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Old 29th May 2012, 12:22 PM   #2239
Robert Muehlenkamp
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by SnakeTongue View Post
Where is the "multiple methods" of Roberto Muehlenkamp? Anyway, from all possible methods, your fellow co-writer chose the worst. He transformed two 1.60m tall adults and one child into a bizarre model with undetermined height and volume. Then, he proceeded to use a 1.73m tall hypothetical male model with no mass to determine the volume occupied by his bizarre model.
What a shame that Carlo Mattogno didn’t have the assistance of your mathematical genius, because my "bizarre" model and "worst" method are based on the method applied by Mattogno. From the blog "Mattogno, Graf & Kues on the Aktion Reinhard(t) Mass Graves (3)":

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The mass graves identified by Prof. Kola at Bełżec were way too small to take in the bodies of all the camp’s victims, Mattogno claimed in his Bełżec book. He wrote [95]:

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n the basis of experimental data, the maximum capacity of a mass grave can be set at 8 corpses per cubic meter, assuming that one third of them are children.260 Hence, the alleged 600,000 corpses at Bełżec would have required a total volume of (600,000÷8=) 75,000 cubic meters. The average depth of the graves identified by Professor Kola is 3.90 meters. Assuming a layer of earth 0.3 m thick to cover the graves, the available depth would be 3.60 meters.261 It follows that the burial of 600,000 corpses would have required an effective area of (75,000÷3.6 =) approx. 20,800 square meters. On the other hand, the surface area of the graves identified by Kola is 5,919 square meters and their volume 21,310 cubic meters, theoretically sufficient to inter (21,310×8=) 170,480 corpses – but then where would the other (600,000 – 170,480 =) 429,520 corpses have been put?
The reference for the "experimental data", according to which "the maximum capacity of a mass grave can be set at 8 corpses per cubic meter, assuming that one third of them are children", is Mattogno & Graf’s Treblinka book, where one reads that "On the basis of his investigations of the mass graves of Hamburg (Anglo-American terror-bombardment of July 1943), Katyn (Soviet mass murder of Polish officers, 1940) and Bergen-Belsen (mass dying from typhus in spring 1945), John Ball came to the conclusion that one could assume a maximum of six bodies per cubic meter in a mass grave", and that "in order to take into account the hypothetical existence of children as comprising one-third of the victims, we assume a density of a maximum of 8 bodies per cubic meter"[96]. Readers had to wait until Mattogno’s response to my criticism for an explanation of how this "maximum" was calculated[97]:

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Above I have presented the experimental data. As for the percentage of children, according to demographer Jakob Leszczynski[40], the percentage of children aged 14 or under among the Jewish population of Poland in 1931 amounted to 29.6%, that is little less than 1/3.

Based on scientific tables on weight increase, the medium weight of children aged 17 and under is approximately 35 kg[41]. If for a normal adult a medium weight of 70 kg is assumed, the medium weight of 3 persons (two adults and a child) is ([70 + 70 + 35] : 3 =) 58.3 kg. Therefore 6 adult corpses, weighing (70 x 6 =) 420 kg, are equivalent to (420 : 58.3 =) 7.20 corpses of adults and children in the relationship of 2:1. According to other tables, the medium weight of children aged 14 and under is approximately 25.4 kg, which in turn gives us a medium weight of 55.1 kg and a density of (420 : 55.1 =) 7.6 corpses per cubic meter. The figure of 8 corpses per cubic meter which I have assumed for my calculations is thus rounded off upward.
So Mattogno expects his readers to believe that Jewish adults deported to Bełżec weighed 70 kg on average and Jewish children aged 14 and under weighed 25.4 kg on average.

According to Brocca’s table[98], 70 kg is the ideal weight of a male 1.78 meters high or a female 1.82 meters high. It is also the normal weight of an adult person 1.70 meters high. Mattogno’s readers are thus asked to believe that Jewish adults in starving Polish ghettos in the early 1940s were 1.70 meters high on average and had a normal weight, or a lower ideal weight.

The height of the average German adult in the 1940s can be safely assumed to have been no more than 1.68 meters[99]. According to anthropological sources referred to by Charles Provan [100], the Jews of Poland were about three inches shorter than the average German. 1.68 meters equal 66 inches, so if the Jews of Poland were about three inches smaller than the average German, according to Provan's source Dr. von Verschuer, their average height was 63 inches or 1.60 meters.

Besides being considerably smaller than would correspond to the average weight postulated by Mattogno, the Jews of Eastern Poland, where most deportees to Bełżec extermination camp came from, were ill-fed and even starving[101]. According to the Body Measurement Index table[102], a person with a height of 1.60 meters is underweight at 38 to 48 kg. Assuming that the average weight of adult Jews in Polish ghettos at the time was in between the upper and the lower value of what the BMI table considers underweight, it would be (38+48) ÷ 2 = 43 kg. According to Mattogno's "other tables", the weight of an adult is 2.76 times that of a child up to 14. This relation would mean a weight of 43 ÷ 2.76 = 15.6 kg for ill-fed or starving children in Polish ghettos. Rounding up the latter value, a group of two adults and one child 14 years and younger from a Jewish ghetto in Poland would thus weigh (43+43+16)/3 = 34 kg on average, instead of the 55.1 kg calculated by Mattogno. The average weight of deportees to Bełżec was probably even lower as children made up a higher proportion of deportees from Galicia, at least 42.1 %[103] According to Mattogno's formula, 420 ÷ 34 = 12.4 (12) corpses with this average weight could fit into 1 cubic meter of grave space.

Now to Mattogno’s reference weight based on "experimental data" (6 adults a 70 kg per cubic meter = 420 kg per cubic meter). Alex Bay[104] calculated the space that would be occupied by a human being having the measurements of proportions of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Vetruvian Man", and concluded that 91,000 corpes with the proportions of the "Vetruvian Man" and an assumed height of 68 inches (1.73 meters) could have fit into 8,502 cubic meters of grave space - 10.7 (11) per cubic meter. The ideal weight of a person 1.73 meters high would be 66 kg for men and 62 kg for women. Taking the lower value, 10.7 human bodies with the measurements and weight of an ideal adult person 1.73 meters high would have a weight of 10.7 x 62 = 663.40 kg, instead of Mattogno's 420 kg. Using the former value as a reference, the unrealistically high weights assumed by Mattogno for an adult+adult+child group, i.e. (70+70+25,4) ÷ 3 = 55.13 kg, would mean 663.40 ÷ 55.13 = 12.03 (12) corpses per cubic meter. With the more realistic weights for malnourished Polish ghetto Jews mentioned above, the average would be 663.4 ÷ 34 = 19.51 (20) corpses per cubic meter.[105]

With this calculated concentration for an adult+adult+child group weighing as much as half-starved Polish ghetto Jews can realistically (even somewhat optimistically) be expected to have weighed, the number that could be buried at one time in the space estimated by Prof. Kola for the 33 graves he found was 19.51 x 21,310 = 415,758.[106] This is close to the total number of victims of Bełżec extermination that is now accepted by historiography, the 434,508 mentioned in the Höfle Report[107].
If you have a better method for determining the amount of space occupied by an average member of a not-so-tall and undernourished population with a 2:1 distribution between adults and children, I’ll be glad to learn about that method. Fire away, ST. Let’s see what conclusions your superior method arrives at under the aforementioned assumptions.

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I am changeling the underestimation produced by your fellow co-writer Roberto Muehlenkamp whose results equates the Polish ghetto Jews to anorexic people.
See the above quote for the basis of my estimation. The BMI table you can find with the Wayback machine (I’d like to give you the URL, but according to the rules of this forum "You are only allowed to post URLs (…) to websites after you have made 15 posts or more").

Please tell me in what respect my estimation is supposed to be an "underestimation", and provide a substantiated estimation that you would consider realistic under the applicable circumstances. I would especially like to know what is supposed to be wrong with assuming that malnourished Jews in Polish ghettos were on average underweight and that an underweight adult 1.60 meters tall weighs between 38 and 48 kg, as per the BMI table.

Originally Posted by SnakeTongue View Post
This is not a fact! Roberto Muehlenkamp did not use Charles D Provan’s experiment to create his odd underweight model with undefined height! He produced the model out of his own wishful thinking.
Make that realistic assumptions about the size and weight of Polish ghetto Jews, and we can agree. Wishful thinking one tends to see in the "Revisionist" camp.

Originally Posted by SnakeTongue View Post
Moreover, Charles D Provan’s experiment does not support his odd model since the participants have different characteristics from a Polish ghetto Jew.
The members of Provan's test group definitely had different characteristics, as they were normally fed American citizens and not underfed Polish ghetto Jews. With Charles Provan’s test group (Provan, Capacity), the average would be 663.4 ÷ 33.25 = 19.95 (20). Provan's box had a volume of 21 x 21 x 60.5 = 26,680.50 cubic inches or 0.44 cubic meters, and he managed to squeeze 8 people (including the doll representing and baby) into that space - a concentration of 18.2 per cubic meter. These were living people, and they were "able to breathe just fine" according to Provan, meaning that there was still some space left in the box not filled by their bodies. Provan's photos suggest that the box could have taken in one or two more bodies, at least of children, if the bodies had needed no breathing space because they were dead. The difference between the realistic calculated concentration for an adult+adult+child group of ill-fed or starving Polish Jews (19.51 corpses per cubic meter) and the concentration calculated for Provan's test group with the same reference parameter of 663.40 kg, i.e. 19.95 corpses per cubic meter, is not very big because Provan's test group, while consisting mostly of children, was made up of healthy and well-fed (though not overweight) present-day Americans. Applying Polish ghetto weights to Provan's test-group members (i.e. 43 kg for each of the three adults and 16 kg for each of the five children), the average weight would be [(3x43)+(5x16)]÷8 = 26.13 kg, and the calculated concentration would be 663.40÷26.13 = 25.39 corpses per cubic meter. This means that, if the age and sex distribution of half-starved Polish ghetto Jews deported to Bełżec had been like that of Provan's test group, the 21,310 cubic meters of grave space estimated by Prof. Kola could have taken in over 540,000 dead bodies.

Originally Posted by SnakeTongue View Post
So far, the only data offered by Roberto Muehlenkamp in your book is a formula for corpses decomposing in the open air and an experiment with a 1.5Kg pig...
I presume you are referring to the following part of the aforementioned blog:

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The Bełżec mass graves were not filled all at once but during a period of about eight months between the arrival of the first transports in mid-March 1942 and early December of that year, when the last load of deportees was murdered at Bełżec. This means that mass grave space must thus have been "recovered" due to bodies in the graves' lower layers losing volume through the effects of quicklime and decomposition.

There is evidence suggesting that the mass graves at Bełżec were filled to or even beyond the rim, the upper layer being covered with further layers of bodies or with sand after the corpses had sufficiently matted down due to decomposition. In his report dated 4 May 1945 Kurt Gerstein wrote the following[108]:

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The naked corpses were carried on wooden stretchers to pits only a few metres away, measuring 100 x 20 x 12 metres. After a few days the corpses welled up and a short time later they collapsed, so that one could throw a new layer of bodies upon them. Then ten centimetres of sand were spread over the pit, so that a few heads and arms still rose from it here and there.
Despite the obviously exaggerated statement about the depth of the pits, Gerstein’s description is interesting in its reference to a procedure, that of filling the graves to the rim and then adding further bodies when the collapse due to decomposition of those already inside the grave freed some space at the top, which was probably at the root of the following ghastly phenomenon at Bełżec described by the later commander of Treblinka, Franz Stangl[109]:

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Wirth was not in his office, they said that he was up in the camp. The man I talked to said that one of the pits had overflown. They had thrown too many bodies inside, and the decomposition had gone too fast, so that the liquid gathering below had pushed the bodies up, to the surface and above, and the corpses had rolled down the hill. I saw some of them. – Oh God, it was awful …
A human body’s changes in the course of the decomposition process can be studied by observing the decomposition of an animal with a very similar organism, the pig[110]:

At the stage of putrefaction, the corpse or carcass bloats up. This bloating, which in Bełżec and other camps of Aktion Reinhard(t) led to the phenomenon described for Bełżec by Franz Stangl, is due to the formation of gasses inside the body, such as methane, hydrogen sulphide, cadaverine and putrescine.

At the stage of black putrefaction, the bloated corpse collapses, and a large volume of body fluids drain from the body and seep into the surrounding soil.

At the stage of butyric fermentation, the body loses the remaining flesh and dries out. At this stage the body issues a cheesy smell due to the formation of butyric acid.

Finally, at the stage of dry decay, the body is reduced to just bone and hair.

The four phases described above take place in the open air respectively 4 to 10 days, 10 to 20 days, 20 to 50 days and 50 to 365 days after death. If the corpses are buried, these processes take four times longer[111]. However, in the open Bełżec mass graves the corpses – at least those in the upper layers – were still in contact with air, so decomposition must have been faster than with bodies buried underground, if not necessarily as fast as with bodies lying in the open. Forensic anthropologist Arpad A. Vass and his colleagues have "worked out a simple formula, which describes the soft tissue decomposition process for persons lying on the ground. The formula is y=1285/x (where y is the number of days it takes to become skeletonized or mummified and x is the average temperature in Centigrade during the decomposition process). So, if the average temperature is 10 °C, then 1285/10 = 128.5 days for someone to become skeletonized".[112] According to Vass's formula, the time to skeletonization at Bełżec in the late spring, summer and autumn of 1942, at temperatures presumably ranging between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, would have been 43 to 64 days for bodies exposed to air and insects, as bodies lying in open mass graves can be expected to have been. The time until the bodies were reduced to less than half their original volume and weight through loss of fluids and other factors would be even lower.

Modeling the effects of corpse decomposition on the amount of grave space available at Bełżec should ideally be done on the basis of a day-by-day or at least month-by-month breakdown of the 434,508 deportees delivered at that camp according to the Höfle Report. Unfortunately no such breakdown is available. The next best thing is a table in Appendix A of Arad’s study on the Reinhard(t) camps[113] that adds up to a higher number (513,142, according to my summation) and allows for a day-by-day breakdown of this number, albeit with certain assumptions and the inaccuracies inevitably resulting from such assumptions. Based on this table, I modeled a scenario of mass grave space management at Bełżec taking into account the loss of body volume due to decomposition, the results being that even 513,142 dead bodies could have been buried in 20,670 cubic meters of burial space (the volume of the burial graves according to Prof. Kola’s investigation results, see section 2.1) considering decomposition-related grave space economy, and that it was therefore also possible to bury the much lower number of documented deportees to Bełżec (434,508) in the same burial space.[114] The model assumed a density of 14.8 non-decomposed corpses per cubic meter,[115] which means that with the density calculated above (19.51 per cubic meter) the saving of burial space due to decomposition would be even higher. While of reduced relevance to demonstrating sufficiency of the burial space estimated by Prof. Kola for the number of corpses corresponding to Höfle's report of 11 January 1943 (as the concentration of 19.51 bodies per cubic meter established above means that 415,758 out of 434,508 bodies could have been buried in all Bełżec mass graves and 403,272 could have been buried in the 20,670 cubic meters of the burial graves alone even if all bodies had been buried at the same time or maintained their original mass and weight), the model shows what significant contribution the decomposition process could have made – and probably did make – to the SS' management of the burial space they had available Bełżec.
Decomposition in an open grave shouldn’t be so different from decomposition in the open air, and your "1.5 kg pig objection" is pointless unless you can demonstrate that a human body’s decomposition differs materially from that of a piglet crushed by its mother, even though the Australian Museum considered it similar enough to illustrate what happens to the human body after death and expressly stated that

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Piglets are used because a 40 kg pig resembles a human body in its fat distribution, cover of hair and ability to attract insects. These factors make pigs the next best things to humans when it comes to understanding the process of decay of the human body.
If you disagree with my reasoning, please explain what’s supposed to be wrong with it and why. And then let’s see your substantiated calculations of human decomposition times under the conditions that were present at Bełżec in the summer and autumn of 1942. Make a model like the one I used, based on the decomposition times you consider realistic. Then we can look at the differences between your assessment and mine.

This forum is a bit too rule-heavy for my taste, by the way. I suggest we continue the discussion in the "Holocaust Denial" section of the Skeptics Society Forum.
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