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Hindu Funeral Pyres Would Have Made Better Incinerators

 

Holocaust Deniers Say:

If the incineration grills were designed similarly to a Hindu funeral pyre, they would have been more efficient because the remains rest directly on the wood and "as the wood sinks so does the body, the body staying close to the wood." 1

Would a Hindu cremation-type pyre would have been more efficient?
In fact, a Hindu funeral pyre is not efficient either in terms of wood usage or in the amount of time required for cremation.
The facts about Hindu cremation pyres
In a Hindu cremation, the remains are placed directly on a pile of wood and, after a series of rituals, set alight. Each pyre consumes between 272 kilograms (600 pounds) to 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of wood. The total incineration process lasts about six hours. 2
Two problems the Hindu cremation pyre would present as a model for mass incinerations in the camps:
  • The truth is that Indian Hindu funeral pyres are so inefficient in terms of wood usage that the estimated 8.5 million cremations annually is a ecological nightmare because it requires an estimated 50,000,000 trees. This type of inefficient wood consumption is precisely what the Holocaust deniers complain would have made the mass incineration process impossible, yet they wonder why the Germans did not try it.
  • Calling the traditional method of laying the body directly on the wood an example of "inefficient combustion," experts in India today are currently promoting the use of a new system for cremation that provides more oxygen for combustion resulting in the use of only about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of wood per cremation.3
A Hindu funeral pyre can not match the combustion power of incineration grills operating under the following constraints:
  • The large number of remains (about 2,000 bodies on each grill)
  • The close proximity of the remains to each other (piled several feet high)
  • The large size of the grills-about 66 square meters or 710 square feet.
These circumstances would have contributed significantly to the combustion process once the fire had been started, reducing or eliminating the need for adding new wood. In addition, the flow of oxygen under the grill would have aided the process and made it more fuel efficient.
Conclusion
Hindus funeral pyres are used for their ritual and symbolic importance and not because they are the most efficient mechanism for reducing a body to ashes.

Notes

1. See Clip 23: Lamb at www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com.
2. Tripti Lahiri, "New 'green’ pyre to cool planet while burning India’s dead," Taipei Times, June 16, 2007 at ; Katie Rawls, "Cremations Harm Indian’s Environment" at ; Bruce Wallace, "Hindus urged to adopt 'green’ cremation," Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2007 at .
3. Tripti Lahiri, "New 'green’ pyre to cool planet while burning India’s dead," Taipei Times, June 16, 2007 at ; Katie Rawls, "Cremations Harm Indian’s Environment" at ; Bruce Wallace, "Hindus urged to adopt 'green’ cremation," Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2007 at .
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