The "typhus epidemic" meme

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Aaron Richards
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The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Aaron Richards » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:23 pm

As you all know, one key tactic for deniers to dismiss the whole german concentration camp system is to:

1) create a false equivalence by comparing them with "enemies of the state" being sent into camps, just like the Americans did with ethnic japanese(-americans) by sending them to internment camps
2) explain the much better sanitary conditions and low mortality rate in the japanese-american internment camps with the handwaving notion that "the war never reached the US mainland"
3) explain away the high mortality rate in the german concentration camps with the "they all went through raging typhus epidemics" shtick, pointing out to Zyklon-B's documented use as a delousing agent in several camps.
4) and to top it all off, sprinkle their view with the notion that 1944 onward, "allied strategic bombing destroyed supply lines leading to the camps", therefore food and zyklon deliveries to the camps dwindled, leading to outbreaks of starvation and typhus, explaining their terrible state when the allies found and liberated the camps.
5) defend their theory with documents like the incomplete bad arolsen 280k International Tracing Service certified deaths estimate; the 86k from Auschwitz death books, and ask us to provide evidence for our numbers.

Now I made this thread to discuss point 3. What is the historical consensus on how many camps were affected to which degree by typhus? I know Auschwitz suffered from it at certain points of time, as did Bergen Belsen. Obviously the extermination camps didn't have to go through any of that given their small, skeleton crew. Were typhus outbreaks otherwise rare in the rest of the concentration camps?
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:39 pm

Most of those who perished at Treblinka, Sobibór, Bełżec and Chełmno must have died from the scourge of typhus, AKA "Resettlers' Syndrome."
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Oozy_Substance » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm

I find the deniers being on a deadlock in Auschwitz. On one hand they keep on parroting the "where are all the bodies?" chanson and on the other hand they claim the mass deaths at the camp occurred due to diseases and hunger caused by the bombing of the supply lines by the allies.
But that's the deadlock - if all these people died of diseases and hunger, where are indeed all the bodies then?
Auschwitz was not a transit camp, so they can't pull the "deported to east" shtick.
So their arguments collapse inward at this point.

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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Balmoral95 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:24 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm
I find the deniers being on a deadlock in Auschwitz. On one hand they keep on parroting the "where are all the bodies?" chanson and on the other hand they claim the mass deaths at the camp occurred due to diseases and hunger caused by the bombing of the supply lines by the allies.
But that's the deadlock - if all these people died of diseases and hunger, where are indeed all the bodies then?
Auschwitz was not a transit camp, so they can't pull the "deported to east" shtick.
So their arguments collapse inward at this point.
I don't recall them having applied the Allied bombing gambit so much to Auschwitz as to the western camps.

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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Aaron Richards » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:43 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm
I find the deniers being on a deadlock in Auschwitz. On one hand they keep on parroting the "where are all the bodies?" chanson and on the other hand they claim the mass deaths at the camp occurred due to diseases and hunger caused by the bombing of the supply lines by the allies.
But that's the deadlock - if all these people died of diseases and hunger, where are indeed all the bodies then?
For Auschwitz, their argument goes that there was a large Typhus epidemic in 1942, which prompted the commandant to commission the construction of the 4 purpose-built crematoria in Birkenau to be able to deal with the mounting dead. The deniers ascribe most of the 87k death toll in the Auschwitz death books to the typhus epidemics, and 87k is a number that checks out in their cremation maths, so the "where are all the bodies" question is something they use to attack the 1.1 million figure, rather than their own figures.

But yeah, as Balmoral pointed out, the typhus meme usually only pops up when deniers are shown footage of the piles of dead bodies upon liberation of some of the western camps.

So my question is simply, how much of a role does holocaust historiography end up ascribing typhus epidemics to? I did my calculations a while ago, but I remember that the official death tolls of all (non-extermination) concentration camps (minus Auschwitz) add up to ca. 1 million dead. Of these, would it be realistic to say 25% died of typhus and the rest from other factors like starvation rations, physical labor attrition, medical experimentation, shootings by guards etc.?
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Denying-History » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:21 am

Aaron Richards wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:43 pm
Oozy_Substance wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm
I find the deniers being on a deadlock in Auschwitz. On one hand they keep on parroting the "where are all the bodies?" chanson and on the other hand they claim the mass deaths at the camp occurred due to diseases and hunger caused by the bombing of the supply lines by the allies.
But that's the deadlock - if all these people died of diseases and hunger, where are indeed all the bodies then?
For Auschwitz, their argument goes that there was a large Typhus epidemic in 1942, which prompted the commandant to commission the construction of the 4 purpose-built crematoria in Birkenau to be able to deal with the mounting dead. The deniers ascribe most of the 87k death toll in the Auschwitz death books to the typhus epidemics, and 87k is a number that checks out in their cremation maths, so the "where are all the bodies" question is something they use to attack the 1.1 million figure, rather than their own figures.

But yeah, as Balmoral pointed out, the typhus meme usually only pops up when deniers are shown footage of the piles of dead bodies upon liberation of some of the western camps.

So my question is simply, how much of a role does holocaust historiography end up ascribing typhus epidemics to? I did my calculations a while ago, but I remember that the official death tolls of all (non-extermination) concentration camps (minus Auschwitz) add up to ca. 1 million dead. Of these, would it be realistic to say 25% died of typhus and the rest from other factors like starvation rations, physical labor attrition, medical experimentation, shootings by guards etc.?
Could be wrong, but don’t the death books only contain 68,864?
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:29 pm

Aaron, I don’t know if you’ve ever read this:

https://web.archive.org/web/20070104143 ... -disposal/
Nevertheless, the nearly 69,000 death certificates available afford researchers the opportunity to see exactly what was killing registered prisoners. It is now known on the basis of these certificates that very few prisoners died from typhus. [32] They show that only 2060 of the 68,864 deaths were from typhus. While typhus can be lethal, it need not necessarily be so. Lucie Adelsberger, a Jewish prisoner and camp doctor, got typhus, was quarantined, and resumed her duties after recovery. [33] Similarly, Ella Lingens Reiner, a German doctor, who was also a prisoner, contracted typhus and survived. [34] One of the early Auschwitz memoirs, written in 1947, recounts an episode with camp doctor Josef Mengele, later to become known as the "Angel of Death" for his medical experiments. Mengele was disturbed about the typhus epidemic. The former prisoner wrote: "Alas, typhus epidemics did rage in the camp, but at this time we had comparatively few victims. The same day he [Mengele] sent us a large quantity of serum and directed mass vaccinations." [35] Petro Mirchuk, a Ukranian prisoner, wrote that a delousing in August 1942, the worst month of the epidemic, "eliminated the epidemic and the billions of fleas and lice ceased to exist." [36]
Typhus isn’t universally fatal, you can recover.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21

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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Denying-History » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Mind I think it’s kinda important to remember that if Pressac is right, “The truth is that the SS used exterminations of Jews, about which their superiors had a general knowledge, without being informed of the practical details, to hide the terrible hygienic conditions in the camp, and to cover up their enormous consumption of gas for disinfestation purpose.” (Jürgen Graf‘S translation)

It’s possible given less then 5% was used for gassing people.
Last edited by Denying-History on Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Nessie » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:38 pm

Yankel Weirnik relates typhus at Treblinka;

http://www.zchor.org/treblink/wiernik.htm

At TII, no date is given, but it would be summer 1943, after March/April;

"At any rate, the cremations were promptly begun. The corpses of men, women, children and old people were exhumed from the mass graves. Whenever such a grave was opened, a terrible stench rose from them, because the bodies were already in an advanced stage of decomposition. This work brought continued physical and moral suffering to those who were forced to do it. We, the living, felt renewed grief, even more intensively than before. We were ill fed, because transports had ceased to arrive, so that the hapless purveyors of food had become a thing of the past. We did not like to draw on our reserves. All we ate was moldy bread, which we washed down with water. The malnutrition caused an epidemic of typhus. Those who became ill needed neither medication nor a bed. A bullet in the neck and all was over."

and at TI, the labour camp;

"In April, 1943, transports began to come in from Warsaw. We were told that 600 men in Warsaw were working in Camp No. 1; this report turned out to be based on fact. At the time a typhus epidemic was raging in Camp No. 1. Those who got sick were killed."
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Oozy_Substance » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:19 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:24 pm
Oozy_Substance wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm
I find the deniers being on a deadlock in Auschwitz. On one hand they keep on parroting the "where are all the bodies?" chanson and on the other hand they claim the mass deaths at the camp occurred due to diseases and hunger caused by the bombing of the supply lines by the allies.
But that's the deadlock - if all these people died of diseases and hunger, where are indeed all the bodies then?
Auschwitz was not a transit camp, so they can't pull the "deported to east" shtick.
So their arguments collapse inward at this point.
I don't recall them having applied the Allied bombing gambit so much to Auschwitz as to the western camps.
I saw this argument being said on Auschwitz as well, but probably by rookies, who just parrot stuff.
But how do deniers explain the hundreds of thousands of people deported to Auschwitz and disappearing there?

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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Nessie » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:47 am

Are the following genuine records of deaths at Auschwitz?

http://www.heretical.com/miscella/rudolf.html
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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Balmoral95 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:56 pm

Nessie wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:47 am
Are the following genuine records of deaths at Auschwitz?

http://www.heretical.com/miscella/rudolf.html
What, you don't trust Germie and his 27 "academical" degrees and "primal" sources? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The "typhus epidemic" meme

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Nessie wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:47 am
Are the following genuine records of deaths at Auschwitz?

http://www.heretical.com/miscella/rudolf.html
In a word, Nessie:
No.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070104143 ... -disposal/
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21