Herbert Floss was late to the party

The mysterious Herbert Floss is said to have been the expert behind the incredible (literally) performance of the Treblinka cremations. He used a specialized system of arranging the fat and thin bodies to ensure optimal combustion. Floss’ innovations are dated to early 1943, but already in January 1942 the Romanians had (according to the holocaust story) invented the same principle. The Soviet prosecutor in a postwar trial described the system, which the Soviets claimed cremated 43,000-48,000 bodies at one site over the course of 2 months:

The corpses were set up in the following order: a thin corpse next to a fat corpse, so that the latter’s fat helped burn the thin corpse more quickly.

Of course, the real reason for these similar stories is that they come from a common pool of propaganda. But playing along with the story for a minute, one has to ask why the Germans would be blundering along with dumping gasoline into mass graves (as allegedly happened in the first attempts at cremation in Treblinka) or trying to dispose of bodies via explosives, when the Romanians already had a working system of mass cremation.

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Here’s the Soviet prosecutor’s speech, as quoted in Ioanid’s The Holocaust in Romania.

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(So far as I’m aware, no one has ever seen the photographs that Isopescu supposedly always took.)

The claims of the Soviets are taken at face value by the leading modern historians of the holocaust in Romania (Ioanid and Ancel). But back in the early days of holocaustianity, Gerald Reitlinger had a different take:

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