Burial space, part 5: Throckmorton

Another foot and mouth burial site was at Throckmorton. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a clear map of the burial region, so we’ll have to fall back on an analysis of grave volume again.

Carcass Disposal: a comprehensive review summarizes the characteristics of the burials:

Nine cells, each approximately 50 m in length, 25 m wide, and 5 m deep, were dug to contain the animal carcasses. The cells were not lined. Prior to placement of carcasses, drainage systems (consisting of basal drainage trenches and extraction wells) were installed to collect and remove leachate. Carcasses were buried over a period of about seven weeks (4 April to 19 May 2001). Six of the nine cells were ultimately used for burial of a total of 133,000 carcasses (similar in number, though a greater tonnage, than at Widdrington) (UK DEFRA, 2002a, pp. 8-9).

Using simple volume, the burial space was 6*50*25*5 = 37,500 cubic meters. This is a diagram of the cells:


The term “cell” in this context comes from the landfill industry. Based on how I’ve seen this term used, I believe (but cannot be certain) that it refers to the burial space proper, and not to the cap. Thus in the above diagram 37,500 cubic meters probably refers only to the pink region and not to the total volume of the excavation. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Carcass Disposal: a comprehensive review states that the clay wall was 7 to 14 meters deep, and the above diagram shows the shallower part of the clay wall as having a depth equal to that of the pits. If 5 meters were the total depth rather than the depth of the carcass mass, then the pits would be shallower than the shallowest part of the clay wall, contrary to the diagram.

This issue may be clarified in sources I have not been able to access:

UK DEFRA. (2002a). DEFRA’s operations in Throckmorton, 2001.
Det Norske Veritas. (2003). Independent environmental and public health risk assessment of DEFRA Foot and Mouth Disease disposal site (No. 20073900).

This table summarizes what was buried at Throckmorton:


The total carcass mass per cubic meter is 13,572,000 kg / 37,500 m^3 = 362 kg / m^3. Assuming 50 kg Jews, that gives us just over 7 Jews per cubic meter, comfortably within the limits assumed by revisionist authors. If we follow the cut-and-paste manifesto and use 34 kg Jews, then this gives us 10.6 Jews per cubic meter, still well short of the more than 20 Jews per cubic meter needed at Belzec even if we accept Kola’s statements on grave volume.

There is an evident problem with the above analysis, which assumed that the amount of mass per cubic meter is constant. The bony nature of the human body, and the fact that much of the bone on a human is near the surface of the body, means that emaciation will lead to less of a saving in burial space than mere considerations of weight would suggest. If a man has a normal, healthy weight of 70 kg, but due to extreme emaciation weighs only 35 kg (half as much), he will take less space to bury, but more than half as much space, because the skeleton will not shrink. Therefore assumptions based on applying densities in terms of kg per cubic meter to emaciated bodies will lead to an overestimate of burial capacity.

But no matter how you slice it, the data from Throckmorton is incompatible with the extermination camp thesis at Belzec, and as far as can be determined from the results released thus far, at Treblinka as well.

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2 Responses to Burial space, part 5: Throckmorton

  1. Pingback: Burial space, part 5.1: Throckmorton reprised | Holocaust History Channel

  2. Pingback: Mit der Dummheit… | Holocaust History Channel

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