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Belzec – The Testimony of Chaim Hirszman

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By Thomas Kues

It is often stated that Rudolf Reder (who later took the name Roman Robak) was the only Jew to have survived the “pure extermination camp” at Belzec. This, however, is incorrect even from an exterminationist viewpoint, since according to orthodox historiography there were in all seven survivors: Reder, Chaim Hirszman, Sara Beer, Hirsz Birder, Mordechai Bracht, Samuel Velser and “Szpilke”. The last person appears only within Reader’s account. Although Reder claims to have met “Szpilke” in Lemberg after the war, and states that he later lived in Hungary, yet this mysterious witness to the last days of the camp has left no historical trace whatsoever. (Read more…)

Written by Thomas Kues in: Belzec,Eye-witnesses,Operation Reinhardt | Tags:

Yet Another Source On Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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The following quote is taken from Alan Gunn, Essential Forensic Biology, 2nd edition, Wiley-Blackwell, New York 2009, pp. 20-22 (italics mine):

«Sometimes the cause of death may result in striking changes to normal skin coloration. For example, deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning often result in a cherry red / pink coloration to the skin, lips and internal body organs (…) although if the body is not discovered until several hours after death the coloration may not be immediately apparent owing to the settling of the blood to the dependent regions [livor mortis].

Carbon monoxide gas forms during the combustion of many substances and poisoning is a common feature of accidental deaths in which people are exposed to fumes from a faulty gas boiler or during fires and suicides in which the victim breaths in vehicle exhaust fumes. (…) Carbon monoxide has much greater affinity than oxygen for the haeme molecule of haemoglobin and therefore, even at very low atmospheric concentrations it will rapidly replace it and thereby reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. When carbon monoxide binds with haemoglobin in the blood or myoglobin in the muscles it forms carboxyhaemoglobin and carboxymyoglobin respectively and they are responsible for the pink coloration

(Read more…)

Written by Thomas Kues in: Belzec,Operation Reinhardt,Treblinka | Tags:

Grave pit enlargement at Bełżec caused by soil movement?

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Between 1997 and 1999, Polish archeologist Professor Andrzej Kola carried out select excavations and probe drills at the former site of the Bełżec camp in eastern Poland, where allegedly 434,501 Jews (434,508 Jews were deported to the camp according to the so-called Höfle telegram, whereof 7 reportedly survived) were gassed to death, buried, disinterred and cremated on open pyres between 1942 and 1943. The total areal of this camp, which was completely dismantled in September 1943, amounted to no more than 6.2 hectares, with the “Totenlager” part containing the gas chambers and mass graves taking up roughly half of this space.     

In 2000, Kola published the book Belzec: The Nazi Camp for Jews in the Light of Archeological Sources. Excavations 1997-1999 (The Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom/USHMM) wherein he reported that he and his team through drillings had discovered 32 grave pits with a total surface area of 5,919 square meters and a total volume of 21,310 cubic meters. The news of Kola’s research was widely touted as the definite proof that Bełżec had served as an extermination camp where hundreds of thousands of European Jews had met their death. (Read more…)

Written by Thomas Kues in: Belzec,Mass Graves,Operation Reinhardt | Tags: