of the literature have you read? I haven't read that much, compared to Hans or Sergey or Nick. But this: Pressac, p 541, "The destruction of 1,000 to 1,500 people took a whole day or more." Where are you going with this, first having tried, without success, to raise doubts about Greif?
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Thu May 11, 2017 8:13 pm

A little irrelevant:
I've read some SK books a long time ago. I watched last year 'Son of Saul', actually bought it. I go now again through the books, having the movie and especially the first quarter in front of me. It's like discovering each time more and more new things in the books due to the movie which actually begins with exactly this: an arrival of a new group. Of course, time frames in film narrative is different, but it is the little details on the background of the screen that catch my eyes. Understand (and 'feel') a lot more that way.
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Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
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Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html

XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu May 11, 2017 11:03 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:Greif being only one example. I can understand it was not his focus - although it seems to me that he focused a lot on the killing machine, and the role of the SK members - but more generally, i was just surprised after having read Venezia . . . was the only one who was actually asked or at least mentioned it.

How much of the literature have you read? I haven't read that much, compared to Hans or Sergey or Nick. But this: Pressac, p 541, "The destruction of 1,000 to 1,500 people took a whole day or more." Where are you going with this, first having tried, without success, to raise doubts about Greif?


As i said, i have always left Auschwitz to others...And i have repeated many times that i have not read much about it.
I was talking about SK memoirs, given the numbers covered by it is quite substantial, i have read Muller, Mikos, and now Venezia. The same way i have watched the interviews that are available online.

But thanks for pointing out Pressac: "a whole day or more" actually means very little. Seriously, it is quite obvious to anyone that it could not have lasted LESS than one day... Sorry, but the statement is almost incredible! It means, "i don't know, but let me guess".

Again, i am not targeting Grief in particular, but i find it amazing that there is no precise answer to this simple question after so many survivors of the SK have been interviewed over time. It is not Grief, i could accept it was not his aim, but what about all those who are focusing on the Final Solution at Birkenau?


So if Hans or Serguey would so kind to share in their knowledge, i would be grateful. Or even Nick if he has the time as he is writing a book on Birkenau and the killing process.
Hence my original question to all.

To add to this, my kinddle is {!#%@} so i am good to go through the whole of Venezia again.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Xcalibur » Thu May 11, 2017 11:10 pm

You might want to consider checking out both Nyszli and Tauber. Tauber's full deposition is available at AHF.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu May 11, 2017 11:16 pm

Balsamo wrote:And i have repeated many times that i have not read much about it.

So when you write, "Greif being only one example," you don't have many more examples? And when you write, "more generally, i was just surprised after having read Venezia, that the latest was the only one who was actually asked or at least mentioned it," you mean that you've just not come across this detail and it may well be covered in what you haven't read?

Balsamo wrote:But thanks for pointing out Pressac: "a whole day or more" actually means very little.

It means more than half a day and implies something like what D-H estimated. I don't know if that's right or wrong, but it isn't the case that it means very little.

Balsamo wrote:Sorry, but the statement is almost incredible! It means, "i don't know, but let me guess".

Or it means, I know and it is roughly thus and such.

Balsamo wrote:Again, i am not targeting Grief in particular, but i find it amazing that there is no precise answer to this simple question after so many survivors of the SK have been interviewed over time.

Well, here you go again: you haven't read much, you say, but you declare no one knows.

Also, the SK was doing other tasks, like handling the liquidations of people selected in the camp, and transports were of varying size, so there are most likely answers, not one answer.

Balsamo wrote:It is not Grief, i could accept it was not his aim, but what about all those who are focusing on the Final Solution at Birkenau?

I have no idea, but, without having thought about this exact question, I was unsurprised to read D-H's and Pressac's estimates.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu May 11, 2017 11:50 pm

So when you write, "Greif being only one example," you don't have many more examples?


No, except Schlomo Venezia, eddited by Beatrice Pasquier and Marcello Pezzetti. I am not aware of another scholar book dedicated entirely on the SK.
I have also read Nicholas Chare, "Matters of Testimony."
Currently going through the Van Pelt's report.

So yes, as far as i know, Venezia is the only one who gives the length of the whole procedure. I am searching for it right now. This is why it stroke me, as i have never read anything like this before. But again, i am a poor example as i have not read much before on Birkenau, but some classic.

It means more than half a day and implies something like what D-H estimated. I don't know if that's right or wrong, but it isn't the case that it means very little.


Sorry but no, it means i can only guess. Half a day in itself is silly as Venezia and it is confirmed by others states that the introduction in the gas chambers could last up to 2 hours.

Ok here is the quote from page 81:
" On average, the whole process in which a single convoy was eliminated was supposed to last 72 hours. Killing them was quick; the thing that took such a long time was burning the corpses. That was actually the Germans' main problem: getting rid of the bodies. The ditches made it possible to go a bit faster"


I admit, it is the first time i read such a thing, and indeed 72 hours is more than half a day but also more than 33 hours.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Fri May 12, 2017 1:06 am

I am sort of having trouble understanding the point... Yes, a witness said they would last up to 72 hours, Hoess's statement's and memoir (while not exactly giving context to this) don't seem to support such a statement. As Piper also details in Anatomy, methods were adopted to increase the incineration rate which according to some witnesses nearly doubled the output. I don't exactly agree with these witnesses fully however it can be argued that my 33-hour figure is conservative. Pressac's estimated time is slightly corroborated by my figures. Regardless I am trying to understand the point of this all, could you please explain what you are trying to convey? It's not that clear.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Xcalibur » Fri May 12, 2017 1:28 am

Denying-History wrote:I am sort of having trouble understanding the point... Yes, a witness said they would last up to 72 hours, Hoess's statement's and memoir (while not exactly giving context to this) don't seem to support such a statement. As Piper also details in Anatomy, methods were adopted to increase the incineration rate which according to some witnesses nearly doubled the output. I don't exactly agree with these witnesses fully however it can be argued that my 33-hour figure is conservative. Pressac's estimated time is slightly corroborated by my figures. Regardless I am trying to understand the point of this all, could you please explain what you are trying to convey? It's not that clear.


Because the original question presupposes a singular answer absent of any variables...

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 12, 2017 1:54 am

And, adding to that, because there were transports of different sizes, the Kremas couldn't be operated continuously for too many hours (I forget the exact limit), and, according to Höss, Kremas II and III could handle corpses significantly more quickly than Kremas IV and V, and Venezia was writing about IV and V.

As X and I have said, there isn't a single, simple answer.

Have you checked the Pelt Report?
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Xcalibur » Fri May 12, 2017 3:30 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:And, adding to that, because there were transports of different sizes, the Kremas couldn't be operated continuously for too many hours (I forget the exact limit), and, according to Höss, Kremas II and III could handle corpses significantly more quickly than Kremas IV and V, and Venezia was writing about IV and V.

As X and I have said, there isn't a single, simple answer.

Have you checked the Pelt Report?


In furtherance and for clarification:

1) Does the "soup-to-nuts" timeline start at embarkation from the train, selektion, undressing, gassing, ending at full cremation, or just Zyklon drop to cremation?

2)Cremation where? Krema 2-5 or pits, or, in the earlier days, gassing straight to burial of full corpses? (What period of time are we discussing in the history of Birkenau exterminations?)

3) Is there always a full complement of SS? SK?

4) Are the over-seeing SS medicos always on time?

5) To what degree are the Birkenau "intakes" compliant?

6) What is the percentage of children, elderly on an individual transport?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Fri May 12, 2017 3:49 am

Denying-History:

Yes, a witness said they would last up to 72 hours, Hoess's statement's and memoir (while not exactly giving context to this) don't seem to support such a statement. As Piper also details in Anatomy, methods were adopted to increase the incineration rate which according to some witnesses nearly doubled the output


Actually, the witness said that "on average" - that is the usual - time for a convoy to be "processed" was 72 hours. I guess that given this time frame, he meant a big convoy.
As you know, Venezia was among those greeks who came later in 1944, along with other witnesses, like his cousins Gabbai, Cohen and others. That is full into the Hungarian action. They all worked in Krema II (III), from April to the end. He and all the survivors would have been the better placed to know what kind of capacity increases were adopted...but he only mentioned the use of open pits.

How i understand it, Schlomo seems to say that the usual standard for a full convoy was a whole 6 shifts - and that gives quite a different perspective in how I - at least - perceive the process. That means for example, that only one shift out of 6 had to deal directly with the victims, that is a few out of the group, which then means that most of the others had to clean the mess, that is the 5 following shifts.

He also states another quite revolutionary quote, this time describing the SS coming out of the red cross truck to throw the Zyklon B:
Page 63:

"It took two prisoners from the SK to help him (the SS) lift up the external trapdoor above the gas chambers, then introduce the Zyklon B through the opening. The lid was made in very heavy cement. The German would never have bothered to lift it up himself. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was others."



For the sword: some precision regarding some of your question.
- He speaks about the operation at the Krema, so selection not included. So it starts when the victims are brought to the Krema II until the same krema is ready for the next convoy.
- Venezia was asigned to Krema II (along with his cousins the Gabbai's). he said he occasionally was sent to krema III (IV) to give a hand, but there did not feel obliged to make too much effort as he was not part of that group and was therefore not exposed to consequences of any delay.

It is late here, so more later.
See you tomorrow.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Fri May 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Yes, he does state it as an average... This doesn't disprove my original protest to this figure being way to long. What this SK's memory around the gassing procedure is, it doesn't refute the nature of my original post. We know the Germans took steps to increase the cremation rate, one such measure was decreasing the burn time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.

You also skipped my question so I am going to just assume that you are still trying to prove SK guilt.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 12, 2017 1:03 pm

The other thing is that Balsamo is making way too much of a single testimony given IIRC fifty years after the fact.

As to this - "Venezia was asigned to Krema II (along with his cousins the Gabbai's). he said he occasionally was sent to krema III (IV) to give a hand" - what Balsamo didn't tell us is that Venezia gave his 72 hour recollection in a reply to a question whether he'd visited Kremas IV and V and been able to note differences. His reply - yes, about 4 or 5 times - seems to be about IV and V but isn't totally clear. The method here - taking a single testimony that's not clear and building a theory around it - isn't convincing. Not to me anyway.

What I am not saying is that Pressac is right - I cited Pressac to reply to the blanket assertion Balsamo made that no one has thought about this; what I am saying is that relying on one testimony like this isn't the way to challenge Pressac or understand the issue.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Fri May 12, 2017 8:21 pm

Denying-History wrote:I am sort of having trouble understanding the point... Yes, a witness said they would last up to 72 hours, Hoess's statement's and memoir (while not exactly giving context to this) don't seem to support such a statement. As Piper also details in Anatomy, methods were adopted to increase the incineration rate which according to some witnesses nearly doubled the output. I don't exactly agree with these witnesses fully however it can be argued that my 33-hour figure is conservative. Pressac's estimated time is slightly corroborated by my figures. Regardless I am trying to understand the point of this all, could you please explain what you are trying to convey? It's not that clear.


Actually, i am not conveying anything, contrary to some of you seem to think. My original question was precisely if any one of you more informed had already read somewhere such a time estimate like the one provided by Shlomo Venezia.
My surprise was even greater after the lack of answers.

The whole point being that if Shlomo had been able to provide such an information, the others witnesses could also have easily, especially those who worked in the same crematorium. If they did not it is probably that they have never been asked.
And this is what i find how to say it...kind of strange, and this kind of information that could have been provided would have given a substantial light on how the process took place, instead of decomposing each steps of the process and trying to estimate each of them separately.

Logically, the other way round who have provided the big picture at first. Like "It took usually X hours for the whole process, and then decomposing each step." Somehow, this was not done.

Therefore we have so vague estimations from Pressac to yours, when a precise answer was available from the start, hence no real need of such estimations.

My point does not go further than that.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Fri May 12, 2017 11:07 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:The other thing is that Balsamo is making way too much of a single testimony given IIRC fifty years after the fact.

As to this - "Venezia was asigned to Krema II (along with his cousins the Gabbai's). he said he occasionally was sent to krema III (IV) to give a hand" - what Balsamo didn't tell us is that Venezia gave his 72 hour recollection in a reply to a question whether he'd visited Kremas IV and V and been able to note differences. His reply - yes, about 4 or 5 times - seems to be about IV and V but isn't totally clear. The method here - taking a single testimony that's not clear and building a theory around it - isn't convincing. Not to me anyway.

What I am not saying is that Pressac is right - I cited Pressac to reply to the blanket assertion Balsamo made that no one has thought about this; what I am saying is that relying on one testimony like this isn't the way to challenge Pressac or understand the issue.


I am not making, or more, have not make "much" of single testimony at all, Stat. All i have pointed out is that he was the only one who made such a precise statement. A statement that could have been confirmed or in-firmed by those who shared his experience.

Do you have the book next to you ? Have you read it?

As for your appreciation of his testimony, well it is no less "clear" than others, quite the contrary for some parts.

One point is that even though the book follow the structure of an interview, it is much less directed than Greiff's. The witness is more free to orient his memories.

So yes, the exact question is :
"Did you go to Crenatoria IV and V and were you personally able to note the differences with Crematoria II and III"

He answered yes, to visit his brother who was working there. Sometimes opportunies were given when the crew of one of those Krema were asking for help and some members of Krema III were sent over.
Shlomo nevertheless said that he profited form this opportunities mainly to visit his brother, saying that he actually never went into Crematoria IV and V, so he can only described what he saw from the outside. So he saw only the ditches (two of them).
He continues by explaining that Crema IV and V were smaller than Crema II and III, and that "the ovens did not worked as well, and were less powerful"
" The ditches made it possible for the corpses to be eliminated more quickly, as it takes a long time to burn 700 bodies in such small ovens. Especially when the ovens didn't work properly."

Then he comes back to his crematoria saying:
" In our crematoria, there could be as many as 1800 people."

Then comes the quote i already gave (correction it is page 81 not 68 as i wrote).

Now everyone can interpret the quote as he wishes, whether his general rule of 72 hours applies to Crema IV or V (that is for the 700 people) or for Crema II or III for the 1800 people, or both.

As far as i am concerned, i think the way he said, the terms used (On average, "a convoy" "was supposed to ") it make it a general rule for all 4 crematoria, adding that the ditches - which supplemented the ovens (of crema IV and V) - he stated that on the previous page -made it possible to get a bit faster (than the time usually allowed.)
It is clear that he visited crema IV and V, but never went inside them, when there helped drag the bodies to the ditches, but in a lazy way.

Now, this is not what i call a "theory", by the way, just making note of a source that reveal something that never emerged before.

As for my
"blanket assertion Balsamo made that no one has thought about this"


I have never said nobody thought about this. I know to well the many discussions some had with deniers about the duration, but as i far as i know only in a decomposed way. How many corpses could be burned, how many time for people to die from the gassing, etc.

As written above, i will recheck Greiff interviews, but i don't remember anyone talking about the global time that "was supposed to take" the whole process.
Pressac could not have known, as Venezia book came out in 2007.
Unless he is making the whole story up (but then why?), why didn't this kind of information come out before given the numbers of SK members who were interviewed?

It is question, not a theory, Stat.
Had there been questions and answers on the "allowed time" mentioned by Venezia, there would have been no need to "estimate", or just for checking.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 12, 2017 11:19 pm

Balsamo wrote:All i have pointed out is that he was the only one who made such a precise statement.

Correction: the only estimate you've read. On the basis of which you then speculated about the workflow. Sounds like what I said.

Balsamo wrote:Do you have the book next to you ?

No, it's on a shelf downstairs. I am not in the same room just now.

Balsamo wrote:Have you read it?

Yes. That's how I was able to tell you that he had been asked about Kremas IV/V, not II/III, when he mentioned the detail you cited.

Balsamo wrote:As for your appreciation of his testimony, well it is no less "clear" than others, quite the contrary for some parts.

Gibberish. It is not clear if, when he said 72 hours, he meant only IV/V. That's all.

Balsamo wrote:So yes, the exact question is :
"Did you go to Crenatoria IV and V and were you personally able to note the differences with Crematoria II and III"

He answered yes, to visit his brother who was working there. Sometimes opportunies were given when the crew of one of those Krema were asking for help and some members of Krema III were sent over.
Shlomo nevertheless said that he profited form this opportunities mainly to visit his brother, saying that he actually never went into Crematoria IV and V, so he can only described what he saw from the outside. So he saw only the ditches (two of them).
He continues by explaining that Crema IV and V were smaller than Crema II and III, and that "the ovens did not worked as well, and were less powerful"
" The ditches made it possible for the corpses to be eliminated more quickly, as it takes a long time to burn 700 bodies in such small ovens. Especially when the ovens didn't work properly."

Then he comes back to his crematoria saying:
" In our crematoria, there could be as many as 1800 people."

Then comes the quote i already gave (correction it is page 81 not 68 as i wrote).

Which is why I say it isn't clear:

Image

The book is in Google Books as well as being on my shelf downstairs.

Balsamo wrote:Now everyone can interpret the quote as he wishes, whether his general rule of 72 hours applies to Crema IV or V (that is for the 700 people) or for Crema II or III for the 1800 people, or both.

Which makes it incredibly flimsy for the kind of speculation you engage in above.

Balsamo wrote:Pressac could not have known, as Venezia book came out in 2007.

At least he reviewed multiple sources.

Balsamo wrote:Unless he is making the whole story up (but then why?),

Or misremembered. Or is right.

Balsamo wrote:why didn't this kind of information come out before given the numbers of SK members who were interviewed?

Sigh, again, you don't know that, by your own admission. Also, X, D-H and I have given you reasons why this question wouldn't be the first one on people's minds when thinking through the process.

Look, there's a legitimate discussion point about this process, time frames, etc. What there is not is the kind of surprise or mystery you're trying to manufacture.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Xcalibur » Sat May 13, 2017 1:37 am

Pressac could not have known, as Venezia book came out in 2007.


Sure he could balancing other witnesses' testimony with his understanding of the physical structures and taking into account the limits imposed by the defectiveness in their design/construction..

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sat May 13, 2017 5:08 am

Balsamo wrote:
Denying-History wrote:I am sort of having trouble understanding the point... Yes, a witness said they would last up to 72 hours, Hoess's statement's and memoir (while not exactly giving context to this) don't seem to support such a statement. As Piper also details in Anatomy, methods were adopted to increase the incineration rate which according to some witnesses nearly doubled the output. I don't exactly agree with these witnesses fully however it can be argued that my 33-hour figure is conservative. Pressac's estimated time is slightly corroborated by my figures. Regardless I am trying to understand the point of this all, could you please explain what you are trying to convey? It's not that clear.


Actually, i am not conveying anything, contrary to some of you seem to think. My original question was precisely if any one of you more informed had already read somewhere such a time estimate like the one provided by Shlomo Venezia.
My surprise was even greater after the lack of answers.

The whole point being that if Shlomo had been able to provide such an information, the others witnesses could also have easily, especially those who worked in the same crematorium. If they did not it is probably that they have never been asked.
And this is what i find how to say it...kind of strange, and this kind of information that could have been provided would have given a substantial light on how the process took place, instead of decomposing each steps of the process and trying to estimate each of them separately.

Logically, the other way round who have provided the big picture at first. Like "It took usually X hours for the whole process, and then decomposing each step." Somehow, this was not done.

Therefore we have so vague estimations from Pressac to yours, when a precise answer was available from the start, hence no real need of such estimations.

My point does not go further than that.

You already responded to this post... and sadly the reply given meets none of my points. Logically speaking one doesn't base their conclusions off a single source, you agreed with me earlier that it's not easy to reconstruct the whole process and it can be simply put that such a calculation is impossible considering all the variables. As you stated:

Balsamo wrote:one can only kind of guess like D-H, based on all the answers (which vary a lot), global estimations which are logically highly theoretical.


I have already explained that most evidence to my understanding contradicts with your witnesses 72 hour figure. One could point out that quite easily that an observer will have better perception then the victim. It actually makes Pressac's estimate a bit more valuable as it's not based on the judgement of a single source. Even my own estimate attempts to account to a number of variables.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Sat May 13, 2017 1:33 pm

Statmec:

Correction: the only estimate you've read. On the basis of which you then speculated about the workflow. Sounds like what I said.


You are inverting the issue, here. As if i did not start to ask if anyone had found any estimation in the first place, or better could remember it.
I did know about Tauber's 2500 a day, of course, but the reason behind my question is that i have not the time i used to have, and therefore not to check in all the sources myself.
I reming you that i only got one response, DH own's estimate.
Pressac despite having dedicated his life on the topic can only come with "a whole day or more".

So, any idea why anyone thought to ask the direct question to the principle witnesses?
I am not saying no one did, therefore ask if any of you had any sources saying that this simple primary question had been asked.

I don't speculate actually as i have just read a source saying that the process to get rid of a convoy was "supposed" to last 72 hours (whether it is for Krema I,II,III.IV or V is quite not the important aspect.
Is this piece of information to be found in any research?
That was my question, it is not a speculation.
If the answer is NO, or "I don't know", i am not speculating by concluding that they has been a methodological problem somewhere.

No, it's on a shelf downstairs. I am not in the same room just now.


So maybe you did not answer my introductory question, because you just did not feel like to do it. Great.
Therefore my question was legitimate, and as you accused me to misuse the quote, i can reply that you misspelled the question which was about the difference between the Crema, not like a simple question about IV amd V.

I gave the complete quote like you did.
As i said, you can interpret it like it only concerns IV and V, but that would not turn the info that the SK had 72 hours to do the job THERE as insignificant.

Gibberish. It is not clear if, when he said 72 hours, he meant only IV/V. That's all.


Misunderstood that, sorry.
But i am not defending /using a method. I question why such an information is unique, that is found in only one testimony. That is the whole issue, here.

You may consider that Venezia made the whole thing up, i have never imposed anything to anyone, but at least it is important enough to discuss it, don't you think?

Which is why I say it isn't clear:


Understood

Which makes it incredibly flimsy for the kind of speculation you engage in above.


Not at all.
Why would that be flimsy?
As i said, whether this time allowed is only for crema IV or V does not make my original question less important. As i explained, i do think Venezia meant that all the crema were given a "allowed time" of 72 hours to complete the Job.
There is another witness (Gabbai?) who confirms that there was no pressure on the SK during the work as long as the job was done in time.
That would make no sense if "in time was 12 or 24h"...but ok this is speculation.

What is not is that as far as i know it is the first time that a SK mentions a "allowed time" and quantify it quite clearly in 72 hours or 6 shifts of 12 hours.

I insist in the "as far as i know".

At least he reviewed multiple sources.


I would appreciate if you could stop your sarcastic remarks.
The fact that he reviewed multiple sources - and i can even guess most of those that were available in his time - and came up with an estimate of "whole day or more", proves my point that there were no such things as Venezia statement to be found at that time. Otherwise, i would hope Pressac would have mentioned it.

So it only confirms what you called "my speculation".

Or misremembered. Or is right.


Well the two hypothesis deserves some degree of argumentation, i would say.

Sigh, again, you don't know that, by your own admission. Also, X, D-H and I have given you reasons why this question wouldn't be the first one on people's minds when thinking through the process.


I must have missed them or they were quite not what i was expecting as an answer.

DH gave a estimation of 33 hours, based on multiple sources.
I was going through the whole Van Pelt's report and was not finding anything close to such the Venezia statement.
I had not the exact quote at that time but i knew that Venezia testimony was mentioning at least twice this time.
DH next post confirms that there was nothing alike to be found in Van Pelt.
And somehow confirms the actual method that consists in adding the bribes of all testimonies for each steps of the process, which i know by now.
Broad saying 5 minutes, but as noted by DH, witnesses usually give a range of 5 to 15 minutes for the killing. The differences are so understandable - given what was going on - and as far as time are concerned, it makes no real difference.
To expect those poor chaps involved to keep an eye on the clock is absurd. So whether the ventilation time lasted 20 or 40 minutes again is quite irrelevant. The Ventilation took place.

But when the big chunk of the process comes, well, things are getting a bit too theoretical. The kind that if it takes 10 minutes to get x bodies on the elevator, then one just have to multiply by 6 to get the result for an hour, and then by twelve to get the result for the shift. Kind of absurd as it is pure abstraction.

What i mean here is that i have never been attracted with these kind of silly discussion with deniers, and even not within the historiography.
I have always considered related to the "number games", while people being put to death in a gas chambers, then shaved, burned and the ashes disposed of, is or should be more than enough on the subject.

That to say that it was my intention, and still is not, to relaunch those issues at all.

Xcalibur wrote:
You might want to consider checking out both Nyszli and Tauber. Tauber's full deposition is available at AHF.


Of course i did, there is nothing to be found.

The question is whether there was a "allowed period" to complete the work. Venezia is not saying that it always took 72 hours, but that a period of 3 days was given to finish the job (wether only for Krema IV or V or for all four), and that "on average" this "allowed period" was 72 hours, or 6 shifts or 3 days.
He adds as seen in the extract provided by Statmec that the ditches allowed Krema IV and V to work a bit faster than this "allowed period".

So in case it is not clear yet, the question is whether or not there was such an unofficial "allowed period of time" written in the standard procedure of the killing process as suggested by Venezia or not, and of course whether such a concept has already been treated or mentioned in previous studies on the killing process.
That is about it, folks

So, please, refrain from impugning motives i don't have on me.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat May 13, 2017 2:29 pm

IMO this - "Pressac despite having dedicated his life on the topic can only come with 'a whole day or more'" - says that we will keep talking past each other, something I have limited to no interest in. I've directly explained btw the answer why (above) and much has been written to flesh out why. You've not absorbed a tenth of what D-H, X and I have said for you to be able to write that.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Sat May 13, 2017 5:22 pm

Denying History:

You already responded to this post... and sadly the reply given meets none of my points. Logically speaking one doesn't base their conclusions off a single source, you agreed with me earlier that it's not easy to reconstruct the whole process and it can be simply put that such a calculation is impossible considering all the variables. As you stated:


We are not discussing the same thing here. That is what i tried to explain. Of course one should not base everything on one single source, with very rare exception anyway. But sometimes, the discovery of a new source - with a new element - forces to reconsider the previous conclusions. Reconsidering not meaning changing straight away.

Then my point here was not even to do that: to reconstruct and reconsider the whole thing. Although it could be interesting.

I have just pointed out that - as far as i know - Venezia is the only one to speak about such a thing.

He does not say more than that, that there was a "allowed period" for the process, on average no more than 3 days. As i wrote in another response (i am quite late following your posts), he does not say that the process always lasted 3 days, but that on average the SK was given up to 3 days to finish. Considering that he was a SK in the middle of the full Hungarian action, one of could assume that with big transport they would used this timeframe. But that was not the primary objective of my post, at all.

I just wanted to share my surprise that only one witness spoke about such a thing. It really stroke me after having read 10 others.
And yes, i just wonder why it is so.

Again, in the previous posts posted by you and Xcalibur, you speak about variables, but that would only be relevant if the point here was to elaborate yet another estimate. This could be done, of course, by cross-checking all the testimonies.

No one here tried to say that all convoy were treated in 72 days. It is not what Venezia wrote, nor what i concluded.
I am trying to find the original quote, both in Italian and in French - the dual original languages of the book.

Secondly, it is not "my witness", it a SK survivors like the others. So don't, as stated in my previous point, don't make him say what he does not. I have watched his conference - 2 hours - and can guarantee that he was fit and presented no signs of senility.

Rejecting him as a witness because one of his statement might disturb previous estimations which are far from precise does not make much sense neither.
As i said, it does not contradict what can be found in the other SK testimonies, and those does not mention anything like this, and do not propose directly any timing.
This is precisely what i deplore.

Statmec:
You've not absorbed a tenth of what D-H, X and I have said for you to be able to write that.


I did, but you are just not willing to understand what i want to point out.

You keep wanting to understand my post in a way you can consider open to criticism, fiercely defending Grieff against whatever criticism, as if his work was the perfection and had to be praised no matter what. This is at least the way i perceive it.

Now i may be the only one who deplores the missed opportunity to answer an essential question that would have cut all the silly arguments proposed by the deniers. That with the proper questions we would not have to rely on theoretical estimations.
It is too late now, as Shlomo Venezia died in 2012.

But i cannot hide that i am surprised the way you all kind of reject his testimony, for reasons essentially based on wrong interpretation of what he said, on biased interpretation on how i am suspected to use it.

Again, nor Shlomo said, neither did i interpret, that all convoy were processed in 72 hours as a rule. That is silly, as of course in this case, it would ignore the variable you are all mentioning.
What he said, is that "on average", they "the SK" were given up to 72 hours to finish the job and get the installation ready for the next convoy. Like in "above that period, it would have meant real trouble!"

Nowhere is there a a fundamental premise that the 33 hours provided by DH is to be rejected right away because of this witness. It is not what Venezia meant when he said that a convoy was supposed to be processed in 72 hours.

And even if sadly there are no equivalent to be found in the other testimonies, there are some hints that could be interpreted as a confirmation that the SK were indeed working in some form of unofficial timeframe. At least, there could be a discussion about that.
But that would required a little bit of "open minded" attitude.
Last edited by Balsamo on Sat May 13, 2017 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat May 13, 2017 5:28 pm

LOL
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sat May 13, 2017 6:15 pm

God damn it, not again....
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat May 13, 2017 6:53 pm

LOL

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun May 14, 2017 4:22 am

Here, Balsamo:
https://www.hdot.org/debunking-denial/ab4-civilian-ovens-comparison/

Relevant bits:

There is survivor eyewitness testimony about the cremation of multiple bodies at one time in each oven.
Henryk Tauber, a member of a Sonderkommando that worked in Cremas/Gas Chambers 1, 2 and 5 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, recalled after the war: “We worked in two shifts, a day shift and a night shift. On average, we incinerated 2,500 bodies a day.”[4]

Tauber also described how the muffles were filled with multiple bodies:

The procedure was to put the first body with the feet towards the muffle, back down and face up. Then a second body was placed on top, again face up, but head towards the muffle . . . We had to work fast, for the bodies put in first soon started to burn, and their arms and legs rose up. If we were slow, it was difficult to charge the second part of bodies . . .

We burned the bodies of children with those of adults. First we put in two adults, then as many children as the muffle could contain. It was sometimes as many as five or six. We used this procedure so that the bodies of children would not be placed directly on the grid bars, which were relatively far apart. In this way we prevented the children from falling through into the ash bin. Women’s bodies burned much better and more quickly than those of men. For this reason, when a charge was burning badly, we would introduce a woman’s body to accelerate the combustion.[5]

Generally speaking, we burned four or five bodies at a time in one muffle, but sometimes we charged a greater number of bodies. It was possible to charge up to eight ‘Muselmanns.’[6]


Krema II worked better than I or V so I can see how it could incinerate 2500 bodies in a 24-hour period. The Germans used mass burials for gassings that took place for I and there were pits for V so I think time is less relevant for those.

The Germans themselves stated 1440 for both II and III:

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/Rodoh_Hans/media/Bischoff_28June43.jpg.html

So that's 2880 but I always concede that those numbers are theoretical based upon optimum capacities if the Kremas were fully functional.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Sun May 14, 2017 7:50 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Here, Balsamo:
https://www.hdot.org/debunking-denial/ab4-civilian-ovens-comparison/

Relevant bits:

There is survivor eyewitness testimony about the cremation of multiple bodies at one time in each oven.
Henryk Tauber, a member of a Sonderkommando that worked in Cremas/Gas Chambers 1, 2 and 5 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, recalled after the war: “We worked in two shifts, a day shift and a night shift. On average, we incinerated 2,500 bodies a day.”[4]

Tauber also described how the muffles were filled with multiple bodies:

The procedure was to put the first body with the feet towards the muffle, back down and face up. Then a second body was placed on top, again face up, but head towards the muffle . . . We had to work fast, for the bodies put in first soon started to burn, and their arms and legs rose up. If we were slow, it was difficult to charge the second part of bodies . . .

We burned the bodies of children with those of adults. First we put in two adults, then as many children as the muffle could contain. It was sometimes as many as five or six. We used this procedure so that the bodies of children would not be placed directly on the grid bars, which were relatively far apart. In this way we prevented the children from falling through into the ash bin. Women’s bodies burned much better and more quickly than those of men. For this reason, when a charge was burning badly, we would introduce a woman’s body to accelerate the combustion.[5]

Generally speaking, we burned four or five bodies at a time in one muffle, but sometimes we charged a greater number of bodies. It was possible to charge up to eight ‘Muselmanns.’[6]


Krema II worked better than I or V so I can see how it could incinerate 2500 bodies in a 24-hour period. The Germans used mass burials for gassings that took place for I and there were pits for V so I think time is less relevant for those.

The Germans themselves stated 1440 for both II and III:

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/Rodoh_Hans/media/Bischoff_28June43.jpg.html

So that's 2880 but I always concede that those numbers are theoretical based upon optimum capacities if the Kremas were fully functional.



Well Jeffk,
thanks at least for illustrating the fundamental misunderstanding.
And i really want to ask : " What the hell is wrong with you all" ?

To recap one last time:
My original question was if any other SK members i would not have been aware of had once given a time frame, or a time period that was given to them to process a convoy.
It remains without answer for like two weeks, then i made this up:
Well i see that my question was ignored.
I have just finished Venezia's book, and it contains surprising information.
I have not the time to check back, so does anyone know if the process of gassing has been described with detail by any other SK or witnesses, that is mainly the time needed for "processing" a killing through the installation of Birkenau?



To which Statmec responded:
I have no recollection of anyone giving the exact information you asked for. Not knowing is not the same as ignoring :) Also, my not having written down that precise detail - total time for destruction of a transport - doesn't mean that no one has stated it.


Fair enough, although strange from someone who did read Venezia book.

I was pretty shocked when i read Venezia, really. And it seems strange that anyone can read this testimony without being shocked by some of its content.
Two of them especially:
- first Schomo said that he indeed had to lift the lid on the roof so that the SS could throw the Zyklon-B (never heard about that before)
-That on average, whatever the krema (could be III could be IV and IV or could be all four) was supposed to accomplish its work in no more than 72 hours.

These are the two elements that are absolutely new to me. The book was published in 2007, that is 10 years ago.
Given that Venezia was part of the same group that arrived from Greece, along with other survivors, like the Gabbai brothers, Cohen, and others, i was wondering why this basic question had not been asked before?
Venezia stated it plain and clear. It is not something that could be blurred by "bad memory" as it is basically quite easy to remember how many days/shift one could have to work on the same convoy.
Obviously much more easy to recall than those silly questions like "how many minutes did it take for the victims to die", as if those SK would have watched some kind of watch each time.
So yes, i asked why a scholar like Greif could have missed the opportunity to ask this "million $ question"? A question to which answers, from first hand witnesses, would have enlightened the whole issue in one go, and therefore make those silly mathematical estimations unnecessary.

This is what seemed to have pissed of Statmec who replied:
Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.


Which makes clearly no sense as while it is true that the ones packing the cloths could not know anything about how the cremation took place at the first floor, but they all have a point in common: they bloody ALL started the work at 6 am and finished a 6pm if a day shift on the contrary if a night shift, so they would all know what day they started, and after how many shifts the job was done.

This did not pleased Statmec who went a step further:
Fail. Well not poisoned . . . of course Greif could have asked those he interviewed to do this but my point, contrary to what you wrote, is that it would have been a bit of stretch, given his focus. What you're now asking presupposes your exact concern being Greif's and his coming up with "shift counting." You started off saying you can't explain why Greif didn't ask the question you wish he had, when it's clear why he didn't and easily explained. He could have asked about shift-counts but it would have been a bit off focus. No surprise either way. Nothing there IMO.


Well i don't understand what an introduction like "Fail...Well not poisoned" means.
My original post is there to check, i have not speculated of what Statmec's point was...But then he said "it would have been a bit of a strectch, given his focus" - which does not explain why Greif did not ask that question neither - and no it is not clear why he did not.
The whole point was that i would love to have an "easy explanation why he did not", but did not get any, except that it would have been "OFF FOCUS".

So a question that could have solved hours, months, years of sterile debates with deniers; to give more than a clue to all historians who tried to estimate a process based on bits of information; well such a question would have been "out of focus" of what Grief intended to do?
I thought Greif's intention was to offer a full comprehension of what the Sk was involved in. But the exact reconstruction of their work should be considered "out of focus"?

Then things got nastier with a nice:
How much of the literature have you read?


about Auschwitz as a whole, where normally the killing process is explained, i admit very few except the classic.
about the SK, everything i could find for the last two or three months. And there is nothing in them.

The comes accusation about methodology:
Statmec:
The other thing is that Balsamo is making way too much of a single testimony given IIRC fifty years after the fact.


Now everyone can see that up to then, i did not make anything about a "single testimony", just asking the question why what this single testimony said did not appear previously.
I did notice the nice remark about a testimony becoming unreliable 50 years after the facts...40 yeas is ok, but 50 years...

But it continues:
what Balsamo didn't tell us is that Venezia gave his 72 hour recollection in a reply to a question whether he'd visited Kremas IV and V and been able to note differences



I am supposed to have concealed information in order to "mislead" the members of this forum. As if it was classic of mine as everyone knows. And as if it would change anything to the subject. Even if the "time period" only concerned crema IV and V, it would not change a thing.

I will stop here, as by then, the topic of my original post (which as a question) has been turned into something i cannot even understand.

And if at the end of the story, you Jeffk, come up with a something about the cremation capacity of those bloody ovens (a subject i consider, and always did, irrelevant), just shows that the topic is dead.

So Stat, you are welcome to conclude it with a silly LOL

But it is not really funny to see such an obfuscation of a serious topic.

Actually my proposition was merely how it integrate Venezia testimony in the existent ones? what could it change? Is it valid or not?
Has it been taken into consideration by post 2007 researches? will it be? or not? Naively i was hoping for Nick who is still working on the latest opus on Auschwitz to give his opinion. With a more general focus: how should Historians of the Holocaust handle these kind of new revelation?

As a B-side, it could have given the opportunity to reconsider all those previous estimations, to see if new ones have emerged after the publication of Greif or Venezia, that is 2005(in English) and 2007.

Anyone who has read Greif can immediately conclude that half a day for the process belongs to another dimension, but as Pressac said "or longer" well it could have opened a gate.

AS nobody wants of this topic, and as a matter of fact the Sonderkommado have polluted every forum since the invention of the internet, then i will give it up.

So indeed LOL

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sun May 14, 2017 8:22 pm

Balsamo is still confused....
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun May 14, 2017 8:24 pm

You can't outsmart crazy, though.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sun May 14, 2017 8:26 pm

Lol you cannot "outsmart" monstrous then... even one who only reads the USHMM could outsmart him.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sun May 14, 2017 8:33 pm

Alright Balsamo I will try to simplify this. 3 minor points were raised:

1) You are relying on a single testimony and based on the work of Pressac he placed the figure the operation of 1000-1500 corpses at between a day or two. (Worded a day or more by Pressac.) You are treating this 70 hour figure with to much authority.

2) The Germans made attempts to increase the cremation rate (something which Pressac later downplays with his 1000 corpse figure.) And that witnesses record a higher cremation rate then the 1440 figure for krema 2 & 3.

3) It's possible that you have misinterpreted this testimony as univerial.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun May 14, 2017 8:43 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Here, Balsamo:
https://www.hdot.org/debunking-denial/ab4-civilian-ovens-comparison/

Relevant bits:

There is survivor eyewitness testimony about the cremation of multiple bodies at one time in each oven.
Henryk Tauber, a member of a Sonderkommando that worked in Cremas/Gas Chambers 1, 2 and 5 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, recalled after the war: “We worked in two shifts, a day shift and a night shift. On average, we incinerated 2,500 bodies a day.”[4]

Tauber also described how the muffles were filled with multiple bodies:

The procedure was to put the first body with the feet towards the muffle, back down and face up. Then a second body was placed on top, again face up, but head towards the muffle . . . We had to work fast, for the bodies put in first soon started to burn, and their arms and legs rose up. If we were slow, it was difficult to charge the second part of bodies . . .

We burned the bodies of children with those of adults. First we put in two adults, then as many children as the muffle could contain. It was sometimes as many as five or six. We used this procedure so that the bodies of children would not be placed directly on the grid bars, which were relatively far apart. In this way we prevented the children from falling through into the ash bin. Women’s bodies burned much better and more quickly than those of men. For this reason, when a charge was burning badly, we would introduce a woman’s body to accelerate the combustion.[5]

Generally speaking, we burned four or five bodies at a time in one muffle, but sometimes we charged a greater number of bodies. It was possible to charge up to eight ‘Muselmanns.’[6]


Krema II worked better than I or V so I can see how it could incinerate 2500 bodies in a 24-hour period. The Germans used mass burials for gassings that took place for I and there were pits for V so I think time is less relevant for those.

The Germans themselves stated 1440 for both II and III:

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/Rodoh_Hans/media/Bischoff_28June43.jpg.html

So that's 2880 but I always concede that those numbers are theoretical based upon optimum capacities if the Kremas were fully functional.



Well Jeffk,
thanks at least for illustrating the fundamental misunderstanding.
And i really want to ask : " What the hell is wrong with you all" ?

To recap one last time:
My original question was if any other SK members i would not have been aware of had once given a time frame, or a time period that was given to them to process a convoy.
It remains without answer for like two weeks, then i made this up:
Well i see that my question was ignored.
I have just finished Venezia's book, and it contains surprising information.
I have not the time to check back, so does anyone know if the process of gassing has been described with detail by any other SK or witnesses, that is mainly the time needed for "processing" a killing through the installation of Birkenau?



To which Statmec responded:
I have no recollection of anyone giving the exact information you asked for. Not knowing is not the same as ignoring :) Also, my not having written down that precise detail - total time for destruction of a transport - doesn't mean that no one has stated it.


Fair enough, although strange from someone who did read Venezia book.

I was pretty shocked when i read Venezia, really. And it seems strange that anyone can read this testimony without being shocked by some of its content.
Two of them especially:
- first Schomo said that he indeed had to lift the lid on the roof so that the SS could throw the Zyklon-B (never heard about that before)
-That on average, whatever the krema (could be III could be IV and IV or could be all four) was supposed to accomplish its work in no more than 72 hours.

These are the two elements that are absolutely new to me. The book was published in 2007, that is 10 years ago.
Given that Venezia was part of the same group that arrived from Greece, along with other survivors, like the Gabbai brothers, Cohen, and others, i was wondering why this basic question had not been asked before?
Venezia stated it plain and clear. It is not something that could be blurred by "bad memory" as it is basically quite easy to remember how many days/shift one could have to work on the same convoy.
Obviously much more easy to recall than those silly questions like "how many minutes did it take for the victims to die", as if those SK would have watched some kind of watch each time.
So yes, i asked why a scholar like Greif could have missed the opportunity to ask this "million $ question"? A question to which answers, from first hand witnesses, would have enlightened the whole issue in one go, and therefore make those silly mathematical estimations unnecessary.

This is what seemed to have pissed of Statmec who replied:
Rather, it would have been odd for Greif to ask this exact question; the labor involved in the murder process at Auschwitz was subdivided and no single man whom Greif interviewed oversaw the whole process. Greif "decomposed" the process because it was "decomposed" by the SS overseers, with men assigned to parts of the process. In other words, the men with whom Greif spoke worked in a decomposed process and Greif quite logically asked the men mostly about their own experiences.


Which makes clearly no sense as while it is true that the ones packing the cloths could not know anything about how the cremation took place at the first floor, but they all have a point in common: they bloody ALL started the work at 6 am and finished a 6pm if a day shift on the contrary if a night shift, so they would all know what day they started, and after how many shifts the job was done.

This did not pleased Statmec who went a step further:
Fail. Well not poisoned . . . of course Greif could have asked those he interviewed to do this but my point, contrary to what you wrote, is that it would have been a bit of stretch, given his focus. What you're now asking presupposes your exact concern being Greif's and his coming up with "shift counting." You started off saying you can't explain why Greif didn't ask the question you wish he had, when it's clear why he didn't and easily explained. He could have asked about shift-counts but it would have been a bit off focus. No surprise either way. Nothing there IMO.


Well i don't understand what an introduction like "Fail...Well not poisoned" means.
My original post is there to check, i have not speculated of what Statmec's point was...But then he said "it would have been a bit of a strectch, given his focus" - which does not explain why Greif did not ask that question neither - and no it is not clear why he did not.
The whole point was that i would love to have an "easy explanation why he did not", but did not get any, except that it would have been "OFF FOCUS".

So a question that could have solved hours, months, years of sterile debates with deniers; to give more than a clue to all historians who tried to estimate a process based on bits of information; well such a question would have been "out of focus" of what Grief intended to do?
I thought Greif's intention was to offer a full comprehension of what the Sk was involved in. But the exact reconstruction of their work should be considered "out of focus"?

Then things got nastier with a nice:
How much of the literature have you read?


about Auschwitz as a whole, where normally the killing process is explained, i admit very few except the classic.
about the SK, everything i could find for the last two or three months. And there is nothing in them.

The comes accusation about methodology:
Statmec:
The other thing is that Balsamo is making way too much of a single testimony given IIRC fifty years after the fact.


Now everyone can see that up to then, i did not make anything about a "single testimony", just asking the question why what this single testimony said did not appear previously.
I did notice the nice remark about a testimony becoming unreliable 50 years after the facts...40 yeas is ok, but 50 years...

But it continues:
what Balsamo didn't tell us is that Venezia gave his 72 hour recollection in a reply to a question whether he'd visited Kremas IV and V and been able to note differences



I am supposed to have concealed information in order to "mislead" the members of this forum. As if it was classic of mine as everyone knows. And as if it would change anything to the subject. Even if the "time period" only concerned crema IV and V, it would not change a thing.

I will stop here, as by then, the topic of my original post (which as a question) has been turned into something i cannot even understand.

And if at the end of the story, you Jeffk, come up with a something about the cremation capacity of those bloody ovens (a subject i consider, and always did, irrelevant), just shows that the topic is dead.

So Stat, you are welcome to conclude it with a silly LOL

But it is not really funny to see such an obfuscation of a serious topic.

Actually my proposition was merely how it integrate Venezia testimony in the existent ones? what could it change? Is it valid or not?
Has it been taken into consideration by post 2007 researches? will it be? or not? Naively i was hoping for Nick who is still working on the latest opus on Auschwitz to give his opinion. With a more general focus: how should Historians of the Holocaust handle these kind of new revelation?

As a B-side, it could have given the opportunity to reconsider all those previous estimations, to see if new ones have emerged after the publication of Greif or Venezia, that is 2005(in English) and 2007.

Anyone who has read Greif can immediately conclude that half a day for the process belongs to another dimension, but as Pressac said "or longer" well it could have opened a gate.

AS nobody wants of this topic, and as a matter of fact the Sonderkommado have polluted every forum since the invention of the internet, then i will give it up.

So indeed LOL


Balsamo, WTF?

Let's just boil this down to basics, shall we?
What was your purpose to your question about what SK's said about cremation times? Is my answer what you wanted? Or, was it something else?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Mon May 15, 2017 12:08 am

Denying-History wrote:Alright Balsamo I will try to simplify this. 3 minor points were raised:

1) You are relying on a single testimony and based on the work of Pressac he placed the figure the operation of 1000-1500 corpses at between a day or two. (Worded a day or more by Pressac.) You are treating this 70 hour figure with to much authority.

2) The Germans made attempts to increase the cremation rate (something which Pressac later downplays with his 1000 corpse figure.) And that witnesses record a higher cremation rate then the 1440 figure for krema 2 & 3.

3) It's possible that you have misinterpreted this testimony as univerial.


I am giving up, if you are still coming with those ovens capacity, well what can i say more?
Well just to give a final answer here
1./ I don' really care how many corpses the ovens were able to burn...this has been discusses over and over again for the last 10 or 20 years. And my point was not to address Pressac other that he just has such a vague estimation that it means nothing to anyone who has read at least three times those SK testimonies.
Jean Claude Pressac died 2 years before Grief publish his book (at least in a language he could read) and 5 years before Venezia published his.
I have tried to explain many times that i am not trying to impose this 72 hours figure, but wonder how it should be treated.

Up to now, not even a single opinion had been given on Venezia testimony, except he might have misremembered.

Again it is not about the oven capacity, or only in such a way that i cannot understand why one cannot get over this.

2./ I do not deny that, but i would guess that by May 1944, those improvements were already in place, and anyway, the overload of work is the reason why they put a fifth killing center in place (that is start it back)

3./ I don't interpret this testimony as having a universal value (i guess you meant universal) and i did not "MIS"interpret it at all.
I just asked if any other witness beside him made such a statement. I have checked every sources concerning the SK at my disposal, and could not find any, hence my original question, because i cannot pretend to have read anything about Birkenau.

My only question was then what to do with such a testimony, but of course, it would or required to read it or to trust those who did read it.

Now if you really want to repeat all the stuff about the oven capacity, then ask Bob on rodoh.

Jeffk
What was your purpose to your question about what SK's said about cremation times? Is my answer what you wanted? Or, was it something else?


Of course not as you came up once again with the cremation capacity. I really don't care as there are enough concordance between the witnesses to establish that 3 or 4 adult (or 6 children) were cremated in 30 minutes. That is enough for me.

The whole subject is ONE astonishing to say the least from a SK member that has been reproduced by Statmec above, and quoted by me before, and that up to now no ones (except Statmec to a certain point) as even commented.

So here it is

Image

So here it is.
So please, what do you think of it? How should it be considered? Does it deserve it be added to the other testimonies (that unfortunately were revealed late)? Are they motives to just ignore it? Or does it deserves to be taken into consideration in further research? YES or NO and WHY?
This was what i wanted to discuss first.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Mon May 15, 2017 2:17 am

If your point is behind how the 72 hour figure should be treated then you shouldn't have continued this petty argument. We explain a long time ago that the figure doesn't appear to be correct.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Mon May 15, 2017 9:17 pm

Ok, as i said that i would check the french version of the book, in order to clarify the controversial sentence, here are some precisions:
Actually i could not find a french edition (it is available in kindle format but it seems that it is restricted to Europe.
But i found an interview in which Shlomo Venezia clarifies:

Asked if the work at the crematoria ever stopped, here is his answer: (translation mine)
"Jamais. Les équipes se relayaient toutes les douze heures. Les convois de 1700, 1800 personnes
arrivaient tous les trois jours. Il fallait 72 heures, soit trois jours, pour gazer puis brû-
ler tous ces corps. Avant même que tous aient été brûlés, on nettoyait et repeignait à la chaux
le sol et les murs de la chambre à gaz, pour le convoi qui arrivait.
A partir de mai, ce sont 420 000 Juifs hongrois qui ont ainsi été exterminés.

or

" Never! The Teams took turns every 12 hours. The convoys of 1700, 1800 people arrived every 3 days. It needed 72 hours, or 3 days, to gas and then burn all those bodies. Even before all of them were cremated, one washed and had to repaint with lime the floor and the walls of the gas chamber for the convoy that was coming. Starting in May, 420.000 Hungarian Jews were thereby exterminated."


At least it clarifies that he was indeed talking about his crema, that is II (III) to which a convoy arrived every 3 days, and it can be understand that it was indeed a time period valid for all the four crema.
I have checked in all the SK testimonies i have, and i can confirm it is the first time that such an organization is proposed.

So those interested in at least addressing this testimony:

- What is it that you don't like and why?
- Are there elements (sources, similar testimonies, documents) that completely reject Venezia proposition?
- Or could it be that there was such an organization in the mass killing?
- Has such an organization already been proposed in a former research?

This is how i thought the discussion.


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