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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/weber-brugioni

From: George Minde <>
To: Nizkor 
Subject: Weber
Message-ID: <960403043621_70550.623_JHD155-4@CompuServe.COM>


   A month ago Manfred posted one of Weber's pamphlets on Compuserve, and I
started looking up some of the citations. Here's one of the paragraphs from
Weber's broadsheet and my response. 

  I gather from the Nizkor list that this has been posted on Nizkor or
elsewhere, but I was unable to find it. Feel free to post it wherever.


<<=Telltale Aerial Photos=
Detailed aerial reconnaissance photographs taken of Auschwitz-Birkenau on
several random days in 1944 (during the height of the alleged extermination
period there) were made public by the CIA in 1979.   They show no trace of the
piles of corpses, smoking crematory chimneys or masses of Jews awaiting death
which have been alleged and which would have been clearly visible if Auschwitz
had indeed been an extermination center.   (note 17)>>

<<17. Dino A. Brugioni and Robert C. Poirier, The Holocaust Revisited,
Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1979.>>

    Weber has been a naughty, naughty, naughty boy again, lying about what one
of his sources says! Excuse me, I shall try to be more polite--he appears to
have "accidentally misrepresented" what Brugoni and Poirer said. 

   As I've dealt a little bit with aerial photography, I thought I'd get get
the report cited above. I was quite surprised to see what Brugioni and Poirier
actually said, as compared to how Weber represented them.

   For example, if Weber had read the report, he would know that Brugioni and
Poirer's analysis of the coverage of Birkenau is limited only three dates prior
to the official cessation of extermination activities there on 3 November--26
June 1944 (full coverage--medium quality), 25 August 1944 (partial coverage),
and 13 September 1944  (full coverage). There was also imagery available from
26 July 1944, on which "a very large transport of prisoners in Birkenau could
be identified. While an overall view of the complex was obtained, the
exceptionally small scale of the imagery precluded detailed interpretation
[beyond that]." (page 6)

   Other imagery of Birkenau *not* examined by Brugioni and Poirer includes
full coverage of Birkenau in a mission on 31 May 1944, and additional imagery
from missions on 9 August 1944, 12 August 1944, and 20 August 1944. [For those
not familiar with the practice of aerial photography during WWII, the
reconnaissance missions were not directed at Birkenau itself, but rather were
directed at the I.G. Farben synthetic oil complex "Buna" and the Monowitz
concentration camp. These were five miles away from Birkenau, and overlapping
coverage of the Birkenau is available from those dates. Several other
reconaissance missions were directed at Buna/Monowitz, particularlry during
September/October 1944, but due to the flight path no coverage of Birkenau

   As for <>, that is an
outright lie. The photograph from 26 June (Photo 3, page 8), is perhaps
inconclusive; one can see on it, and Brugioni and Poirer describe "A rail
transport is present within Birkenau." (p6) More interesting is the photo from
25 August 1944, As the authors state:

           The imagery illustrates eyewitness accounts of the death 
         process at Birkenau. A rail transport of 33 cars is at the    
         Birkenau railhead and debarkation point. Prisoners can be   
         seen beside the train. The selection process is either underway   
         or just completed. One group of prisoners is apparently being 
         marched to Gas Chamber and Crematorium II. The gate of that
         facility is open and appears to be the destination of that  
         ill-fated group. (pp7-8)

   Two groups of prisoners are clearly visible to even the untrained eye--the
one at the rail siding heading to Gas Chamber/Crematoria II, and a second,
smaller group in what is most likely the "Gypsy camp".  The photographic
evidence from the 13 September 1944 imagery is even more clear. As Brugoni and
Poirer state:

          High quality imagery of the _entire_ [my emphasis] Birkenau 
         complex was  obtained for the first time on 13 September 1944 
         [the imagery for 25 August covered only one third of the camp]. 
         A huge transport of some 85 boxcars is present at the Birkenau 
         railhead. Details of the compound, including the expansion into 
         Section III ["Mexico"] necessitated by the large influx of 
         Hungarian Jews, were observed. A large column of prisoners, 
         estimated at some 1,500 in number, is marching....There is 
         activity at Gas Chamber and Crematorium IV, and it's gate is  
         open; this may be the final destination of the newly arrived
         prisoners. (pp8-9)

   Brugioni and Poirier certainly seem to have no problem seeing <>

   No, there are no <>. Timing of aerial
reconnaissance (and bombing missions) is not <> but rather is best done
under conditions of local high pressure and no cloud cover--conditions which
appear to have been met, looking at the photographs utilized by Brugioni and
Poirer. Such climactic conditions also encourage the rapid dispersal of smoke.
[The actual timing of the photographs is also somewhat interesting. The 26 June
photograph was taken three weeks after the  end of the Phase I deportation of
435,000 Hungarian Jews  17 May-7 June, and during a lull in Phase II, and
appears to show a relatively small transport. The other two photographs, taken
relatively early in the day, both appear to show large transports and new
arrivals at the start of their journey to the gas chambers and the crematoria.]

  As for the <>, that is somewhat disingenuous of Weber. One
can see clearly in the photographs how the gas chambers and the crematoria are
connected, so that bodies would not need to be taken outside to form <> unless the numbers of corpses was so much that resort would have to
be made to burning bodies on funeral pyres in ditches.

  Interesting enough, though, while the photos do not show us <>, they do show pits where the pyres may have been built. As Brugioni
and Poirier state in their analysis of the 26 June 1944 imagery,

          There are a number of ground traces near Gas Chambers and 
         Crematoria IV and V which could also be connected with 
         extermination activities. Ground scarring appears to the rear 
         of Gas Chamber and Crematoria IV and is very noticable to the 
         immediate north and west of Gas Chamber and Crematorium     
         V. These features correlate with eyewitness accounts of pits 
         dug near these facilities. (p6)

   These pits are clearly visible in Photo 3, 26 June 1944. (p8) Photos 4 (p9)
and 6 (p11), 25 August 1944 also clearly show a pit near Gas Chamber and
Crematoria II. 

   Photo 6 (p11), in particular, provides very good imagery of an operational
gas chamber and crematoria; Photo 9, from 21 December 1944 (p15) of the
partially dismantled Gas Chambers and Crematoria II and III also helps make
clear their design, and how it would not be necessary for the bodies to be
brought outside on their trip to the Crematoria.

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