The uninitiated will no doubt assume that a great number of scientific studies have been made on the subject of Sobibór. This is not at all the case, though. The literature concerning this camp is sparse, and most of the existing books are novelistic if not fictional. The book list in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust has only four entries under the heading of “Sobibór.” In the light of the enormity of the crimes ascribed to the camp by the official version of history, this is surprising, to say the least.
The first representation of the Sobibór camp with any claim for scientific procedure dates from 1946. At that time a documentation was edited in Poland by N. Blumental, the title of which, translated into English, is “Documents and materials from the time of the German occupation of Poland.” The first volume of this series contains 15 pages dealing with Sobibór: one and a half pages of introduction by the editor followed by the accounts of two former Sobibór detainees, Leon Feldhendler and Zelda Metz:
“The death camp in the district of Lublin was set up during the first half of 1942. The first transport probably arrived in April or May. It was a typical extermination camp – complete with gas chambers, open-air incineration of the corpses, etc. Furthermore, a specialty of this camp was animal husbandry and the raising of poultry by the camp commander; surviving detainees have stated that during the ‘Aktionen’ the birds would be excited so that their honking would drown out the people’s screams. There were workshops in the camp making use of human raw materials, e.g. women’s hair for the manufacture of mattresses. The belongings of those murdered as well as the ‘products’ of the death camp were shipped to Germany. […] On 14 October 1943 the detainees revolted, as they had done at Treblinka. […] Due to the complete absence of any official documents it is difficult to say how many people perished in this camp. […] The figures given by the witnesses range from one to 2.5 million. It is difficult to judge this matter, but if we take into account that the camp operated from April or May of 1942 through October of 1943, we may set the number of persons killed at Sobibór over the whole period of the existence of this camp at about one million.”
Both the succinct character of this description as well as the lack of any significant details are truly astonishing! The introduction says nothing about the number and the structure of the “gas chambers,” nothing about the nature of the gas used, whereas L. Feldhendler and Z. Metz, the two witnesses quoted later, assert that the mass killings were done by means of chlorine! According to Z. Metz, the gas chamber had a collapsible floor, allowing the victims to drop right into railway cars located below. Zelda Metz states that the number of victims was around two million (p. 210)!
As we can see, this first “scientific” description of the events at Sobibór differs from today’s version in two fundamental respects: the killing method used and the number of victims.
It took 23 years after the end of the war for anything to be published about Sobibór by a historian. Although it was not a book, at least it was a 40-page article. Its author was Adam Rutkowski, a staff member of the jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. The title can be translated as “The resistance movement in the Hitlerian execution camp of Sobibór.” Rutkowski’s article exhibits most clearly certain fundamental contradictions and absurdities which reappear throughout the later literature about the camp.
The official version of the history of the camp, still in effect to the present day, was essentially defined by the 1947 report edited by the “Main Commission for the Investigation of the German Crimes in Poland”: Sobibór was an extermination camp for jews from various European countries. Except for a small number of “working jews,” the new arrivals were immediately killed by means of engine exhaust gases in a “gassing building” subdivided into several chambers. The corpses were burned on pyres in the open. The number of victims amounted to some 250,000.
Aside from Thomas Kues, the U.S. writer Paul Grubach has been the only revisionist to have seriously approached the problem of Sobibór before the publication of the present book. In August of 2009 he published an excellent article entitled “The ‘Nazi Extermination Camp’ Sobibór in the Context of the Demjanjuk Case.”
The starting point of Grubach’s argument is a statement by Elie M. Rosenbaum, the head of the “Nazi-hunting section” of the American Department of Justice:
“Thousands of jews were murdered in the gas chambers of Sobibór, and John Demjanjuk helped seal their fate.”
Grubach explains that there is no evidence for the existence of any gas chambers at Sobibór and that it is thus impossible to indict Demjanjuk for having pushed even a single jew into these phantom installations. Among others, he treats the following aspects of the question:
➢ The failure of demonstrating the existence of gas chambers by means of archeological investigations.
➢ The contradictions in the testimonies regarding the killing method.
➢ The contradictions in the testimonies regarding the number, the size, the structure and the capacity of the gas chambers.
➢ The contradictions in the testimonies regarding the disposal of the corpses.
➢ The wildly divergent figures given by the various authors and witnesses regarding the number of victims.
Grubach summarizes his findings very convincingly:
“As we have shown here, the traditional extermination story at Sobibór has no authentic war-time documentation to support it, nor does it have any forensic or physical evidence to prove it. It is based exclusively upon the testimony of former Sobibór inmates and the post war testimony of former German and Ukrainian soldiers who served at Sobibór.
There are good reasons for even the most hardcore believer in the Holocaust to be very skeptical of the Sobibór extermination story. As the Scottish philosopher David Hume pointed out centuries ago, the veracity of human testimony is undermined when the witnesses contradict each other; when they are but few, or of a doubtful character; when they have an interest in what they affirm; when they deliver their testimony with hesitation, or on the contrary, with too violent asseverations, etc.
As we have shown here, the ‘eyewitnesses’ to Sobibór do contradict each other; they are of a doubtful character, and they do have an interest in what they affirm. The German officials who ‘confessed’ to the existence of the Sobibór ‘gas chambers’ had a vested legal interest in promoting this falsehood. They could not do otherwise in the judicial system they were entrapped in. Former Sobibór inmates had a burning desire to see the Third Reich go down in defeat. For sure, former Sobibór inmate Zelda Metz admitted that: ‘We [prisoners] all wanted to escape and tell the world the crimes of Sobibór. We believed that if the people knew about it, Nazi Germany would be wiped out. We thought that if mankind knew of our martyrdom, we would be admired for our endurance, and revered for our sufferings.’ Many of these jewish survivors from Sobibór put forth testimony that is truly doubtful, and they did have an interest in promoting horrendous atrocity stories about Sobibór. This would help to defeat and forever degrade their hated enemy, National Socialist Germany, and they would come away as heroes in the eyes of the world. These former Sobibór inmates were embroiled in the German-jewish hatreds of the war, and their testimonies must be evaluated with this in mind.”
Documentary evidence allows us to say that the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, visited the Sobibór camp on two occasions. The first visit – about which we know little more than that it was extremely short – took place on 19 July 1942. 82 The date of the second visit is not known precisely, although it did take place in March of 1943. On 13 April 1943 the head of SS and police of the Lublin district, Odilo Globocnik, noted in a letter to SS-Gruppenführer Maximilian von Herff that, on the occasion of his stay (in Lublin) in March, Himmler had inspected “installations of ‘Aktion Reinhard.’” 83 On the same date, a person whose signature on the corresponding document is illegible sent a letter to SS-Obersturmführer Kuno Ther saying, i.a.:
“The Reichsführer SS, after visiting the Sobibór camp, basically approved the promotion of the deserving Führers [i.e. SS officers] and men.”
Hence, Himmler’s visit to Sobibór must have taken place in March of 1943. The document itself does not supply any more detailed information about the visit.
Orthodox historians do not get tired of claiming, on the basis of “eye witnesses” that Himmler attended a mass gassing of jewish women and girls on the occasion of his second visit to Sobibór. The volume Documents and Materials, which appeared in 1947, has this to say:
“Himmler visited Sobibór, as he did the other death camps. In his honor, 300 (other testimonies have 500) jewish girls were gassed; they had been specially brought to the camp for this festive occasion. Himmler himself stood behind a little window and watched the girls as they were dying from the poison gas.”
Our conclusions are absolutely clear: Sobibór was not an extermination camp; it had no “gassing building” and hence no homicidal gas chambers. Some 10,000 people may have died there; such a figure would amount to one twenty-fifth of the figure of 250,000 victims widely quoted in the literature, or to one seventeenth of the figure of 170,000 given by J. Schelvis in the revised edition of his book, or to one fifteenth of the “minimum number” of 150,000 victims assumed by the Hagen court in 1966. If our thesis is correct – and we are convinced that it is – and if Sobibór was a transit camp for jews being moved into areas further east, we must obviously reassess the moral responsibility of the camp personnel, from the commanding officer on down to the Ukrainian guards who constituted the lowest echelon of the chain of command.