Eyewitnesses To The Existence of Gas Vans Are Unreliable

 

Holocaust deniers say:

Eyewitness evidence about the use of gas vans in the death camp of Chelmno and by the Einsatzgruppen units in the East is based on hearsay that originated in questionable trials in the Soviet Union during the war. That "evidence" then influenced the trials held in Germany after the war.1

Ingrid Weckert, a German Holocaust denier, maintains that the testimony about the gas vans is such a "wild conglomeration of conflicting claims" that it does not rise to the level of documentary evidence that they ever existed, much less were ever used.2

Who testified to the gas vans and their use?

The facts about the eyewitness testimony regarding the existence of gas vans

The eyewitnesses all agree in their overall descriptions of the gas vans:

Where and when did we first learn about the gas vans?

Here are some examples from the vast body of testimony in the Russian and West German trials about which Weckert does not tell her readers:
Thus, perpetrators, survivors and bystanders in Kharkov (Soviet Union), Kiev (Ukraine), Stalino (Ukraine), Chelmno (Poland), Poltava (southern Ukraine), Baranovichi (Belarus), Minsk (Belarus), the Caucasus (Soviet Union), Belgrade (Yugoslavia), and Riga (Latvia) described similar vehicles. The testimony of these eyewitnesses diverges only in small non-critical points and is remarkably coherent and convincing overall.

Conclusion

Weckert uses a common Holocaust denial technique for discrediting any eyewitness evidence that negates their thesis. She selects tiny, out-of-context examples from the large body of eyewitness evidence available, and then minutely picks each of them apart looking for any inconsistencies, no matter how small or inconsequential. Any minor differences mean that all the eyewitness testimony on the gas vans should be rejected as being of "no evidentiary value." 5
The fact is that minor inconsistencies aide the overall credibility and convergence of the eyewitnesses accounts, since identical descriptions would seem rehearsed.

Notes

1. Ingrid Weckert, "The Gas Vans: A Critical Assessment of the Evidence," p. 3/34.
2. Ibid., p. 25/34.
3. "Szlamek Bajler, also known as Yakov Grojanowski: Notes on the Chelmno Waldlager, January 1942" p. 2/8 at http://www.deathcamps.org/occupation/bajler.html.
4. All selections are from Chapters 4 and 5 in Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein, and Adalbert Rückerl, editors, Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas (English language version, 1993). The chapters contain much more testimony than cited here.
5. Weckert, "Gas Vans," pp. 28/34.
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