Section 81: Sobibór—A Temporary Camp Which Only Existed for 15 Months
Sobibór was located on the outskirts of the town of Sobibór in the Lublin Voivodeship of occupied Poland. The Sobibór camp was, like Belzec, selected for its locality to the labor camps of Lublin.
Construction of the camp was completed in April 1942, and, according to Holocaust “expert,” Raul Hilberg, a diesel engine was installed by the same people who built the “gas chambers” at Belzec to run a killing center very similar in design to that of Belzec (Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Holmes & Meier, 1961 p. 229.).
Hilberg based his claim of a diesel engine on “survivor accounts,” but it is significant to note that other Holocaust “experts” have claimed that it was a gasoline engine.
This claim has most probably emerged after the problems inherent in diesel gassing methods were realized by the Holocaust storytellers. As a result, considerable debate still persists amongst “official” Holocaust historians over this point, and it has never been finally settled.
It is claimed that the first mass gassing took place in Sobibór in May 1942, and that the operation was so successful that a “new” set of “gas chambers,” modeled exactly on Belzec, were built in September 1942. The camp ceased operation in October 1943, which meant that it was only operational for 15 months.
Once again, just like Belzec, the shortness of its lifespan militates strongly against the idea of a “killing center” and in favor of it being a transit and dispersal camp to the surrounding factories and resettlement areas.
Section 82: Chlorine and Electricity: “Survivors” Claim Bizarre Execution Methods in Sobibór
Despite the “official” version of the gassing procedure being one of carbon monoxide poisoning in gas chambers, a number of “survivor eyewitnesses” have alleged that chlorine was used to kill prisoners at Sobibór. “Survivor” witness Hella Fellenbaum-Weiss explained how Jews on their way to Sobibór were gassed with chlorine: “The arrival of another convoy distressed me in the same way. It was thought to come from Lvov, but nobody knows for sure. Prisoners were sobbing and told us a dreadful tale: they had been gassed on the way with chlorine, but some survived. The bodies of the dead were green and their skin peeled off”( Miriam Novitch, ed., Sobibór: Martyrdom and Revolt, Holocaust Library, 1980, p. 50.).
Another “survivor eyewitness,” Zelda Metz claimed that the “victims” entered the “wooden building where the women’s hair was cut, and then were asphyxiated with chlorine. After 15 minutes, they had all suffocated. Through a window it was checked whether they were all dead. Then the floor opened automatically. The corpses fell into the cars of a train passing through the gas chamber and taking the corpses to the oven” (Testimony of Zelda Metz, in N. Blumental, ed., Dokumenty i materialy, vol. I, Lódz 1946, p. 210).
“Survivor” Leon Feldhendler also claimed that chlorine was the “death-gas” (N. Blumental, ed., op. cit. note 2, p. 204). Yet another “survivor eyewitness,” Alexander Pechersky alleged that some type of “heavy, black substance” was the death-gas (A. Pechersky, The Sobibór Revolt, State Edition Der Emes, Moscow 1946, in Yuri Suhl, Edessi si ribellarono. Storia della resistenza ebraica contro il nazismo, Milan, 1969, p. 31).
One Sobibór “witness” claimed the Jews were killed with electricity and gas (Jules Schelvis, Sobibór: A History of a Nazi Death Camp, Berg, 2007, p. 215). Finally, some other witnesses claimed that Zyklon-B gas was used.
The mainstream historians of Sobibór have abandoned the “chlorine death gas” and “trap-door-in-the-gas-chamber” stories—once again, an implicit concession that they are both false.
The contradictory nature of the “eyewitness” accounts of the method of execution has never been sorted out, and is unlikely to be so.
The most obvious reason for the widely differing “witness” accounts is that they were probably never actually witnesses, but were merely repeating rumor and hearsay, a common enough event which plagues the entire Holocaust story.
Section 83: Yitzhak Arad’s Contradictory Official History of Sobibór
The most widely quoted “official” history of Sobibór is Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad’s Belzec, Sobibór, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (Indiana University Press, 1987).
In this book, Arad republished a large part of the “Kurt Gerstein document” (dealt with elsewhere in this work), which specifically claims that a diesel engine was used at Sobibór as a gassing instrument.
On page 101 of his book, Arad quotes Gerstein as being told by SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik that his duty was to “improve the service of our gas chambers, which function on diesel engine exhaust.”
Arad’s book then however goes on to quote the (equally dubious) testimony of a former SS soldier Erich Fuchs, who claimed to have operated the engine that Gerstein supplied—except that he identified the machine as a “heavy Russian benzene engine (presumably a tank or tractor motor) at least 200 horsepower (V-motor, 8 cylinder, water cooled).”
Not even the official book on Sobibór can decide for sure if a diesel or benzene engine was supposedly used at Sobibór.
Arad also differed with a number of other accounts on the size and number of the “gas chambers” at Sobibór, as no one, not Jewish “witnesses” or German “confessors” can agree on the exact nature or functioning of the execution facility.
This complete lack of uniformity rings alarm bells as to the overall accuracy of the story, as well it should.
The “witnesses” also disagree with each other on every other major issue about the camp. Some say that the bodies were removed from the “gas chambers” by drop trapdoors, while others say they were manually removed.
Some say the bodies were taken away on narrow gauge train lines, while others say they were carried away manually or by cart.
The “witnesses” all disagree on how the bodies were burned, with some saying that kerosene was used, while others say coal and yet more say wood. Finally, one of the most improbable “witnesses” of all alleges that hammers were used to crush bones on the ground. The incredible nature of that allegation becomes more breathtaking when it is considered that the official account claims that at least 200,000 people were killed at Sobibór.
Teeth and bones do not burn completely, even in conventional crematoria, much less in an open fire. To think that the teeth and bones of 200,000 people could be pulverized by hand-held hammers beggars belief—because it is simply unbelievable.
Below: Excavations at the Sobibór site were carried out by Polish and Israeli experts in 2009. They failed to find any trace of “gas chambers.”
Section 84: Official Documents Show Sobibór’s True Function
Fortunately, a few secret documents have survived which explain the camp’s function. On July 5, 1943, SS chief Heinrich Himmler sent a personal directive to several top SS leaders. In this directive, Himmler ordered the “Sobibór transit camp in the Lublin District to be transformed into a concentration camp. A center for dismantling captured ammunition is to be established in the concentration camp.” Note the use of the words “transit camp”—this order was issued at the same time that Sobibór was supposedly already functioning as an “extermination camp.” Himmler’s direct reference to Sobibór as a “transit camp” and its request to be turned into a “concentration camp” clearly shows its function at that time.
This was confirmed in a letter dated July 15, 1943 from the head of the SS concentration camp system, Oswald Pohl, back to Himmler which said that a center for dismantling captured Soviet ammunition could be set up at Sobibór without having to transform it into a concentration camp. Sobibór could, Pohl wrote, remain a “transit camp with a special section for dismantling ammunition.”
This correspondence, entered in the Nuremberg trial records as document file NO- 482, clearly shows that neither Himmler nor Pohl regarded Sobibór as an “extermination center.”
In fact, the only documentation which exists at all alleging that Sobibór was an “extermination camp” is the notorious “Gerstein Statement.”
Suffice to say here, the Gerstein statement, made after the war, contains absurd allegations about the Reinhard camps, including the claim that the Nazis gassed 25 million people and that 700–800 victims were crammed into gas chambers 25 meters square (in which case they would have died from suffocation first). It also describes a visit by Hitler to an extermination camp which even the “official” Holocaust historians admit ever took place.
Section 85: The Sobibór Trials
It took until 1965 for the commandant of the forced labor camp at Sobibór, Karl Frenzel, to be arrested and put on trial in Germany for his work at the camp.
Like all similar trials, his only real option was not to say that murders had not taken place, but rather to deny any involvement with them.
He was in fact in charge of organizing the labor sections of the camp—a fact which once again reinforces the original purpose of the camp.
Despite his denials and the total lack of any other evidence, Frenzel was convicted of 46 counts of murder and “participation in a further 250,000 counts of murder” (that was the number of victims claimed in the 1960s. That figure has been reduced in the official versions since then). He was released in 1982 and died in 1996.
Another of the accused, Kurt Bolender, had been in charge of the guards at Sobibór, but was accused of “running” the “gas chambers.” He was arrested in 1961 and when he finally appeared in court four years later, admitted to being at Sobibór but denied gassing anyone. He committed suicide before the end of the trial.
SS-Unterscharführer Erich Fuchs was accused of building the gas chambers at Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka. Despite the enormity of this alleged crime (and Fuchs’s compliant statements), Fuchs was sentenced to only four years in prison, being found guilty only of what the court described as “experimental gassings” in which, it was claimed, some 3,000 Russian prisoners were killed.
Franz Stangl, who for a while was chief commandant of Sobibór and later of Treblinka, escaped to Syria and then to Brazil after the war. He was arrested in Brazil in 1967 and sent back to West Germany for trial.
At his first hearing at the West German court, Stangl freely admitted to being commandant at Sobibór and Treblinka, but denied outright that he had anything to do with the mass killing of Jews. His task, he said, had been solely to supervise the collection and shipment of valuables brought into the camp by the victims—a job which was indeed the entire original purpose of Aktion Reinhard. Despite his protestations, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and died in prison shortly afterwards under mysterious circumstances, conveniently only a few hours after allegedly giving a “full interview” to Jewish journalist Gitty Sereny. The bizarre details of this interview are discussed below under the Treblinka section.
The deputy commander of the Sobibór, Gustav Franz Wagner, was arrested in 1978 in Brazil under an extradition order from West Germany. Wagner declared that there was no truth to the “extermination” story and that Sobibór had only been a work camp. The evidence he presented was conclusive, and the extradition appeal was turned down. Wagner was released and went home—but was murdered on his farm a few months later, knifed in the chest, another “convenient” end to an SS man who denied the extermination claims.
Section 86: Archaeological Digs Fail To Find Sobibór “Gas Chamber”
Archaeological digs at the Sobibór site were carried out in 2001 by a team directed by Andrzej Kola, who had earlier excavated Chelmno. Kola’s dig found a number of burial sites and a building which he called “E” and took to be the “undressing room” where the clothes and belongings of inmates were supposedly stored (“Gilead, I and others, Excavating Nazi Extermination Centers,” Present Pasts, Vol. 1, 2009).
Below: The foundations unearthed at Sobibór in September 2014: an irregular-shaped building with a number of rooms of different sizes, completely contradictory to the official Holocaust Storyteller narrative of “four square meter chambers.” The irregular size of the rooms is clearly visible in this photograph.
A second excavation, carried out in October 2007 by Isaac Gilead and Yoram Haimi from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, and Wojciech Mazurek from the Archaeological Division, Chelm, Poland, recovered about 1,000 artifacts which the archaeologists reported did “not seem to be associated with gas chambers.”The report was unable to identify any structure which could have been a “gas chamber,” and ended its section on Sobibór with the sentence: “It is obvious that the location of the gas chambers is a complex issue that has to be solved, an important objective for future archaeological research at Sobibór.”
Once again, the archaeological evidence simply does not back up the “extermination claim.”
Section 87: 2014 Archaeological Dig Contradicts Earlier “Gas Chamber” Claims
In September 2014, it was announced that Haimi and his team had discovered the concrete foundations to a building previously covered up by post-war asphalt in the immediate vicinity of a monument at the Sobibór site.
Despite extensive media coverage of the find—and Haimi’s claims that these were the “gas chambers” of Sobibór, there is in reality no evidence that the unearthed foundations are anything else but a building at the camp.
In fact, the unearthing of the foundations created more problems for the Holocaust Storytellers’ narrative than anything else.
Previously, it had been claimed that there were three, four, or six “gas chambers” at Sobibór—but the September 2014 “discovery” announced that there were now “apparently” eight “gas chambers”—this based purely on the number of rooms unearthed in the foundations.
Photographs of the 2014 excavation results shows an irregular-shaped building with at least seven differing sized rooms, as can be seen in the image below, released by the researchers.
This layout completely contradicts all previous narratives of the Sobibór “gas chambers”, which all claimed that the execution chambers worked with a two-door system and floor extensions on either side of the building. These “gas chambers” were, according to the “old” narrative, all the same size (four meters square). On the one side of the “gas chambers,” the Holocaust Storytellers claim, there was a ramp type affair used by the supposed victims to enter the “gas chambers” and, on the other side were supposedly larger doors through which the bodies were removed. As can be seen, the unearthed foundations bear no resemblance to this narrative.
The total lack of any confirming evidence was highlighted by media reports which were careful enough to put in their coverage that the archaeological team had unearthed what they “thought” were the “gas chambers.”
For example, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper quoted Haimi as specifically saying that the unearthed foundations “apparently” served as gas chambers: “We have finally found the building that apparently served as the gas chambers,” said Israeli archaeologist Yoram Haimi, who has been coordinating excavations at the site for the past eight years” (“Archaeologists uncover remnants of Sobibór gas chambers”, Haaretz, Sept. 17, 2014).
Israel’s Ynet News also quoted Haimi as saying only that he “believed” he had uncovered the gas chambers: “Up until now, we’ve been waiting for the asphalt to be removed for the construction of the new visitors center, and as soon as it was removed we found this big structure, that we believe housed the Sobibór camp’s gas chambers” (“Sobibór’s last survivor: There was no time to fear, only to live”, Ynet News, 09.18.14).
In its coverage, the Reuters news agency also pointed out that the archaeologists “believed” they had found the “gas chambers”: “Archaeologists excavated beneath the road and found lines of bricks, laid four deep, where they believe the walls of the gas chambers used to stand” (“Archaeologists uncover buried gas chambers at Sobibór death camp”, Reuters, Sep. 18, 2014).
The same Reuters article then produced another example of how the Holocaust narrative continually changes: it stated that prisoners were killed in “fifteen minutes with carbon monoxide gas,” and—incredibly—that the Germans kept geese to hide the screams of the dying from other prisoners.