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HOLOCAUST FAQ: The "Leuchter Report" (1/2)

( Part1 - Part2 )
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Archive-name: holocaust/usa/leuchter/part01
Last-modified: 2002/03/21

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This FAQ may be cited as:

 McVay, Kenneth N. (1998) "HOLOCAUST FAQ: The Leuchter Report"
 Usenet news.answers.  Available via anonymous ftp from
 ftp.nizkor.org in the directory pub/people/l/leuchter.fred as
 leuchter.faq1 (and ~.faq2), ~27 pages.

 The most current version of this FAQ is posted every 30 days in the Usenet
 newsgroups alt.revisionism, soc.history, soc.answers, alt.answers and
 news.answers, and archived as
 pub/usenet/news.answers/holocaust/leuchter/part01 (and ~/part02) in 
 the anonymous ftp archive on rtfm.mit.edu.


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page  i]

              The Leuchter Report: A Layman's Guide
                 Holocaust Denial & The Big Lie

 1.00 Introduction & Editorial Notes......................... 1
 1.10   Copyright Notice..................................... 2
 1.20   Overview............................................. 2
 2.00 Point, Counterpoint - Denial Claims Addressed.......... 3
 2.01   Disparities in Hydrocyanic Compound Levels........... 3
 2.02   Explosive Property of Zyklon B & Furnace Proximity... 6
 2.03   Gas Chambers Could Not Have Been Opened Safely....... 7
 2.04   The Extermination Chambers Were Actually Morgues..... 8
 2.05   Impossible to Kill 6 Million People at Auschwitz..... 9

 Part Two:

 2.06   Doors of Gas Chambers Too Weak to Prevent Escape.....11
 2.07   They Would Not Have Used Zyklon-B for Gassing........11
 2.08   The gas chambers were never sealed, or...............12
 2.09   The gas would have killed everyone outside when
        ventilated...........................................14
 2.10   Where did all the ashes from the cremations go.......14


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page ii]

 2.11   People who dropped the gas into the gas chamber would
        have been killed by it...............................15
 2.12   The Auschwitz death list doesn't show all those
        people were killed...................................15
 2.13   Why would there be a swimming pool at a death camp...15
 2.14   The high water table made it impossible to burn
        bodies in ditches....................................15
 2.15   How did witnesses to the gassings survive............16
 2.16   Toxicity of fumes from a diesel engine...............18
 2.17   There were not enough Jews in Europe to account for    
        six million victims..................................18
 2.18   The "myth" of the Holocaust was created solely for
        the financial benefit of Israel......................20
 3.00 Leuchter's credibility.................................21
 3.10 Leuchter's perjury in Canadian court...................21
 3.20 Leuchter's credibility among American prison admins....24
 4.00 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.............24
 4.10   Recommended Reading..................................25
 4.20   Abbreviations Used in Citations......................25
 4.30   Glossary.............................................25
 4.40   Works Cited..........................................25


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 1]

   "The attempt to justify an evil deed has perhaps more pernicious 
   consequences than the evil deed itself. The justification of a 
   past crime is the planting and cultivation of future crimes. Indeed, 
   the repitition of a crime is sometimes part of a device of 
   justification; we do it again and again to convince ourselves and 
   others that it is a common thing and not an enormity. (Eric Hoffer, 
   The Passionate State of Mind. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954.)

   "The group spent three days in Auschwitz/Birkenau and one in
   Majdanek surreptitiously and illegally collecting bricks and cement
   fragments - Leuchter called them 'forensic samples' - from a number of
   buildings, including those associated with the killing process."
   (Lipstadt, Deborah. Denying the Holocaust. pp 162-3)

   des-e-crate 1: to violate the sanctity of: PROFANE 2: to treat 
   disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously (Merriam Webster's 
   Collegiate Dictionary)

 1.00 Introduction & Editorial Notes

   This document provides a counterpoint to assertions commonly made by
   those who deny that anyone was gassed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau and
   Treblinka death camps during World War II; who, in fact, deny that
   the gas chambers even existed.  (At least a million people were
   ruthlessly exterminated at Auschwitz, and seven-hundred-thousand more
   at Treblinka - the worst of the Nazi extermination camps in terms of
   victims slaughtered.) 

   The most prestigious source in Germany regarding the crimes of the
   Nazis during WW2, the "Institute for Contemporary History" in Munich,
   sums up the facts in a recent publication.  (For the full document,
   see http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/german/ifz/ifz.report)

      Treblinka (district Warschau, general government) from the end of
      July 1942 on had three gas chambers and received at the start of
      September 1942 furthermore ten larger gas chambers.  Up to the
      dissolution of the camp in November 1943 altogether 700,000 Jews
      were killed here by carbon monoxide.

      Auschwitz-Birkenau (in the formerly Polish, in 1939 adjoined to
      the "Reich" upper eastern Silesian area, south eastern of
      Kattowitz): The extermination camp in Birkenau, established in the
      second half of 1941, was joined to the concentration camp
      Auschwitz, existing since May 1940.  From January 1942 on in five
      gas chambers and from the end of June 1943 in four additional
      large gassing-rooms gassings with Zyklon B have been undertaken.
      Up until November 1944 more than one million Jews and at least
      4000 gypsies have been murdered by gas. 
      (See http://www.nizkor.org/faqs/auschwitz)

   (Note that these numbers include only people gassed - many were
   murdered using more "conventional" means) 

   This is by no means a replacement for serious research - just an
   expose of common frauds like the "Leuchter report", and a guide to
   scholarly sources.

   This document was prepared by Danny Keren and Jamie McCarthy, and
   edited to its present form by Ken McVay.  Comments, corrections, and
   additions are welcome.

   Documents cited in this work which are available from our server
   are noted in the form (Get path/filename). The site
   ftp.nizkor.org accepts anonymous ftp logins.


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 2]
 1.10 Copyright

   This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1993-1998 by Ken
   McVay and Danny Keren as a work of literature.  Non-commercial
   distribution by any electronic means is granted with the
   understanding that the article not be altered in any way. Permission
   to distribute in printed form must be obtained in writing. The
   removal of this copyright notice is forbidden.

 1.20 Overview
   
   "His opinion on this report is that there were never any gassings or
   there was never any exterminations carried on in this facility. As
   far as I am concerned, from what I've heard, he is not capable of
   giving that opinion... He is not in a position to say, as he said
   so sweepingly in this report, what could not have been carried on
   in these facilities." Thus did the presiding judge dismiss Fred
   Leuchter's report as "ridiculous" and "preposterous" during the
   Canadian trial of Ernst Zuendel. Lest there be any misunderstanding
   about the Court's finding: "On the question of the functioning of
   the crematoria ... the judge's decision was unequivocal. He could
   not testify on this topic for a simple reason:

                   He hasn't any expertise." (Lipstadt, 166)

   Fred Leuchter is a man with no formal training in either chemistry or
   toxicology (he obtained a BA in history in 1964), and yet he claims
   to be a professional engineer - an assertion that has landed him in
   hot water in his home state.  In 1988, at the request of Canada's
   Ernst Zundel, Mr.  Leuchter went to Poland and visited the site of
   the Auschwitz concentration camp; (Mr.  Zundel financed Leuchter's
   trip to Poland.) The result of this journey was the "Leuchter
   Report." Here's what Mr.  Leuchter had to say about his
   "investigation:"

      The purpose [of the investigation and subsequent report] does
      not include a determination of any numbers of persons who died
      or were killed by means other than gassing or as to whether an
      actual Holocaust occurred.  It, further, is not the intent of
      this author to redefine Holocaust in historical terms, but
      simply to supply scientific evidence and information obtained at
      the actual sites and to render an opinion based on all available
      scientific, engineering and quantitative data as to the purpose
      and usages of the alleged execution gas chambers and crematory
      facilities at the investigated locations.  (Foner)

   You will note, as we will demonstrate using Leuchter's own sworn
   testimony, that Mr.  Leuchter failed to demonstrate any concern for
   the truth, even while under oath.

   In fact, perhaps the most significant evidence of Leuchter's lack
   of concern for scientific objectivity or accuracy is that he did
   not advise the chemist who analyzed the material looted from
   Auschwitz as to where it originated, or how it was collected.

   As Dr. Jim Roth (Cornell) points out in the movie "Dr. Death,"
   this meant that accurate data could not possibly be obtained,
   since "...cyanide gas would only penetrate to a few microns' 
   depth in stone or plaster surfaces ... Leuchter took big chunks 
   out of walls and floors, without telling the lab man that he wanted 
   the outside surface analyzed, resulted in analysis of samples which, 
   when pulverized, diluted upward of 10,000 times any cyanide that
   might have been found on the surface of the walls -- even assuming 
   Mr.  Leuchter had the right surfaces in the first place." ("Errol 
   Morris and the Tricky Art of Refuting Holocaust Denial," by Ron
   Rosenbaum. The New York Observer, Sept. 13, 1999, p. 27) See
   http://www.observer.com/cgi-win/homepage.exe?nyo1/F4091399.

   While testifying at Mr.  Zundel's trial in Canada, Leuchter gave
   false evidence concerning his professional relationship with the
   administration of two American prisons regarding gas chambers, and
   proved himself to be unfamiliar with the most basic facts about the
   lethal gas Hydrogen Cyanide, including its flammability and the
   concentrations required for delousing purposes.

   The "Leuchter Report" purports to "scientifically demonstrate" that
   people were not killed by Zyklon-B at Auschwitz.  It is composed of
   old claims made by the French Holocaust denier Faurisson, as well as
   some new ones.  Many of the claims appear in the Institute for
   Historical Review's "66 Q&A on the Holocaust" pamphlet, and also in
   arguments offered by others who deny the Holocaust. (See
   http://www.nizkor.org/features/qar for Nizkor's response.)


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 3]
                               Zyklon-B

   Zyklon-B is a powerful insecticide.  It releases HCN, Hydrocyanic
   acid, a gas - Zyklon-B is the carrier, a material soaked with the
   gas; usually it comes in the shape of small pellets or disks.  HCN is
   what causes death.  While interacting with iron and concrete, it
   creates compounds ("Hydrocyanic compounds").  Leuchter concedes that
   these compounds were found in the ruins of the gas chambers in
   Auschwitz (as reaffirmed by the findings of the Polish government
   institute, which completely rejects Leuchter's conclusions - see
   Section 2.01).

   HCN is extremely poisonous to humans.  It is used in execution gas
   chambers in the US; the first such was built in Arizona in 1920.  It
   is absurd to claim (as the deniers do), that Germany in the 1940's
   could not handle "technical difficulties" in using HCN for execution
   - "difficulties" that were easily solved in 1920.  Moreover, the
   Germans had a lot of experience with HCN, as it was extensively used
   for delousing.  (For an extensive discussion of Zyklon B, get 
   pub/camps/auschwitz/auschwitz.faq1)

   There were two types of gas chambers in Auschwitz: those used for
   delousing clothes ("delousing gas chambers") and those used for
   killing people on a massive scale ("extermination gas chambers").
   The delousing gas chambers were a standard feature, and were left
   intact by the SS (as opposed to the extermination gas chambers, which
   were dynamited in an effort to conceal criminal activity from the
   rapidly approaching Soviet Army).  The deniers try to confuse the
   issue by mixing the two types of chambers.  For instance, they show
   pictures of the doors for the delousing chambers, and note that they
   are too weak to withstand the pressure of people trying to escape.
   Of course, the doors for the extermination chambers are completely
   different, but that fact is quietly overlooked (see 2.06).

 2.00 Point, Counterpoint

   Holocaust denial often involves the same assertions, repeated
   endlessly, regardless of response.  We present many of them for
   consideration here, along with our response.

   The photographs we refer to can be found in Pressac, and many are
   available from our archives in GIF format. 

 2.01 Disparities in Hydrocyanic Compound Levels

   Holocaust deniers often claim that since more hydrocyanic compounds
   were found in the delousing chambers than in the ruins of the
   so-called "extermination" chambers at Auschwitz, and the reverse
   would be true if people were actually gassed there, it is clear that
   no gassings occurred.

   But - HCN is far more effective on warm-blooded animals (including
   humans) than on insects, so the period of exposure to HCN is far
   longer for delousing clothes than that required for homicidal
   gassings, and a much lower concentration is necessary to kill people
   instead of insects.


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 4]

   A concentration of up to 16,000 ppm (parts per million) is sometimes
   used, with exposure times of up to 72 hours, to kill insects, but as
   little as 300 ppm will cause death in humans within fifteen minutes
   or so.

   Breitman offers background information about the development of
   Zyklon B as a killing device, and provides clear evidence that the
   Nazis determined the effective Zyklon B concentration through a
   process of trial and error. 
   (Get pub/camps/auschwitz/auschwitz.faq1)

   When the difference in the concentration of gas required to kill
   insects and humans was mentioned in Leuchter's cross-examination in
   the Zundel trial, Leuchter responded: "I've never killed beetles.  I,
   you know, I don't know.  I haven't made computations for killing
   beetles" - Hardly the response one would expect from an "expert" on
   the subject...

   Because of the relatively small concentrations required to
   exterminate humans as opposed to lice, and because of the far shorter
   exposure time required, the HCN in the gas chambers used to kill
   humans hardly had time to form chemical compounds on the walls.

   The gas chambers were not very large (those in Kremas II and III were
   about 210 square meters), and the Zyklon B was dropped through four
   openings in the roof, spreading the gas very quickly.  These openings
   are still visible in the ruins of the gas chambers, and rare
   photographs of them, taken while the camp was in operation, exist,
   and copies are readily available (Brugioni et al) from the sources
   noted in Section 6.1, below.  Since the concentration used was higher
   than the lethal one, death was swift.  (Get pub/holocaust/gifs/krema4.gif -
   Krema IV was above-ground, and the Zyklon B was introduced through
   clearly visible slits in the walls.  See also ~/gifs/c_krema4.gif,
   which provides a closeup of the wall openings.

   Leuchter's data is further suspect because the delousing chambers
   where he obtained his samples were left intact by the SS, while the
   extermination chambers were destroyed.  Clearly, their walls were
   exposed to the elements for forty-five years, which would certainly
   effect the validity of the samples taken.  (The ruins of Krema II are
   covered with about three feet of water during certain periods of the
   year, and HCN compounds would eventually dissolve under such
   conditions.  Nonetheless, so many gassings occurred there that some
   of the compound did remain).

   As Eugene Holman points out:

     Leuchter's technique was faulty theoretically, methodologically, 
     and analytically:

       a. theoretically, because he was testing for Prussian B, 
       a compound only formed in conjunction with exposure to 
       cyanide under specific conditions, rather than for residual 
       cyanide ions, something always present when something has 
       been exposed to cyanide log enough for cyanates to form;

       b. methodologically, because he took random-sized bulk samples
       rather than scrapings, did not inform the lab that only one
       surface of the sample had been exposed to cyanide, and allowed 
       the exposed surface to be pulverized with the rest of the 
       sample, with the entire sample rather than the exposed 
       surface being tested for mg of Prussian Blue (molecular weight 
       859.3) per kilogram of sample;

       c. analytically, because he did not take into consideration 
       the role in Prussian Blue formation and retention played by 
       different intitial conditions, different structural materials, 
       or the different subsequent histories of the two environments.
       (Holman, Eugene. UseNet "alt.revisionism," Message-ID
       200320021941535565%holman@elo.helsinki.fi, March 20, 2002)

   Summarizing, the walls of the extermination gas chambers were in
   contact with HCN for a much shorter time then those of the delousing
   chambers, and for the last 45 years were exposed to surroundings
   which dissolve the compounds, while the delousing rooms were not.
   Therefore it is obvious that less traces of compounds would remain in
   them.  This debunks the major "amazing discovery" in Leuchter's
   report, which, in retrospect, wasn't 'amazing' at all.

   This fact - that all, or most, of the compounds would vanish during
   45 years of exposure - is quite clearly stated in the report written
   by the experts at the Cracow Institute of Forensic Research:


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 5]

      --------------------------------------------------------------
        INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC RESEARCH
        In the name of Prof. Dr. Jan Sehn, Krakow
        Division of Forensic Toxicology

                                Krakow, 24 Sept. 1990
                                Westerplatte 9 / Code 31-033
                                Tel. 505-44, 592-24, 287-50
                                Telex 0325213 eksad ...

      The hydrocyanic acid (HCN) that is released from the Zyklon B
      preparation is a liquid with a boiling point of about 27 degrees
      Celsius.  It has an acidic character, and therefore forms
      compounds with metallic salts, which are known as cyanides.  The
      salts of alkaline metals (such as sodium and potassium) are
      water soluble.

      Hydrocyanic acid is a very weak acid, and accordingly its salts
      dissolve easily in stronger acids.  Even carbonic acid, which is
      formed as a reaction of carbon dioxide with water, will dissolve
      ferro-cyanide.

      Stronger acids, such as sulfuric acids, easily dissolve the
      cyanides.  The compounds of cyanide ions with heavy metals are
      longer lasting.  This includes the already mentioned Prussian
      blue, although this will also slowly dissolve in an acidic
      environment.

      Therefore, one can hardly assume that traces of cyanic compounds
      could still be detected in construction materials (plaster,
      brick) after 45 years, after being subjected to the weather and
      the elements (rain, acid oxides, especially sulfuric and
      nitrogen oxides).  More reliable would be the analysis of wall
      plaster [samples] from closed rooms which were not subject to
      weather and the elements (including acid rain).

      The discovery of hydrocyanic acid compounds in samples of
      material which had been subject to the elements can only be
      accidental.
      --------------------------------------------------------------

   See http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/polish/institute-for-forensic-research/
   for the Institute's 1994 report.

   The deniers often claim that the gas chamber in Krema I was left
   intact, and therefore its walls were not exposed to the elements.
   Curiously, they also make great issue of the fact that Krema I was
   converted into an air-raid shelter, and then rebuilt by the Soviet
   Army, after the liberation of the camp, to reproduce its original
   shape, saying that it has been used to mislead the public, who were
   told that people were gassed in the building.  (The logic of their
   holding both views when it seems advantageous to do so will perhaps
   escape you, but then logic has not been a demonstrated asset when it
   comes to Holocaust denial.  See Section 3.0.)

   The modification consisted of essentially removing some partitioning
   walls inside the gas chamber, which were added as a common feature of
   bomb shelters.  Nontheless, this is the room in which people were
   gassed; there are still traces of cyanide on its walls, as Leuchter
   admits (he found traces in 6 of 7 samples).


[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 6]

   But - the gas chamber of Krema I was used only for a short time,
   before the conversion.  This, and the fact that "only" about ten
   thousand people were murdered within it, compared to
   three-hundred-fifty-thousand and four-hundred-thousand in Kremas II
   and III, explains why relatively small amounts of cyanide compounds
   remain.  The other Kremas were destroyed by the SS prior to the
   Soviet liberation.

   Finally, cyanide compounds were found on the ventilation grills of
   the extermination chambers, proving beyond doubt that gassing did
   take place within.

 2.02 The Explosive Property of Zyklon B & Furnace Proximity

   Holocaust denial often asserts that Zyklon B could not have been used
   for killing in the gas chambers, because it is explosive, and the
   furnaces were nearby.

   They overlook, however the fact that the concentration of HCN
   necessary to cause death is nearly 200 times lower than that
   necessary to cause an explosion.  Although the SS used a
   concentration higher than the lethal one, it was far less than what
   would be required to cause an explosion.

   As a reference, one can look at "The Merck Index" and the "CRC
   handbook of Chemistry and Physics", or consult any manual dealing
   with toxicity and flammability of chemicals.  For HCN, a
   concentration of 300 ppm (parts per million) kills humans within a
   few minutes (Merck, 632, entry 4688), while the minimal concentration 
   that can result in an explosion is 56,000 ppm.

   Frank Deis provides the following information from Merck, with
   editorial comments in [] brackets:

      -Hydrocyanic acid;- "Blausaeure" (German).  CHN; mol wt
      27.03 ...  HCN.  Prepd on a large scale by the catalytic
      oxidation of ammonia-methane mixtures [refs omitted].  May
      also be prepd by the catalytic decompn of formamide.
      Conveniently prepd in the laboratory by acidifying NaCN or
      K4[Fe(CN)6].  <[Editor's note: this last formula is quite
      similar to, but different from Prussian Blue, also a major
      topic in the Leuchter Report.  Prussian Blue is Ferric
      Ferrocyanide, or Ferric hexacyanoferrate (II).  The formula
      is Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3.  The =ferric= salt of ferrocyanide is
      insoluble in water.  Other salts, such as the =potassium=
      salt of ferrocyanide, are quite soluble in water]> [more
      refs omitted]

      Colorless gas or liquid; characteristic odor; very weakly
      acid (does not redden litmus); burns in air with a blue
      flame; =intensely poisonous= even when mixed with air.
      d(gas) 0.941 (air = 1) <[Editor's note: notice, the gas is
      LIGHTER than air]>; d(liq) 0.687.  mp -13.4.  bp 25.6 <[
      latest defense of Leuchter made a big deal out of how the
      gas would condense out on the cold walls.  This would
      clearly happen to some extent in a cold room.  If the room
      were filled with people, the gas would stay warm]> Miscible
      with water, alc; slightly sol in ether.  LC50 <[lethal

[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 7]

      concentration that kills 50% of test animals, NOTICE that
      this is dependent BOTH on time and on concentration!]> in
      rats, mice, dogs: 544 ppm (5 min), 169 ppm (30 min), 300
      ppm (15 min), [ref omitted]. 

      Human toxicity: High concn produces tachypnea (causing
      increased intake of cyanide) <[tachy = rapid, pnea =
      breathing]> then dyspnea <[dys = difficult, pnea =
      breathing]> paralysis, unconsciousness, convulsions, and
      respiratory arrest.  Headache, vertigo, nausea, and
      vomiting may occur with lesser concentrations.  Chronic
      exposure over long periods may cause fatigue, weakness.
      Exposure to 150 ppm for 1/2 to 1 hr may endanger life.
      Death may result from a few min exposure to 300 ppm.
      Average fatal dose <[ingested]> 50 to 60 mg.  =Antidote=
      Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate.

      Use: The compressed gas is used for exterminating rodents
      and insects and for killing insects on trees, etc.  =Must
      be handled by specially trained experts.=

      <[end of article]> (Merck, 632)

   Cyanide is a small molecule.  Basically it is toxic because it
   resembles the oxygen molecule, O2 or OO looks like HCN to the binding
   sites in the mitochondria and also probably to the heme groups in
   hemoglobin and myoglobin.  If Cyanide "sits down" on the cytochrome
   a/a3 complex at the end of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, then
   the oxygen you breathe no longer does you any good.  You can't use it
   as an acceptor for high energy electrons, and you can't make ATP by
   the usual method of oxidative phosphorylation.  Your body makes you
   breathe faster at first, in an attempt to overcome it, and then cells
   start dying from lack of oxygen and lack of ATP energy.

   In general, the statements about chemistry in Paul Grubach's defense
   of the Leuchter report seem valid.  (JHR, V12, #4) The =premises= are
   of course open to question, or wrong.  Yes, high concentrations of
   cyanide will cause formation of prussian blue on cold wet bricks that
   contain high levels of iron ions.  But were the bricks really cold
   and wet?  Was the air cold enough for the HCN to condense? Did "high
   concentrations" exist, given the relatively low concentrations
   required for killing human subjects, as opposed to insects?

   Anyway, I hope this information proves useful.  I teach Biochemistry
   at Rutgers University, and that's where my information about cyanide
   toxicity comes from.  The Merck Index is a standard reference book
   that probably every library has. Frank Deis (DEIS@PISCES.RUTGERS.EDU)

 2.03 Gas Chambers Could Not Have Been Opened Safely in 20-30 Minutes

   The claim is often heard that it takes 20 hours to air a room which
   was disinfected with Zyklon-B, and therefore the eyewitness accounts
   giving a time of 20-30 minutes from when the gassing started to when
   the bodies where carried out is impossible, because the people
   carrying out the bodies would perish.

[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 8]

   It is true that if one disinfects a building in ordinary commercial
   use, it should not be reentered within 20 hours.  That figure,
   however, has no meaning relative to the extermination chambers, which
   were forcibly ventilated.  Fifteen minutes was ample time to replace
   the air after a gassing.  When ventilation was not used, the
   Sonderkommando (prisoners used as forced labor) who removed the
   bodies wore gas masks.  The Germans had plenty of experience with
   gas, especially HCN, which was widely used for delousing.  They knew
   how to work with it safely.  It is absurd to use the 20 hour figure
   in this context, as it does not assume forced ventilation and takes a
   huge safety factor into account.  The SS didn't care much for the
   safety of the Sonderkommando who had to enter the gas chambers to
   take the corpses out in any event.  In some cases, these people did
   suffer from the remaining gas (see, for instance, Pressac, p.  473)

   Furthermore, what makes ventilation difficult and lengthy is the
   presence of rugs, furniture, curtains, etc.  Needless to say, these
   were not present in the gas chambers - there was just bare concrete,
   making ventilation very fast and efficient.

   If the "20 hours ventilation period" above was true, this would mean
   that the corpses of people executed using cyanide gas in US prisons
   would remain tied to the chair 20 hours after they were
   killed...clearly nonsense, as Fred Leuchter, who claims expertise in
   gas chamber operation, knows full well.

 2.04 The "Extermination" Chambers Were Actually Morgues

   Holocaust denial often claims that the "alleged" extermination
   chambers were actually morgues, and that Zyklon-B was used in them as
   a disinfectant.

   This claim stems from the fact that Hydrocyanic compounds were found
   on the ventilation grills of the gas chambers in Krema II and III
   (the chemical analysis was carried out by Dr.  Jan Robel of the
   Cracow Forensic Institute in December 1945, and was part of the
   evidence in the trial of Auschwitz commander Ho"ss).  This proves
   that gassing did take place in that chamber - but since this runs
   contrary to the deniers claims that it was an underground morgue,
   they claimed "a morgue is disinfected with Zyklon-B."

   Unfortunately for the people offering this assertion as truth,
   Zyklon-B is useless for disinfecting corpses, as it does not kill
   anaerobic bacteria - it kills only aerobic organisms.

   Finally, the "morgue" is specifically referred to as a "gassing
   cellar" in a letter from the Auschwitz construction department to SS
   General Kammler, January 29, 1943.  Why call a morgue "gassing
   cellar?" And why is the other underground room called "undressing
   cellar?" (see Pressac, p.  221; also The Final Solution: The Attempt
   to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 - G.  Reitlinger, South
   Brunswick, T.  Yosellof, 1968, p.  158.  These documents are

[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 9]

   reproduced in the "AUSCHWITZ" section of the file "Original Nazi
   Documents", together with other documents about the process of
   gassing in Auschwitz).

   The following correspondence between an SS officer and the firm
   which manufactured the crematoriums shows that the underground
   cellars in Kremas II and III were to be preheated. Needless to
   say, this proves that they were not designed to serve as morgues;
   it does not make much sense to heat a morgue. It does make sense
   to heat a homicidal gas chamber, to facilitate the evaporation
   of the Zyklon-B. 

   "Letter from SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Jahrling to Topf & Sons, 
   March 6 1943 

   Subject: KL Auschwitz Krematorien II and III

   In accordance with your suggestion, the service agrees that cellar 1
   should be preheated with the air coming from the rooms of the 3
   forced draught installations. The supply and installation of the
   ductwork and blowers necessary to this end are to be effected as soon
   as possible. As you point out in your above-mentioned letter, 
   execution should commence this week. We would ask you to send in
   triplicate detailed quote for supply and installation.

   At the same time, we would ask you to send an additional quotation
   for the modification of the air-extraction installation in the
   undressing room." (Pressac, 221)

 2.05 It Was Impossible to Kill 6 Million People at Auschwitz

      "Judging by the amount and area of the gas chambers, and the
      number of the Kremas, it was impossible to kill 6 million people
      in the time interval in which the concentration camps existed."

   No-one claims that 6 million people died at Auschwitz.  Many died in
   other death camps, in the ghettos and in occupied Soviet territory.
   Estimates of the number of people who were gassed to death in
   Auschwitz vary, but the lowest is 900,000, and the highest about
   1,600,000.  It is obvious that the extermination and cremation
   facilities in Auschwitz could take care of such a number.

   Just look at the photographs of the furnaces of Krema II (Pressac,
   367; Get ~/gifs/furnaces.gif to view these installations).  There
   were five Kremas in Auschwitz.  Number II, for instance, had 15 huge
   furnaces, especially designed to burn efficiently and quickly.  Each
   could consume 3 to 4 bodies at once (remember that many children were
   present, and many of the people were emaciated), and do so in a
   maximum of 45 minutes.  The SS experimented with different
   combinations of corpse types and coke to determine which would
   provide the most cost-efficient results!  (Mu"ller, 60-61; Klarsfeld,
   99-100; Get pub/camps/auschwitz/Krema-I.001)

[Leuchter]                                                     [Page 10]

   The figure Leuchter gives as the maximum number of people that could
   be executed in a week - 1693 - is absurd, as is demonstrated by the
   following calculation for a single Krema, number II:

   One gas chamber, about 210 square meters (2220 square feet) in area,
   easily accommodated a few hundred people, who were crammed into it.
   (See Section 2.16)

   Fifteen furnaces, each capable of incinerating at least 3 bodies in
   45 minutes, could dispose of at least 720 bodies in a 12-hour day.

   In a single year, Krema II could incinerate over a quarter-million
   bodies.  Add that to the capabilities of Kremas III, IV, and V, and
   you begin to get the picture.  In addition, bodies were also burned
   in massive pits.  Two gruesome photographs of these "burning pits",
   taken in secrecy in Auschwitz-Birkenau, have survived.  They are of
   reasonable quality, and show men standing inside a pile of naked
   bodies, with the smoking pit in front of them.  Some bodies are being
   dragged into the pit.  The photographs are reproduced in Pressac,
   (422) and are also available as GIF files.  (Get ~/gifs/aupit001.gif)

   As a reference, one can look at a letter dated June 20 1943, sent to
   SS General Kammler in Berlin, citing the number of bodies that can be
   disposed of in 24 working hours as 4,756.  A photograph of the letter
   and its serial number in German archives appears in Pressac (247).
   (This is lower than 5 x 1440 = 7,200 because some of the Kremas had
   fewer furnaces than II and III.  The exact breakdown, specified in
   the letter from Jahrling to Kammler, is 340 corpses for Krema I, 768
   for IV and V, 1440 for II and III.  This letter is available in GIF
   format.  (Get ~/gifs/au-doc.001)

   It is naive at best, and contemptuously dishonest, to claim that such
   a number of crematoriums were provided for anything other than the
   disposal of bodies created by the mass murder of helpless victims.

   Leuchter arrives at his figures assuming that the people could occupy
   the gas chambers at a density of maximum 1 person per 9 square feet
   (!!) and that it would take a week (!!) to ventilate the gas chambers
   before they could be used for another mass execution.  These
   assumptions are absurd.

   Lastly, two other gassing installation existed in Auschwitz - the
   so-called "Bunker I" and "Bunker II".  They were also demolished by
   the fleeing SS.

(Continued in Part Two)

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