Amiel, Szymon

Szymon Amiel was a Polish Jew living in the Białystok Ghetto. He claimed that some German authorities selected him in mid-May 1944 to participate in the exhumation of mass graves, and the cremation of the bodies contained in it. Amiel testified about this in late 1944 together with another member of this unit, Salman Edelman. Their tale was published, probably in an edited version, in the infamous Soviet propaganda book The Black Book. In October and November 1945, Amiel made two more depositions in front of a Polish judge.

There are several revealing differences between his testimonies, as well as many peculiar claims, among them:

  • 1944: they were driven in a gas van to the worksite – without getting gassed.
    1945: it was an uncovered truck. In other words, he lied in 1944.
  • 1944: corpses were put on top of a woodpile 2 meters high.
    1945: corpses were stacked up 5 meters high, without wood, then sprinkle with bitumen and gasoline and set on fire. However, these liquid fuels give off little heat to the bodies, and can merely char them superficially. In other words, he lied in 1945.
  • 1944: The pyre was 3 meters tall.
    1945: the pyre measured 6 m × 7 m × 5 m, containing 1,000 bodies. Building such a pyre would have required a crane. Moreover, at a need of 250 kg of wood per body during open-air incinerations, burning 1,000 bodies would have required 250 metric tons of freshly cut wood. The density of green wood is roughly 0.9 tons per m³, and its stacking density on a pyre is 1.4 (40% for air and flames to go through). This means that the wood required to burn 1,000 bodies had a volume of some 390 cubic meters. However, Amiel’s pyres only had a volume of 210 cubic meters. The wood alone would have stacked up to more than 9 meters in height.

Amiel’s accounts contains other claims that are simply preposterous. For instance, he and Edelman claimed that corpses were extracted from mass graves by tossing “one or two hooks” tied to “ropes” into the uncovered pit; when one hook caught a corpse, it was pulled out – as if this was a child’s angling game! The same absurd corpse-fishing game was described by Yuri Farber in a testimony also published in the Black Book. This is a case of convergence of evidence on a lie, probably because the witnesses contributing to this book had a chance to “learn” from one another.

Amiel seriously claimed that a Polish family that was shot and thrown onto a burning pyre was consumed by the flames within ten minutes! And that he could gauge the age of corpses by the lengths of their beard!

Amiel’s inmate slave-labor unit supposedly contained 43 (1944) or 40 persons (1945). This team allegedly exhumed and cremated bodies at various locations in the area. In the table, the data in the left two columns is given by Amiel, while the data in the right two columns is calculated.

Days Bodies processed Wood needed* [t] Days needed
12 5,000-6,000 1,250-1,500 46-55
7 4,000-4,800 1,000-1,200 37-44


14,000 3,500 129
11 5,000-6,000 1,250-1,500 46-55
18 12,000 3,000 111
57 40,000-42,800 10,000-10,700 369-395
* 250 kg fresh wood per body
† 0.63 metric tons of wood per worker and day, for 43 workers

As can be seen, the time needed just to cut the wood, which would have been required for the claimed cremations, would have occupied the entire team in every single claimed case at least four times longer than they supposedly spent for all the rest of the work. This work allegedly included: uncovering mass graves, angling out bodies, building pyres, burning them down, sifting through the ashes, grinding down bones, filling up the mass graves.

If we look at the total claimed (last table row), we see that Amiel’s team would have taken more than a year just to cut the wood needed to cremate all the bodies he claims they cremated. This would have required the felling of all trees growing in a 50-year-old spruce forest covering up to 24 hectares of land, or some 53 American football fields. To get this work done within the 57 days claimed would have required a work force of some 298 dedicated lumberjacks just to cut the wood.

This testimony relates to one of many events claimed to have been part of the alleged German clean-up operation which the orthodoxy calls Aktion 1005. The above data demonstrate conclusively that Amiel’s entire scenario is completely detached from reality. It cannot be based on experience, but on mere imagination and delusion.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2022c, pp. 632-639.)

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