Website photo of Krema II, Leichenkeller 1, underside of roof
Samuel Crowell has these comments on the remarks of Brian Renk:
THE entire issue of the holes in the roof only became an issue, as far as I know, from the publication of Jean-Caude Pressac's Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers in 1989. In that book, on page 436, he made the following admission which I have quoted elsewhere:
According to the American aerial photograph of 24th August 1944, the four introduction points were located along a line running the length of the room in the EASTERN half. In the present ruins, two of these openings are still visible at the southern end but in the WESTERN half. Nobody up to now seems to have been concerned by this contradiction, nor to have explained it.
These holes apparently correspond to Charles Provan's "hole No. 2" (Mazal's No. 1), and "Hole No. 7", dismissed by both. These also appear to be the largest holes.
Turning to Prof. Robert Jan van Pelt, we are reminded that he claimed that the holes for gas induction are no longer visible, whereas all of the holes cited by Provan are visible. We are further reminded that van Pelt insisted under cross examination that there would have been no "induction column" near Pillar No. 1, the approximate location of Provan's hole No. 2.
From a common sense perspective we should keep in mind that everyone is looking at the same roof. Pressac could not find four holes in line, instead he found two largish holes off center. He dismissed the rest. He found no holes that fit the proper location of such holes, even taking into account the shift you described.
It was Pressac's failure to find the right holes that inspired Robert Faurisson's barb of "No Holes, No Holocaust." Unfortunately, the use of a phrase like that easily leads to a misunderstanding, that is, it leads people to think that the discovery of any hole in the roof thereby "proves the Holocaust" or, to be precise, proves that half a million people were gassed in the basement of Krema II. Evidently, Mr. Provan took Faurisson a little too literally and noted that there were many holes in the roof.
Likewise, van Pelt has looked at the same roof. He doubtless is aware of all the apertures Pressac and Provan have commented on, and does not consider them adequate to the role.
Hence his famous idea of a hapless enlisted man furiously filling in the holes while the explosives are being laid.
It so happens that whether or not there were or are holes in the roof has never been very important for my own approach to the problem, since roof apertures and chimneys would not be uncommon for bomb shelters. However, I note that Germar Rudolf's journal recently quoted a former employee of Huta who claimed that there were no holes in the reinforced concrete ceiling, and that it would have been counter-productive to have them, since the dual use of the basements of the crematoria for air raid shelter purposes was envisioned from the start.
However I would make the following common sense observations:
If the holes of Messrs. Provan and Mazal are offered as proof, I think it is important to stress that Messrs. Pressac and van Pelt have looked at the same holes, and have found them wanting.
"Samuel Crowell" is the nom de plume of a schoolteacher living in New England, an expert on the Auschwitz site, who has asked us for evident reasons to preserve his identity.