Szloma Gol was a Jew from Vilnius. On 10 August 1946, he signed an affidavit. He claimed in it that he was part of a team of 80 prisoners who were shackled by the legs. They were then forced to exhume and burn corpses from mass graves near a Vilnius suburb called Ponary from December 1943 for six months (hence until May 1944). He escaped from there by digging a tunnel out of the pit they were housed in.
This escape story resembles that of Yuri Farber, deposited two years earlier. While Farber described a sophisticated construction operation with pole supports and roof boards propping up the tunnel that was lit by electric lights, all made possible with tools and supplies miraculously found in the mass graves, Gol was more down to earth. His team simply dug the tunnel with their bare hands, broke their chains – evidently also with their bare hands – and ran away.
Their pyres were built over trenches 7 meters long, were pyramidal in shape, and had a wooden chimney sticking out at the top used to pour fuel down. The pyramidal shape and the weird wooden chimney also show up in Farber’s testimony. Hence, it looks like Gol plagiarized Farber’s account. However, Faber had his team of 80 people work only from late January 1944 until mid-April.
The pyres presumably consisted of 14 layers of alternating firewood and bodies. Cremating an average human body during open-air incinerations requires some 250 kg of freshly cut wood. With such pyres, a layer of a running meter of a pyre that is as wide as the bodies are tall can accommodate some four to five bodies. Four bodies require a ton 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 four bodies would have had a volume of some 1.55 m³. Spread out over 2 square meters, this wood would have stacked up to a height of some 0.8 meters, together with the corpse to about 1 meter. A pyre with 14 such layers would have been 14 meters high. Of course, a pyre two meters wide can never be 14 meters high; it would collapse at a far shorter height. While the shape of the pyre can be changed (for instance 7 m × 7 m, as other witnesses claimed, although that makes it much more difficult to build, burn and dispose later), this would not affect the height, if it had 14 layers.
Gol asserted that his team exhumed and burned a total of 80,000 bodies. Cremating 80,000 bodies requires some 20,000 metric tons of wood. This would have required the felling of all trees growing in a 50-year-old spruce forest covering almost 45 hectares of land, or some 100 American football fields. An average prisoner is rated at being able to cut some 0.63 metric tons of fresh wood per workday. To cut this amount of wood within six months (180 days) would have required some 176 dedicated lumberjacks doing nothing else but felling and cutting up trees. Gol’s prisoner unit allegedly consisted of 80 inmates, with most of them busy digging out mass graves, extracting bodies, building pyres, sifting through ashes, crushing bones, and scattering the resulting powder.
If Gol’s tale has any real background, it would have been on a much smaller order of magnitude than what he claims.
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 exposition demonstrates that Gol’s scenario is detached from reality. Its claimed dimension cannot be based on experiences, but on mere propaganda, imagination and delusion.