The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/crematoria/crematoria-smoke

Subject: "smoke" citations
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 13:17:44 -0800 (PST)
From: "Jamie McCarthy" 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Category one:  the aerial photographs show no cremation smoke.

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

   Date: Sat, 4 Mar 1995 07:30:04 GMT
   >From: (Thomas Doyal)
   Subject: David Irving Part 2
   [much deletia -JRM]
           So it is in Auschwitz two.  And so you can prove it too from the
   photographs which were only released in the 1970s.  Until the mid
   1970s these "holocaust eyewitnesses " had no idea that the REAL
   eyewitness evidence existed in the form of the incontrovertible
   evidence of the cameras. 
   [5 1/2 paragraphs deleted -JRM]
           What else is not visible on the photograph?  There is no smoke.
   Remember the eyewitnesses who describe how the chimneys continuously
   spewed smoke? See Schindler's list, ashes flutter down and he flicks
   it off his lapel. None of this is visible on the photographs either,
   No columns of people lining up outside. No lines of people standing up
   outside the gas chambers,
           All these things in the eyewitness accounts are missing in the
   phonographs.  So what did happen in Auschwitz?  Can we begin to
   speculate?  From hard evidence what I call real history. It is this
   word "Real History" which makes our enemies squirm and go chanting
   around the building here, in canting against us.

Jeff Roberts quotes Walendy at the Zuendel trial:

   Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 20:24:46 GMT
   >From: Jeff Roberts 
   Message-ID: <>
   [Reitlinger quote deleted -JRM]
   Christie (defence counsel for Zundel) turned his attention to the numerous 
   aerial photographs of Auschwitz made by the Allies in 1944, and released  in 
   1979, and to (Udo) Walendy's Historical Fact No. 9," whose title posed the 
   question, Holocaust Now Underground?
   Could you just tell us," asked Christie, what it is you indicated on the 
   front cover of that publication?"
   Walendy: [It's] an enlargement of a section of those aerial photographs 
   taken by the American Air Force, showing two crematoria in 
   Auschwitz-Birkenau, and also several barracks, these enlargements show that 
   the crematoria did not show any smoke around. No dug-out areas [pits] were 
   seen. There, apparently, people were buried and burned. It is also shown 
   here  [in the booklet] that the Americans, in 1944, photographed the whole 
   area every 10 days from a height of 6000 meters, and on not a single one of 
   those photographs can smoke be seen coming from the crematoria, and also the 
   area around those crematoria did not show what was allegedly to be seen, and 
   since that time [1979] there are more and more claims that the Holocaust had 
   taken place underground, and it could not have been seen from above ground.
   [Page 259  The Holocaust on Trial ,The case of Ernst Zundel by Robert 
   The Holocaust on Trial is available from:-
   The Institute of Historical Review PO Box 241556, Newport Beach, CA 92659 

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

   From: Alexander Baron 
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,alt.politics.nationalism.white,alt.politics.white-power,alt.skinheads,alt.conspiracy,can.politics
   Subject: Re: The Dachau Gas Chamber exposed!
   Date: Tue, 22 Aug 95 19:44:57 GMT
   Message-ID: <>
   In article <41ah6n$>
     "Kathleen Mulhern" writes:
   > Thick black smoke emminating from the crematoriams is not a rumor if 
   > there are pictures of them.  
   Are you sure the smoke wasn't painted on? In case you think that is a facetious
   remark there are many more blatant fabrications, some of which are admitted.

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

   From: Alexander Baron 
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: A Partial Refutation Of 66 Of Dan Keren's Wilful Distortions
   Date: Sat, 30 Sep 95 02:20:27 GMT
   Message-ID: <>
   [deletia -JRM]
   >#  48. Do Allied wartime aerial reconnaissance photos of Auschwitz (taken
   >#      during the period when the "gas chambers" and crematoria were
   >#      supposedly in full operation) show evidence of extermination?
   >#       No. In fact, these photographs do not even reveal a trace of
   >#       the enormous amount of smoke that supposedly was constantly
   >#       over the camp, nor do they show evidence of the "open pits" in
   >#       which bodies were allegedly burned.
   >Overflight of Auschwitz were very few and were carried out in 
   >late 1944, when the extermination process was almost finished. 
   >Some aerial photos were taken after the gas chambers were destroyed. 
   In other words, no.

Friedrich Berg:

   From: (Friedrich Berg)
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: Re: Testimonies Re "Operation Reinhard" Camps (was: Re: Shein shines
   Date: 14 Jul 1994 22:45:38 -0400
   Message-ID: <304t8i$>
   Dear Mr. Nenonen,
   I do not have much time tonight but I will try to give you something in 
   the way of answer.  
   [one paragraph about diesel CO deleted -JRM]
   As to the aerial photos, they were taken every month from April 1944 until
   January 1945--during the period of many months when the alleged mass
   murders and cremations were going on with the greatest intensity,
   supposedly.  When I was in Auschwitz the guide told my group that in the
   summer of 1944 as many as 24,000 people were murdered and cremated per
   day--and since the crematoria could only dispose of a maximum of 8,000 per
   day, the rest (up to 16,000 per day) had to be burned in open pits.  That
   story is simply insane. 
   Also, it was claimed that the crematoria chimneys poured forth smoke and 
   flame that could be seen for miles 24 hours per day.  In a report 
   entitled "THE HOLOCAUST REVISITED" published by the CIA in February 1979 
   on page 11 we have the following statement: "Although survivors recalled 
   that smoke and flame emanated continually from the crematoria chimneys 
   and was visible for miles, the photographs we examined gave no positive 
   proof of this."  That statement is an understatement because if you do 
   examine the photos and large duplicate negatives which can be purchased 
   through the National Archives in  Washington, DC.--you will find that 
   there is not even a whisper of smoke near any of the chimneys on any of 
   the photos or negatives.  Clearly, the "survivors" were lying.  No open 
   pits with burning bodies or bodies of any other kind either.
   Auschwitz was a nice place to spend the war compared to many of the 

Friedrich Berg again:

   From: (Friedrich Berg)
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: Re: An Open Invitation.
   Date: 28 Jun 1994 00:39:49 -0400
   Message-ID: <2uo9il$>
   [much deletia -JRM]
   One kind of hard evidence which clearly refutes the extermination story is
   aerial reconnaisance photographs such as the ones taken by Allied aircraft
   over Auschwitz every month from April 1944 through January 1945.  Those
   photos clearly show that many of the most often used "eyewitness" stories
   are simply lies.  The story was that the chimneys of the crematoria at
   Auschwitz spewed forth smoke and flame 24 hours per day which could be
   seen for miles and that as many as 16,000 corpses were burned in open pits
   every day also.  The photos, in all cases, fail to show even so much as a
   whisper of smoke from any of the crematoria chimneys.  As to burning open
   pits which certainly should have been even more visible, far more visible,
   there was absolutely nothing at all. 

Dan Gannon quotes IHR material, presumably an IHR Newsletter:

   From: (Dan Gannon)
   Newsgroups: soc.history,alt.censorship,alt.activism,alt.revisionism,alt.discrimination,alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.correct,alt.journalism.criticism,talk.politics.misc,talk.politics.mideast
   Subject: Renowned Historian Fined, and FINED MORE, for TELLING THE TRUTH!!
   Date: 20 Sep 1993 13:16:28 -0700
   Message-ID: <27l32s$>
   [much deletia -JRM]
                The Video that Justifies Buying a Video Player
             New Documentary Video Torpedos Battleship Auschwitz
                       "Gas Chambers" Suffer Direct Hit
   IN THE JULY 1992 _IHR Newsletter_, we told you about historian David
   Irving's dramatic trial....
   [much deletia -JRM]
   [Shot from the video, "Alicia and Cole discuss a wartime aerial
   reconaissance photo of Auschwitz: No belching smoke from the chimneys, no
   lines of people awaiting gassing."]

The JHR again:

   >From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 12, Number 4 (Winter 1992-93):
                         [From the REVIEWS section:]
                       Book-Length "Scholarly" Polemic
                         Fails to Discredit Leuchter
   TRUTH PREVAILS: Demolishing Holocaust Denial: The End of the Leuchter
   Report.  Edited by Shelly Shapiro.  New York, N.Y.: The Beate Klarsfeld
   Foundation, and Holocaust Survivors & Friends in Pursuit of Justice, 1990.
   Softcover.  135 pages.  Illustrations.  Index.  $15.00.  ISBN 1-879437-00-7.
                            Reviewed by Mark Weber
   [much deletia -JRM]
        The preface also sets the tone of _Truth Prevails_, where the reader
   is told: "The incomprehensible death factories 'with their bulging gas
   chambers and smoke-belching crematoria eclipsed man's visions of hell.'
   The name of Auschwitz means the epitomy [SIC] of evil."  Overlooking the
   emotion-charged rhetoric here, it should be pointed out that, as anyone who
   is even superficially familiar with the reality of Auschwitz knows, there
   were no "smoke-belching crematoria" there (or anywhere, for that matter).
   Like similar facilities elsewhere, the crematory facilities at Auschwitz
   were structurally not able to "belch" smoke.  (Accordingly, Allied aerial
   reconnaissance photos taken of the camp complex in 1944 -- at the height of
   the supposed extermination process there -- show absolutely no trace of any
   smoke whatsoever.) (name unknown to me) suggests that the burning pits were
drawn onto the photos (and quotes me responding to a quote from John
Ball suggesting the same thing):

   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: Re: Burning Pits
   Date: Mon, 30 Oct 95 19:25:43 -0500
   Jamie McCarthy  writes:
   >>   Though John Ball does not specifically designate the "pit" behind KII as
   >> a "mark"  drawn of aerial photos, he does believe the "pits" near KIII are
   >> drawn there.  Since the pits in both locations look alike, I would hazard a
   >> guess that the pit near KII is also a CIA enhancement of the original 
   >> imagery.  In any case, there is no smoke eminating from these locations in
   >> any of the air photographs.
   >Does John Ball explain why or how someone would have forged a photo
   >that sat in archives until the late 70s?  A photo that was filed
   >under the military photographs of the Monowitz facility, and whose
   >worth to Holocaust historians was only discovered by researchers
   >more than thirty years after the war was over?
   >No, I didn't think so.
   No I do not believe that Mr. Ball explains who placed the marks on
   Krema II & III.  I myself would not be surprised that the CIA
   during the 1970's placed these marks after the publication of
   Dr. Butz's book.

Category two, there wouldn't have been any cremation smoke.

Al Baron, "a miniscule amount of smoke."

   From: Alexander Baron 
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: Re: 4 QUESTIONS FOR DAN KAREN (sic)
   Date: Thu, 21 Sep 95 19:06:40 GMT
   Message-ID: <>
   In article <43q1da$> "Yale F. Edeiken" writes:
   >      "All of us froze into one.  Staring at each other,
   > >  >       not speaking a word, we looked and wondered at those tall chimneys
   > >  >       spewing a peculiar reddish flame.  A smell none of us had ever 
   > >  >       experienced before hung in the air." [1]
   >    Now Lyin' Al explain how an impartial judge looked at it, looked at the
   >  evidence, 
   > looked at the allegations about and concluded that it was true.  Or are you
   >  going 
   > to repeat Raven's lie about the case?
   There were flames issuing from these tall chimneys? Have you ever seen them?
   Have you visited a crematorium? I did as part of the research for my book.
   They give off a minuscule amount of smoke and no flames at all. And what
   was the smell he claimed to have experienced?
   Alexander Baron
   "Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy." - Napoleon

Al Baron again:

   Date: Fri, 14 Jul 95 08:24:15 GMT
   >From: Alexander Baron 
   Subject: Re: Six Million Did Die
   Message-ID: <>
   [deletia -- the below is unpublished work by Al Baron -JRM]
   Appendix I: The "Trust Me, I'm A Lawyer"
   Technique Of Anti-Revisionism
   $SIX MILLION DID DIE: the truth shall prevail$ was first published 
   in South Africa in October 1976, and, according to the $PREFACE 
   [much deletia -JRM]
   "In 1944 a second crematorium was built on the other side of the 
   bunkers and the black stinking smoke which belched out of the chimneys 
   became one of the ordinary features of the Ravensbrueck scene...The 
   overseers and SS men were fond of telling us that the only way we 
   should ever leave Ravensbrueck would be 'up the chimney'." 
     This sounds remarkably like the origin of Gitta Sereny's claim (see 
   Appendix L), which was related to non-extermination camps. Again there 
   is the nonsense about the black smoke belching out: again, consult 
   someone who works in a crematorium. (9)

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

   From: Alexander Baron 
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Subject: Re: 4 QUESTIONS FOR DAN KAREN (sic)
   Date: Fri, 22 Sep 95 22:55:03 GMT
   Message-ID: <>
   In article <43v593$> "Yale F. Edeiken" writes:
   >There was indeed fire, and smoke, and acrid stench.  > I was at both kinds of facilities for the same reason.  Litigation over the
   >  Clean Air 
   > Act.  That is, of course, one of the obvious reasons that modern crematories
   >  are 
   > operated in a different manner than Auschwitz.  No-one at Auschwitz was about 
   > to complain about the smoke and fire and smell.
   What you appear to be forgetting is that Auschwitz was a huge industrial 
   complex and, among other things, manufactured synthetic rubber. Which is where
   the smell came from. The tales of fire and smoke from the crematoria are
   fantasy. And this was all done in secret, remember?
   Alexander Baron
   "Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy." - Napoleon

The JHR again:

   >From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 13, Number 3 (May/June 1993):
                       MULTI-MEDIA 'LIBERATORS' PROJECT
                              EXPOSED AS FRAUD
         Historical Truth Survives "Politically Correct" Exploitation
                          Mark Weber and Greg Raven
   [much deletia -JRM]
   _Liberators_ (p. 135) also reports that
        In Buchenwald, that summer of '44, [inmate] Ben Bender could only
        gaze, in numbed horror, at the gray clouds billowing twenty-four hours
        a day from the crematorium's towering smokestacks.
        Actually, crematories are designed in such a way that they do not
   "billow" smoke.

The JHR again:

   From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 13, Number 6 (Nov./Dec. 1993):
                             My Lunch With George
                How an Influential Journalist Twists the Truth
                                  MARK WEBER
   [much deletia -JRM]
        I reminded Will of something he had written about Auschwitz a decade
   earlier.  In his _Washington Post_ syndicated column of March 10, 1983, he
   told readers:
             You could tell from the smoke the sort of persons consumed in the
        crematoria.  Newcomers to Auschwitz, who still had some fat on their
        bones, made black smoke.  Persons who had been there for awhile made
        white smoke.  There:  that is an emblematic fact of 20th century
        What Will calls an "emblematic fact" is, rather, an instructive fable,
   and the way he cites it not only points up the reverential, even awestruck
   way he regards the Holocaust story, but shows his careless disregard for
        When I told him that this statement is simply not true -- that in fact
   crematory chimneys give off no flame and almost no smoke -- he asked me how
   I know this.  I explained that I had studied the matter, and had spoken with
   crematory managers -- adding that anyone who takes a little time to look
   into this question can determine the truth for himself.

The Lueftl Report, cited in the JHR:

   From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 12, Number 4 (Winter 1992-93):
                               The Luftl Report
                     An Austrian Engineer's Report on the
                  "Gas Chambers" of Auschwitz and Mauthausen
                                 WALTER LUFTL
   [much deletia -JRM]
     Turning now to technology, because objective proof is always far more
   conclusive than witness testimony.
     In the book _Bauentwurfslehre_ ["Textbook on Construction Design"] by
   Ernst Neufert (Ullstein Fachverlag, 1962), p. 423, one can read:
        Cremation takes place in special ovens which are coke-fired,
     electically-fired (cremation of a body requires about 45 Kw of energy),
     or gas-fired...[and is] entirely free of smoke [Staub] or odor.
   (This puts an end to the fairy tales of noticeable odor of the cremated

Dan Gannon quotes Carlos Porter, source unknown:

   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Message-ID: <>
   Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 16:14:55 
   The following text is from Carlos Porter of Belgium:
   Dear Sirs,
   It might be noted that the book SCHINDLER'S LIST (an admitted work of
   fiction) contains the following factual assertions which are UNTRUE:
   [two claims deleted -JRM]
   CLAIM:  Crematory ovens burn corpses in a few minutes 

Jeff Roberts quotes Lagace from the Zuendel trial:

   From: Jeff 
   Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
   Date: Thu, 03 Aug 1995 23:59:14 GMT
   Message-ID: <>
   The following extract is just part of the testimony at the Zundel trial of 
   Ivan Lagace, a funeral director and crematorium manager and operator from 
   Calgary, Alberta. Lagace has disposed of more than 10,000 bodies since 1976, 
   and cremated more than 1000 since 1984. He has handled victims of fire, 
   accident, and disease, and has seen every stage of bodily composition.
   He was accorded EXPERT status at the Zundel trial.
   Lagace next explained some calculations he had made after studying the plans 
   for the 46 retorts at Birkenau.(Auschwitz II)
   Christie [defence counsel for Zundel] asked him how these compared to the 
   plans for his own crematorium.
   Well, said Lagace, When I first looked at these [Birkenau plans], I was 
   amazed." The specifications were almost identical to his own retort, 
   including the unusually high 45-foot stack. Based on the afterburner design, 
   he added, it is obvious they were concerned with environmental effects. 
   There would be no smoke and no odor."
   Lagace estimated that the 46 retorts at Birkenau could handle about 184 
   bodies daily, or four apiece.
 Jamie McCarthy     Co-Webmaster of
 Unless you specify otherwise, I assume pro-"revisionism" email
 to be in the public domain.            I speak only for myself.

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