Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
finds problems with
accepting that the Birkenau smoke comes from cremation pits,
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Auschwitz-Birkenau slave-labor camp, August 23, 1944 BRITISH RAF RECONNAISSANCE UNIT PHOTO - CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT
That smoke-column on air photos of Auschwitz-Birkenau?
I HAVE been studying the TARA photographs of the Auschwitz camp that have recently begun to be available. The one dated 23 August 1944 shows white smoke coming from a spot close to Krema V [left side, mid-photo]. Does this mean that open-air cremations were taking place here?
In my opinion it does not, at least not to a significant extent, because the area available in that section of the camp was quite small. This can easily be deduced from the size of Krema V (or the identical Krema IV), a building about 60 m in length which stood within an area closed towards the north and west by the outside border of the camp, towards the south by the limit of the Krema IV sector and towards the east by the main camp.
Theoretically, the space available for the kind of incinerations shown on the TARA photograph was a rectangle in the north-west corner of the Krema V grounds measuring about 80 by 80 meters. However, not all of this space could actually be used for incinerations, because such pyres become so hot during the active stage that they have to be kept well away from buildings (or trees for that matter).
Also, aside from the problem of heat, the smoke generated by these pyres is at some stages so dense that it is not possible for people to stay anywhere near the pyre; UK sources, in connection with foot-and-mouth incinerations speak of a minimum spacing of 250 m between pyres. Hence, the guard towers on the western edge of the Krema V and IV grounds could not have been manned during that time and even Krema V itself would have been affected.
The section giving off white smoke on the TARA photograph is perhaps a few dozen meters long and several meters wide. The pyres set up (under good material conditions with respect to manpower and equipment) for the foot-and-mouth disease incinerations in the latest outbreak of the disease in France, for example, permitted eight sheep to be incinerated per linear meter of pyre and this space was blocked for at least a week to allow for the construction, the incineration itself, the cooling off and the dismantling of the pyre.
Therefore, in the area shown in the TARA photograph it may have been possible to incinerate something like 100 corpses per week under optimum circumstances, but this is a far cry from assertions in the literature. Contrary to wide-spread misconceptions, open-air incinerations are inefficient, laborious, time-consuming and dangerous.
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David Irving comments
YES, but we need to know the source of the photo with the two smoke columns. Its aspect ratio has also been tampered with. Until we hear more about the source it seems possible that, like the New York Herald Tribune story of some years ago, it is a revisionist hoax,
The wind direction in the lower photo also appears to have altered for the second pillar of smoke. A mystery of almost Biblical proportions threatens.