I am concerned about 2 matters relating to this report which was the subject of a qualified engineer review. One is the length of time to produce and publish the final report. The other is the absence of physical verification by the independent engineers of the evidence used by Van Pelt at Auschwitz - Birkenau. Given the enormity of this issue (to some), the expenses of a visit to AB by the engineers would surely have been acceptable, and prudent in convincing skeptics (many may say the measurements and evidence has been tampered with !). I do not deny the existence of the holes, nor their use for gassing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. However, in order to retain credibility with the "outside world", and the Holocaust deniers, it would seem that a delay of this order (2.5 yrs?) coupled with the absence of independent physical verification of the evidence, is playing into the hands of the deniers, and is difficult to explain. I apologise if thie report is about to be finalised I look forward to a personal reponse or web-based one.
I am one of the volunteers who answers questions for The Holocaust History Project, and also one of the co-authors of the report you are asking about.
It has actually been over 3 years since our research began, and I can guarantee it has seemed longer to me than to you. This length of time is not unheard-of for a peer-reviewed academic paper, however.
What I can tell you is this:
An illustrated paper covering the subject of the holes in the roof of the gas chamber of Crematorium No. 2 in Auschwitz has been accepted for publication in a major journal. They have stated that it will be published in the first weeks of 2004, at which time all questions concerning the holes, columns and methods used will be answered.
Please check back to our website periodically and watch for more information about this. Thank you. -- Jamie McCarthy
The article in question has since been published, Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy, and Harry W. Mazal, The Runis of the Gas Chambers: A Forensic Investigation of Crematoriums at Aushwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau., in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, volume 18, Number 1, Spring 2004, pp 68-103.
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