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80,000 People Cannot Be Buried In A Grave The Size Of A Henhouse


Holocaust deniers say:

It is impossible that the Germans "buried roughly the equivalent to the stadium spectators of the Rose Bowl game" (about 80,000 people) in an area corresponding to the "size of a henhouse." 1

An American Holocaust denier claims, in a video about Sobibor, that Karl Frenzel, a brutal killer in the camp, was convicted based on flimsy evidence about this impossibly tiny grave.

The same faulty assumptions

The denier’s calculations about the size and volume of the mass graves at Sobibor are based on the same faulty assumptions as those he cobbled together for Belzec and Treblinka:
The area he calculates that would be required for each body is not representative of the average size or mass of the victim in these camps.
  • He misrepresents the way the bodies were thrown into the graves in a way that actually wastes the space that was available.
  • He uses maps that are not scaled as to the size or distance between objects shown on it. Therefore, they cannot be used as the video-maker does to draw conclusions about size and space.
These assertions were dismantled in the previous article (See "Eyewitnesses Unreliable").

Further evidence about the mass graves in Sobibor

  • In 1962 in Hagen, Germany, Karl Frenzel, a brutal and highly feared SS guard, was put on trial for his activities at Sobibor. He was found guilty of a string of atrocities and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The court estimated that Sobibor had contained "huge pits . . . each about 50-60 meters long, 10-15 meters wide and about 5-7 meters deep, the side walls being sloped due to the sandy ground." 2 (About 164-196 feet by 33-50 feet by 17-23 feet.)
  • These findings are in accord with preliminary excavations on the grounds of Sobibor in 2001 conducted by Andrezj Kola, who found seven mass graves.
  • The largest grave found by Kola was 37 meters long by 75 meters wide by 4.5 meters deep (about 120 feet by 246 feet by 15 feet).
  • The other six graves were 23 meters long by 18 meters wide by 4.5 meters deep (about 75 feet by 60 feet by 15 feet).3
An investigation called the Sobibor Archeological Project is currently underway to reconstruct the plan of the camp. So far, they have confirmed the existence of at least seven mass graves and the location of the gas chamber building.4


Legal and modern forensic evidence show that the videomaker’s insinuations that the mass graves in Sobibor were about the same size as a "hen house" on the site are false. He employs the same faulty assumptions he used when calculating the capacity of the mass graves in Belzec and Treblinka. The facts are that there was plenty of room for both the graves and the incineration grills.


1. See Episode 13: Sobibor Burial Space at http://www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com. In Sobibor, approximately 80,000 bodies were buried before the burning of the corpses began to take place after each gassing. The bodies of those murdered in the camp after the Germans began burning the buried bodies were cremated immediately.
2. See http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2007/06/meet-karl-frenzel-1.html.
3. "Archeologists find mass graves of Sobibor Nazi death camp," Ha’aretz (English edition), November 24, 2001 at http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Sobibor/graves_found.html;"Mass Graves Confirm Sobibor Holocaust," The Scotsman, November 26, 2001 at http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Sobibor/Scotsman.html and Andrzej Stlinski, "Polish researchers find mass graves at former Nazi death camp of Sobibor," Associated Press, November 23, 2001 at http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/camps/aktion.reinhard/sobibor/ftp.py?camps/aktion.reinhard/sobibor//press/Graves_found.011123".
4. Press Release, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Archaeologist Unearths New Findings at Sobibor Death Camp." November 13, 2007.
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