There Are No Mass Graves At Treblinka
Holocaust deniers say:
There are no graves at all in the death camp of Treblinka in Poland.
NAFCASH (National Association of Forensic Criminologists, Archeologists, Skeptics and Historians), a Holocaust denial web site, states that the "exterminationists" [the deniers' term for responsible Holocaust historians] have never found an "iota of tangible evidence" to back up their "fraudulent claim" that the "alleged Treblinka holocaust has been scientifically proven-not even a single tooth out of an alleged million!" 1
Calling Treblinka-the largest of the four death camps in Poland in which about 800,000 Jews were murdered-a "malicious lie" NAFCASH states that: "If the Treblinka holohoax is debunked, then the equally synthetic pillars of Belzec, Chelmno and Sobibor become untenable" and the "pure extermination center legend collapses." 2
On what evidence does NAFCASH base it challenge?
- NAFCASH’s assertions are based on the work of Richard Krege, an Australian Holocaust denier, who claims that he used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to investigate the sites of the both Belzec and Treblinka death camps in 1999/2000.
- The GPR device looks like a lawnmower. When it is pushed or dragged across the surface of the ground it maps the structure of the soil underneath it using sound waves and displays the results on a computer screen. Krege claims that the GPR is so sensitive that even the mark of a shovel pushed into the soil would be revealed.3
- Krege states that in 1999/2000, together with Jürgen Graf, a Swiss Holocaust denier, and Carlo Mattogno, an Italian Holocaust denier, that he dragged the GPR over the entire site of Treblinka and found that the soil was "nearly perfect" and "unaffected by humans."
- Krege notes: "Not found was mass graves, single graves, bone remainders, ash from people, wood ash, surface irregularities, elements or building garbage, tree remnants or stumps . . . [or] gold teeth." 4
What do we know about the mass graves in Treblinka?
The Polish State Prosecutor’s Office and the Main Commission for the Investigation of the German Murders in Poland examined the Treblinka site in November 1945:
- In their final report they noted that they found several graves, the largest of which was 6 meters deep (about 20 feet). In the walls of the largest crater was "a large quantity of ashes as well as human remains." Further excavations revealed ". . . countless human bones . . . often still covered with tissue remains.
- In addition, the sand covering an area of about 20,000 square meters or about 215,278 square feet was mixed with human ashes, turning it gray and granular. The soil smelled intensely of decay and burning as did the air 325 feet away from the graves. The pertinent part of their report about Treblinka is available at http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/07/polish-investigations-of-treblinka.html.
In November 1943, Treblinka was closed by the SS; however their hasty departure left the area surrounded by barbed wire and riddled with pits and heaps of sand. The entire area was strewn with all kinds of personal articles from the murdered Jews.
Ukrainians were sent to the site of the death camps to set up a camouflage farm and secure the area from local Poles who had begun digging furiously in the area, searching for gold and valuables. SS guard Heinrich Unverhau testified about Belzec: "We had to prevent the Poles from turning the whole area upside down in their search for gold." 5
If Krege’s GPR device was so sensitive that it could find a shovel mark in the ground, how did he miss:
- The very obvious evidence of these "wildcat" digs? More about them is available at http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2008/03/gold-rush-in-treblinka.html.
- The evidence of the pits and trenches dug by the Polish post-war investigators? These pits were dug on the sites of bomb craters to facilitate the investigation.
- The pieces of bones and ash in the sand that still covers the ground of the extermination camp area? In 1959 Martin Gilbert, the noted Holocaust historian, visited the camp: "Finally we reached an enormous clearing, bounded on all sides by dense woodland. Darkness was falling, and with it, the chill of night and a cold dew. I stepped down from the cart on to the sandy soil: a soil that was grey rather than brown. Driven by I know now what impulse, I ran my hand through that soil, again and again. The earth beneath my feet was coarse and sharp: filled with the fragments of human bone." 6
Despite the Germans’ best efforts, they failed to hide a good deal of evidence at Treblinka. 16 pictures of the camp site from 1945 clearly show the piles of sand, human remains and the personal goods of the Jews murdered at Treblinka. These goods, later uncovered by treasure hunters, can be seen at http://www.deathcamps.org/treblinka/lasttracks.html.
What has become of Krege and his "theory"?
In 2001, Krege presented his findings in an article in the Journal of Historical Review, published by the Institute for Historical Review, an American Holocaust denial organization.
Krege announced at that time that his findings were to be published in book form but as of 2009, other than a lone and unsubstantiated computer image on the web showing undisturbed ground which he claims is representative of his findings at Treblinka,7 there has been no further substantial articles or books on Krege’s "research" (with the exception of few very extreme Holocaust denial websites).
Krege has presented his spurious findings at two Holocaust denier conferences in Washington, D.C. in 2001 and Moscow in 2002. Although he is described as a "sought after lecturer on Treblinka" 8 by his supporters, his only notable recent appearance was at the Iranian Holocaust denial conference in Tehran in 2006.9
Krege’s assertion that the soil in Treblinka is undisturbed so there are no mass graves is false. He has only provided one image that purports to show the undisturbed ground at Treblinka but it has never been documented. Without the proper documentation we have no proof that the image was even taken at Treblinka.
The only people willing to invest in his fraudulent research are other radical Holocaust deniers such as NAFCASH, the Institute for Historical Review or Holocaust deniers in the Middle East. Not even Carlo Mattogno, who works hard trying to diminish the impact of the mass graves in the Operation Reinhard camps-and who funded Krege’s research and accompanied him to the site-is willing to endorse Krege’s ludicrous and dishonest "findings."
1. "No Trace of Mass Graves Found at Treblinka," p. 6/18 at http://www.nafcash.com.
3. Richard Krege, '"Vernichtungslager’ Treblinka - archäologisch betrachtet'" ("’Extermination camp’ Treblinka’-archaeologically considered"), p. 4/5 at http://www.vho.org/VffG/2000/1/Krege62-64.html. (It is in German but can be translated by the computer.) See also Jürgen Graf, "Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?" The Revisionist, no. 1, 2005 at http://vho.org/tr/2004/1/Graf97-101.html.
4. Ibid., p. 4/5 and 5/5 at http://www.vho.org/VffG/2000/1/Krege62-64.html. (It can be translated by the computer.)
5. Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (Indiana University Press, 1987), pp. 371-373.
6. Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985), preface, p. 17.
7. See David Irving’s website, http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Treblinka/IHRJ191000.html, "Treblinka Ground Radar Examination Finds No Trace of Mass Graves" (Journal of Historical Review, 19(3), May/June 2000.
8. "Was Treblinka a Death Camp?"p. 8/12 at http://judicial-inc.biz/Treblinka.htm.
9. "The Iranian Holocaust Conference" at http://judicial-inc.biz/Toben_Iran_Holocaust.htm.