The Second Leuchter Report
FRED LEUCHTER & ROBERT FAURISSON
Fred A. Leuchter is a 46-year old engineer who lives in Boston. He is a specialist in planning and building execution facilities for American penitentiaries. One of his achievements was the modernization of the execution gas chamber in the penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri.
Ernst Zündel is a 50-year-old German who lives in Toronto, where he had a brilliant career as a graphic artist and advertising man, until he was boycotted because of his Revisionist opinions. Since then, he has spent almost all his time struggling against lies about the "Holocaust" I have helped him in this struggle, especially during the two trials which a Canadian Jewish organization initiated against him in 1985 and 1988.
Zündel's first trial lasted seven weeks and ended with his being sentenced to 15 months in prison for "publication of false news." The verdict was thrown out on appeal because of serious errors made by District Court Judge Hugh Locke.
The second trial lasted four months. This time Ernst Zündel was sentenced to nine months in prison by District Court Judge Ron Thomas. This second verdict, too, may eventually be successfully appealed on the same grounds.
In 1988, Ernst Zündel asked Fred Leuchter to visit Poland to examine "the alleged execution gas chambers" in the three concentration camps at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek. The conclusion of the first Leuchter Report was quite clear: no such gas chambers ever existed in those three places
In 1989, he asked Leuchter to visit West Germany and Austria to examine "the alleged execution gas chambers" at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle. The conclusion of the second report, as you will read below, is just as clear: no such gas chambers ever existed in those three places.
People have called Revisionism "the great intellectual adventure of the late twentieth century." That adventure really began shortly after the Second World War with the publication of the works of Maurice Bardéche and Paul Rassinier. It continued in 1976 with a masterful work The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, by Dr. Arthur Butz of the United States, and in 1979 with the publication in Germany of Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich's book, Der Auschwitz Mythos, and the creation of the Institute for Historical Review in Los Angeles.
During the 1980's, thanks in particular to the activities of Ernst Zündel, Revisionism worldwide has developed to such an extent that future historians will probably speak of Revisionism before and after Zündel. In a way, these politically motivated trials - which are a disgrace to Canada - will change everything. Zündel promised in 1985 that his trial, even if he were to lose, would put the Nuremberg Trial on trial, and that the slanderers of Germany would meet their "Stalingrad" there. He was right.
Before Ernst Zündel
Before Ernst Zündel, Germany's accusers never gave a thought to proving the existence of the "gas chambers." They treated their existence as "proven."
According to Exterminationist Serge Klarsfeld:
It is clear that during the years after 1945 the technical aspects of the gas chambers were a subject that was neglected since no one imagined that someday we would have to prove their existence. (Le Monde Juif, January- March, 1987, p. 1)
At the Nuremberg trials, the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, and the Frankfurt trial as well as at many other famous trials, including the Klaus Barbie trial in 1987, there was no attempt to prove this horrible accusation, which has so long weighed on the vanquished German nation. These judicial travesties were similar to the witchcraft trials, in which the accused and their defense lawyers did not question the existence of the Devil and his supernatural doings. In these modern witchcraft trials, it has been taboo to question the existence of "the gas chambers" and their supernatural accomplishments, which defy all laws of physics and chemistry.
Even Klaus Barbie's French defense attorney, Jacques Vergés, in spite of his courage, refrained from asking for even the slightest proof of the existence of the "gas chambers" to which Klaus Barbie allegedly sent the Jewish children from their refuge in the town of Izieu, near Lyons.
In all these trials of so-called "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity," the supposedly civilized nations have ignored the elementary rules of criminal law for nearly a half century.
To understand what I mean, let us take, for example, a crime committed in France. Let's suppose that in this case there is a weapon, a body, and a killer (or presumed killer). Normally the French court would demand four routine reports:
Even if the defendant has confessed, the judges never decide that further investigations need not be carried out; a confession, to have much judicial value, must be verified and confirmed.
In nearly half a century, however, no one has ever met these elementary standards, in a case which involves not just an ordinary crime perpetrated by a single person with an ordinary weapon (whether blade or bullet), but a supposedly unprecedented crime committed against millions of people with an extraordinary weapon that no judge had ever seen before: a "super gas chamber" for thousands of victims, a virtual mass-production chemical slaughterhouse!
The first trials of Germans accused of having used "gas chambers" or "gas vans" to kill people began in 1943 in the Soviet Union (trials of Kharkov and Krasnodar). They continue to this day, especially in Israel with the Demjanjuk trial. Today, after 47 years of such trials we still do not have:
In the course of the trial concerning the Struthof-Natzweiler camp, in Alsace, an expert study was in fact made of the "gas chamber" and of the "gassed" bodies (kept at the civilian hospital in Strasbourg), but in each case, Professor René Fabre, a toxicologist, found no traces of gas. As regards Dachau, there was in fact a kind of expert report carried out by Captain Fribourg, of the French army, but although the report concluded that it would be necessary to examine the room provisionally called the "gas chamber," no such examination was carried out.
During his preliminary investigation in the trial of Rudolf Höss and other Auschwitz officials, examining magistrate Jan Sehn ordered the Institute for Forensic Examination, Copernic Street, Krakow, to test six zinc closures allegedly obtained from ventilation openings said to have been part of the "gas chamber" of Krematorium II in Birkenau, and also 25.5 Kilos of hair with metallic items in them. Traces of hydrocyanic acid and its compounds were found (expert reports by Dr. Jan Z. Robel, dated December 15, 1945).
There is nothing out of the ordinary in this. The Germans made frequent use of hydrocyanic acid, in the form of Zyklon B for the disinfection of premises, clothing, and personal effects. In Poland, as well as throughout wartime Europe, hair was collected, even in commercial barber shops, for use in clothing (after it was disinfected). What is paradoxical is that, despite having a forensic institute at its disposal, it appears that the Polish justice system never undertook basic, thorough research into the rooms alleged to be "execution gas chambers." (See R. Faurisson, "Response to a Paper Historian," The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1986, p. 37)
On-site visits by the courts took place during certain trials, notably the Frankfurt trial (1963-65). The scandal is that parts of the Auschwitz camp were viewed by the visiting official party, but not the supposed "gas chambers," in spite of the fact that they were there, either in their original condition (as claimed to this day by Polish Communist officials and publications) or in ruins from which much could be determined (see Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich, The Auschwitz Myth, Institute for Historical Review, 1986).
A reenactment, which is by definition a simulation, would have been easy to carry out at Birkenau. It would have immediately shown the foolishness of the gassing accusations. Filmmakers sometimes shoot Hollywood-style "docudramas" at Birkenau, claiming to re-create the arrival of the Jewish convoys on the ramp at Birkenau, near the two crematory buildings that were each supposed to contain (1) a changing room where the victims would take off their clothes; (2) a homicidal gas chamber; (3) a room containing five crematory ovens with three retorts each. We are told that each group of victims numbered some 2,000 people and there were several such groups burned each day in each crematory. We can see from the size of the buildings and the arrangement of the surrounding areas that any re-enactment would immediately result in fantastic bottlenecks. The overcrowding at the crematories would be spectacular. Decomposing, rotting bodies would pile up all over the areas Assuming that it took one and a half.hours (the average funeral industry time) to incinerate one body, it follows that after one and a half hours had passed we would find ourselves with the original 2,000 bodies minus the 15 that had been burned, still leaving 1,985 bodies with no place for storage before burning! The "machinery of death" would break down with the first gassing. It would take eight days and eight nights to incinerate 2,000 bodies, assuming continuous operation of the crematoriums. According to cremation experts and crematory operating manuals, however, no crematory can operate continuously, day and night.
Let's talk about the witnesses who testified at these trials. In all of them, persons have come forward to offer themselves as living witnesses to the "Holocaust" and to the "gas chambers." How did they, according to their own stories, escape the gas chambers? The answer was very simple: every one of them had benefited from a miracle. As each survivor passed through one so-called "death camp" after another, he considered his life a sum of miracles. The members of the "Sonderkommandos" broke all records. According to their stories, the Germans usually gassed the personnel of these units every three months, which means that two years spent at Auschwitz and Birkenau would mean a total of seven or eight consecutive miracles for those champions at surviving. Only rarely have the lawyers or judges at such trials dared to betray their surprise at so many miracles.
The Olympic champion of gas chamber survivors, Filip Müller, the immortal author of Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers, had some problems with this question at the Frankfurt trial, but he found the perfect answer: he disdainfully explained that the story about the regular liquidation of the "Sonderkommando" was merely a legend. The extent to which the general public, historians, and judges let themselves be bamboozled by these supposed witnesses to the "Holocaust" is disturbing.
Simone Veil, former French Minister and head of the European Parliament, often offers herself as a living witness to, and as living proof of, the extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz. If she is living proof of anything, it is that the Germans did not exterminate the Jews at Auschwitz. Simone Veil, her mother and one of her sisters were always together: at Drancy (a French transit camp), at Auschwitz, at Bobrek (a sub-camp of Auschwitz), and at Bergen-Belsen. In the last camp they contracted typhus, usually considered a deadly disease at that time. Veil's mother died there. Like her two daughters, she too had survived Auschwitz. Another daughter survived Ravensbruck.
Personally, I do not consider anyone a "eyewitness" unless he or she successfully passes the test of being cross-examined about the physical aspects of the facts which he or she reports.
Please read what I say here carefully: in no trial has a supposed witness to the "gassings" been cross-examined about the physical aspects of the gassing he said he had seen or participated in. Even in the trial of Tesch and Weinbacher, sentenced to death and executed for having made or sold Zyklon B. prosecution witness Charles Sigismund Bendel on whose testimony the two were largely condemned, did not undergo such a cross-examination (see William Lindsey, "Zyklon B. Auschwitz and the Trial of Dr. Bruno Tesch," The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1983, pp. 10-23). As a matter of principle and as a defense tactic, lawyers for the accused have avoided the taboo of the "gas chambers" by limiting themselves to saying that, while gas chambers existed, their clients did not gas anyone.
After Ernst Zündel
With the arrival of Ernst Zündel the veil of trickery was torn asunder. Zündel had the daring not to let himself be intimidated. He showed that indeed, the emperor had no clothes. He confounded the rascals with his direct, no- nonsense approach. Consequently, the prosecution's experts and witnesses suffered a severe defeat at his trial. And Ernst Zündel, moving to the counter-offensive, taught historians and judges a superb lesson. He showed them what they ought to have done all along. They should have, in a sense, begun with the beginning, which, as we all know, is sometimes very difficult to do. Trying first and foremost to establish what had taken place physically, Ernst Zündel, at his own expense, sent a U.S. expert on execution gas chambers, along with his team, to Poland. This expert, Fred Leuchter, took samples from the ground, the walls, and the floors of the alleged gas chambers and then had them analyzed by an American laboratory.
I have described elsewhere how the experts and witnesses for the prosecution were routed during the 1985 and 1988 Toronto trials [see Robert Faurisson, "The Zündel Trials (1985 and 1988)," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1988-89, pp. 417-431). I am not going to return to that subject. I would only like to make it clear that this is not simply my subjective judgment. The proof that I am telling the truth is that, at the 1988 trial, Exterminationism's number one expert, Raul Hilberg, the "pope" of the Holocaust Legend, refused to testify again, since he still had painful memories of his defeat in 1985 at the hands of Zündel's defense attorney, Douglas Christie. He said as much in a letter to Prosecutor John Pearson, a letter which was supposed to have remained confidential but which the defense learned of and caused to be made public. Nor did Dr. Rudolf Vrba, and other star witnesses of the 1985 triaL return for the 1988 trial either. Prosecutor Pearson, asked by Judge Ron Thomas whether any "surviviors" would testify, had to respond pitifully (I was present) that at this time they would not.
Out of my pity for them, I will not refer here (as I have already done in the above-mentioned article) to the statements made in 1988 by Red Cross representative Charles Biedermann, an apparently honest and intelligent man who nevertheless frequently gave evasive and misleading answers, and by Professor Christopher Browning, who gave a distressing display of what an American university professor can be like: an ignoramus of boundless naiveté, a lover of money and a man without scruples. In him, we had a university professor who accepted $150 an hour from the Canadian taxpayer to come to Toronto to crush a man - Ernst Zündel - because of an opinion and to help throw him in prison: the crime of this man was that he had published in Canada a 14-year-old essay which had been freely distributed in Great Britain and in Browning's own country.
To me, one of the principal results of the first Leuchter Report was just that it made one simple fact strikingly clear: that no forensic expert study of the "weapon" used to carry out the "Holocaust" crime had previously been done. Since his report was made public, in April of 1988, Leuchter has not found a single person, including those who have shown their anger about his findings, who could refute his report with any other report that had previously been drawn up. As regards those who would criticise some parts of the Leuchter Report, I invite them to make their own investigation and get their own laboratory reports.
There still remains one solution outlined by Fred Leuchter himself in his paper given in Los Angeles in February 1989 during the Ninth International Conference of the Institute for Historical Review: the establishment of an international committee of experts on the problem of the gas chambers. As early as 1982, French historian Henri Amouroux, with whom I had discussed my research, confided to me that he hoped for such a solution. He told me in so many words that what he wanted was an "international" commission, "definitely not a national" commission, since the French seem incapable of any open-mindedness on the question of the gas chambers.
The Polish authorities, unless they develop a sudden appetite for glasnost, will oppose with all their strength any inquiry of that kind, just as they oppose all normal access to the archives of the State Museum of Auschwitz, especially to the death registers (Totenbücher), left behind by the Germans, which would give us an idea of the real number of those who died at Auschwitz and the cause of their deaths. In 1987, Tadeusz Iwaszko, the director of the Archives in the Auschwitz Museum, told French journalist Michel Folco (in the presence of pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac, one of Serge Klarsfeld's friends) that, "If we were to carry out excavations that did not uncover any proof of the existence of the gas chambers, the Jews would accuse us other Poles of having suppressed the evidence." [Note: On August 8, 1989, Ernst Zündel wrote to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, informing him that he had received confirmation of the capture of the Auschwitz death registers by the Soviet Union from the cross- examination of Red Cross delegate Charles Biedermann. He requested access to the registers and suggested that it would be a gesture of good will if the registers were released. In what was perhaps a happy coincidence, the Soviet Union released the register one and a half months later.]
The Second Leuchter Report
It is likely that the first Leuchter Report will for a long time remain the last word about the gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek. As a pioneering effort, it has opened a particularly fertile field of research for others to follow and expand upon.
The second Leuchter Report, 1989, is also a pioneering work, this time on the question of the alleged gas chambers at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim.
I did not accompany Leuchter and his team to Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek, but I had thought since 1977 that the American gas chambers which use cyanide gas had to be studied to know the absurdity of the alleged German gas chambers which allegedly used Zyklon B, an insecticide whose base is hydrocyanic acid. I hoped, without really believing it, that some day an expert on the American gas chambers would visit Auschwitz and carry out the kind of physical and chemical study that ought to have been carried out by any honest judicial or historical inquiry.
In 1979, at the time of the first international conference of the Institute for Historical Review, I myself mentioned that idea to several people, especially to Ernst Zündel. In the years that followed, I abandoned all hope. I must say that even among some Revisionists I did not find very much interest in my idea. Perhaps it appeared too bold or too unrealistic. But Ernst Zündel abandoned neither the idea, nor the hope of succeeding. In the preface to the first Leuchter Report, I told how, thanks to Ernst Zündel and to Canadian attorney Barbara Kulaszka, I was able to meet Fred Leuchter in Boston, and how the expedition to Poland was organized.
For the expedition into West Germany and Austria, I was part of the Leuchter team In the report that you are about to read, Fred Leuchter gives us all the important information about the members of that team and about the nature and result of his mission.
From 1945 to 1960, Allied propaganda and the Allied courts told us that homicidal gas chambers had been used at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim. Apparently, there was no lack of evidence, of witnesses and of confessions to that fact
They especially emphasized the Dachau "gas chamber" and its victims.. American propaganda was so fulminant that, if there is any country in the world today where the "gassings" at Dachau are considered to be as well proven as the existence of the pyramids in Egypt, it is the U.S.A.
One of the decisive days at the Nuremberg show trial was that on which the prosecution exhibited a film about the German concentration camps. The ultimate horror came with a view of the "gas chamber" at Dachau. The narrator explained the functioning of the machinery which supposedly gassed "probably a hundred men at one time." We cannot overemphasize how much that film on "Nazi Concentration Camps" - 6,000 feet selected from the 80,000 feet that had been shot - captured and influenced the popular imagination, including most of the German defendants.
It is likely that the two events which helped most to stir up public opinion against the vanquished Germans were, first, the showing of that film, and second, the sort of public confession of Rudolf Höss, "the Commandant of Auschwitz" made before the tribunal. Today we know that his confession was "dictated." The substance of it flowed from the sick imagination of a British Jew who was one of the men who tortured Höss after his capture (see R. Faurisson, "How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter, 1986-1987, p. 389-403).
But the story of the Dachau "gassings" was also made up out of thin air. We had to wait until 1960 for the liars to admit it.
On August 19, 1960, in Die Zeit, the notorious Martin Broszat admitted that there had never been any homicidal gassings at Dachau. Two years earlier this same historian, to his everlasting shame, had published the "confession" of Rudolf Höss, supposedly written in prison after Höss was turned over to the Polish Communists by the British. In so doing, he had presented it as genuine and trustworthy, yet these "confessions" were essentially the same confessions obtained by the British, and were nothing more than a re-organized and expanded version of the British inventions, with a bit of a Polish flavor added! (In 1972, Martin Broszat became the director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.)
Today, every visitor to the "gas chamber" at Dachau can read on a mobile panel the following statement in five languages:
"GAS CHAMBER - disguised as a 'shower room' - never used as a gas chamber."
Since the panel is mobile, the film makers who sensationalize evil, as well as other professional liars, can roll it out of view and film or photograph the room from all angles while persisting in saying that it was a gas chamber that was actually used to gas prisoners.
I am amazed at the cynicism of the officials of the Dachau Museum and the naiveté of the museum's visitors. The words on the panel are not based on reality. In 1980, in my Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'histoire (1980, pp. 197-222), I think I illustrated this point. I recounted how I completely embarrassed Barbara Distel, the director of the Museum, and the late Dr. Guerisse, then president of the International Dachau Committee, headquartered in Brussels, by asking them why they called this room a "gas chamber." When people asked these two how it came to pass that the Germans did not find the time to finish this little "gas chamber" that they began in 1942, they said that the prisoners employed to construct it either sabotaged it or refused to work on it.
But how could the prisoners, unable to have seen something that had never existed anywhere in the world (a gas chamber for 100 people at a time), know from the outset of their work that once the work was completed, they would have constructed a homicidal gas chamber? Do we have here yet another miracle, one of divination and mental telepathy? Did successive prisoner work details pass on the word about this for three years? Would the Germans have given the prisoners an ultra-secret mission, to construct a lethal gas chamber for Dachau inmates, without being concerned about their carrying it out?
Furthermore, how did Barbara Distel and Dr. Guerisse know that the room was an uncompleted gas chamber? Can they explain - to us what needs to be added to the "uncompleted" little gas chamber in order to complete it? Where did they get their technical information? Do they have building plans for "gas chambers" in their archives? Have they already seen some "completed" gas chambers? Where and when?
At the time of our visit to Dachau on April 9, 1989, Fred Leuchter, Mark Weber and I were videotaped by cameraman Eugen Ernst, first in the "gas chamber," and then, after leaving its on a sort of parade ground outside. It was on this parade ground that we decided to record our comments about the visit. The tourists who had just visited the room saw us and some stopped and listened. Fred Leuchter was able to make his report in peace, except for one not too serious incident provoked by one tourist who aggressively asked me it we doubted the reality of the "gas chamber."
When it was time for historian Mark Weber and myself to comment on camera about our visit and observations, the tourists began to gather. Some of them betrayed a little nervousness. We could have interrupted our report and continued it somewhere else in the camp, but I decided to remain where we were and try to exploit the situation. After all, we had there in front of us the best possible audience: all of them had just "seen a gas chamber" and they later would probably tell their friends: "No one can deny the existence of the gas chambers; I saw one myself at Dachau." I therefore engaged in an improvised debate with the visitors. I made it a point to say that they had not visited a gas chamber at all but merely a room to which Mrs. Distel, director of the Museum, had given that designation. In so doing, she had made a serious allegation for which she offered no proof (the few photos and documents hung in a room next to the alleged gas chamber proved nothing at all). But who dared to ask her for any proofs? Apparently no one. I warned the tourists not to be tempted to go and tell their family circle that they had seen a gas chamber at Dachau. In reality, they had seen nothing of the kind. In the midst of my presentation I let them know that, as far as we Revisionists are concerned, there had been no homicidal gas chambers anywhere, including Auschwitz, nor had there been any German policy to exterminate the Jews.
The whole thing began to look like a sort of 1960's-style "happening." Some visitors reacted angrily, others agreed with us. All of them appeared either indignant or interested. One young German thought that I deserved to be thrown into prison for such statements. The most hostile ones resorted to the usual evasion: "Gas chambers or not, it doesn't make any difference." This is an argument which I, as a Frenchman, particularly enjoyed, since in France Jean-Marie Le Pen had been severely condemned by the courts, in response to complaints by Jewish groups, for having said exactly the same thing.
The magical "gas chamber" is the central pillar of the new Holocaust religion. It is not the Revisionists, but rather the adherents of the new religion who make such a fuss about the "gas chambers." Consequently, we must ask them for some explanation of their attachment to these myths. Of course, they must cling to the gas chamber, for without a specific and systematic means of destruction, it becomes impossible to prove the existence of a specific and systematic programe for the destruction of the Jews. Without the "gas chamber," there is no "genocide."
Camera man Eugen Ernst was able to tape a good part of this "happening," which allowed me to give my first public presentation in Germany about the taboo of the "gas chambers" and the "genocide" claim, right across from the fake gas chamber of Dachau, one of the most important shrines of the Holocaust cult.
The minuscule gas chamber at Mauthausen has never been defended by very many of the Holocaust faithful. It is indefensible. In nearly a half century, only two people have really tried to make us believe in it: Hans Marsalek of Austria and Pierre-Serge Choumoff of France. In their various publications they wisely refrain from showing a real photo of the interior of the room. The reason is simple: the room looks like nothing more than a simple shower room and one can see nothing that would lead one to think that it was a homicidal gas chamber with all the equipment which in such a case would have been indispensable. Marsalek and Choumoff usually don't show any photo; very rarely they will show an exterior photo of one of its two doors (two doors to a gas chamber, a fact that would definitely double the problems of keeping the chamber air-tight); or, sometimes, they allow the reader to vaguely see a small part of the interior.
At the time of my first visit to Mauthausen in 1978, I asked two officials of the museum, particularly the director, a former Spanish inmate, why amongst all the postcards of the camp that were on sale to tourists there was not a single one showing the so-called gas chamber. The answer was: "That would be too cruel." That is a rather surprising answer when you remember that all the concentration camp museums, including the one at Mauthausen, are reminiscent of the "chambers of horrors" that can be seen at country fairs and exhibitions, and when you realize that a sort of "sex-shop anti-Nazism" is one of the most flourishing commodities in "Shoah Business."
During that same visit, I also wanted to know why they did not display, either in the "gas chamber" itself or in the museum, any document or any expert report proving that what looked like a shower room was in fact a homicidal gas chamber. The camp's director dared to reply that the text of such an expert report was in fact on display in the "gas chamber" itself. That was not true. Forced to acknowledge that, he then told me about an expert report that could be found in Linz, but he gave no further details about it. It is clear that, if there were any such expert report, it would be reprinted in all the works devoted to Mauthausen and that it would be mentioned in all the "Holocaust" bibliographies.
During our inspection of Mauthausen on April 10, 1989, an incident took place involving the camp authorities.. We visited the place at an early hour in the morning to allow Fred Leuchter to take his samples without too much risk. No sooner had he finished his task (which caused a great deal of noise) than some groups of visitors began to go through the "gas chamber." They were mostly children from schools which indoctrinate them systematically to feel shame and hatred for what previous generations of Germans and Austrians supposedly did during the war (Austria is the chosen home of the malevolent Simon Wiesenthal). The guides, either museum officials or teachers, talked at Iength about the "gas chamber" and how it worked, giving the usual, typical explanations found in popular "Holocaust literature," that contradicted each other on many points.
Without any previous agreement between both of us, Mark Weber and I, under the watchful eye of Eugen Ernst's rolling camera, began to ask questions of the museum tour guide, who seemed to be the highest ranking on the scene. After being at first very sure of himself,- the poor man, bombarded with questions, finally had to admit that no one knew very much about how that "gas chamber" had worked. It appeared that over the years the story had taken extremely varied forms. They had given visitors three successive contradictory versions of the gassing procedure:
Version No. 1 -
The gas came from the ceiling through shower heads (still in existence): that version, the official told us, was abandoned when people noticed that, considering the low ceiling, the victims could have simply put their hands over the shower heads to block them up and prevent the spread of the gas;
Version No. 2 -
The gas came in from the ceiling and was vented at the time of the airing-out process through a sort of chimney opening, still in existence, located on the west side: the official was not able to tell us why that version of the story also had to be abandoned;
Version No. 3 -
The gas came through a thin, perforated pipe located on the east wall, about 80 centimeters above the ground. That is, it came from the part of the room diametrically opposite to where it had been in Version No. 2. There is no longer any trace of that pipe, or even of the opening through which it supposedly came from the adjacent room, where the gas was generated. The adjacent room is completely empty and contains nothing that gives any hint of what it had been used for.
All of that was already troubling, but perhaps the most troubling thing was that the whole explanation given on a metal plaque inside the gas chamber was that of Version No. 2. I mentioned that to the official, who explained that the text of the plaque was a mistake and that the procedure described there was no longer the right one.
I observed that Version No. 3, the one currently considered to be authentic, had the problem of being, physically, extremely unlikely. Since it was located 80 centimeters above the ground, the perforated pipe, even if it had been partially embedded in the wall to resist the pressure of the bodies inside, would have been blocked up by the bodies of the victims jammed into the gas chamber. How would the gas have spread itself normally in the "gas chamber" so as to kill all the victims throughout the room's entirety? The offical finally said that he was not a scientist and that his explanation was that given in the book written by . . . Hans Marsalek.
A few minutes after the museum tour guide left, two police officers appeared and ordered us to stop all filming. They informed us that we could photograph all of Mauthausen except . . . the "gas chamber" and the crematory oven! However, there was no announcement advising tourists of that. In any event, thousands of visitors have photographed the two places without any warnings from the camp authorities.
At Mauthausen, I had the feeling that the camp authorities lived in something of a siege mentality. They appeared to be haunted by the progress of Revisionism in Austria and by the Revisionist work of people like Emil Lachout, Gerd Honsik and Walter Ochensberger. (In passing, I would like to pay hommage to the memory of another Austrian, Franz Scheidl. In the 1960's, at his own expense, he published a whole series of studies bearing the general title Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands [History of the Defaming of Germany]. It has remained largely unknown, even to many Revisionists).
3. Hartheim Castle
Hartheim Castle can be seen from a great distance, sitting as it does in the middle of a plain. For an area that allegedly served as a place to carry out the most secret of crimes, it is quite impossible to hide. The castle was, before and after the war, a sort of asylum. It still is today. Hartheim Castle contains a small, inoffensive-looking room that makes one wonder why the practitioners of the Big Lie decide to call it a homicidal "gas chamber." It is one of the most insulting and most baffling inventions of the Holocaust" religion. Today I can see only one use for it: to those who mock the religious superstitions of the past as if our era were more enlightened and more intelligent than in past centuries, I would gladly say:
Go visit the "gas chamber" at Hartheim Castle and then come tell me whether you feel humiliated to be treated like imbeciles by people who dare to say that it was once a gas chamber.
I do not know of any publication that reproduces a photo of this minuscule "gas chamber." It was identified as such by Hans Marsalek, in the English version of the confession that he supposedly took from Franz Ziereis, Commandant at Mauthausen, regarding the:
. . . large gassing establishment where, in Ziereis’ estimate, between 1 and 1.5 million people were killed (!).
The Revisionist Intifada
The current disarray of the defenders of the "Holocaust" has its curious effects. Up to the end of the 1970's, they believed that in Auschwitz, Birkenau and other camps located in Poland they had "solid proof" of the existence of the "gas chambers" and therefore of the "genocide" of the Jews. Up until that time they went so far as to say that there were some exaggerations and that the camps located outside present-day Poland probably or certainly did not have any gas chambers. Beginning with the start of the 1980's, under the pressure of Revisionist writings, the "gas chambers" in Poland and in particular those at Auschwitz and Birkenau seemed more and more doubtful. This then produced a reaction motivated by fear. In a movement comparable to that of religious or political fundamentalism, the Exterminationists called for a return to the original faith and doctrine. They "re-established" the gas chambers that had been abandoned. They set out to reaffirm that there had indeed been "gas chambers" at Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbruck, Neuengamme, Struthof-Natzweiler, and perhaps even at Dachau. I refer here to the book by Adalbert Rückerl, Hermann Langbein, Eugen Kogon and 21 other writers: NS-Massentötungen durch Giftgas (Fischer Verlag, 1983).
As regards Mauthausen, some people, including Claude Lanzmann and Yehuda Bauer, went so far as to retract the story. In 1982, Bauer clearly wrote that "no gassings took place at Mauthausen." Lanzmann was just as clear. In 1986, during a bitter debate about the Roques affair on Europe 1 (a French radio network), he corrected cabinet member Michel Noir, who had mentioned the Mauthausen "gas chamber." Lanzmann firmly contradicted the Minister on this score: never had there been a gas chamber in that camp. But all of that did not prevent our two fellows from stating later on that there had indeed been a "gas chamber" at Mauthausen! (For Bauer's retraction, see pages 33-34 of the absurd book published in Vienna in 1989, by the Dokumentations-Archiv des österreichischen Widerstandes under the title Das Lachout-"Dokument," Anatomie einer Fälschung. As regards Lanzmann's retraction, read his letter published in Le Monde Juif, July-September 1986, p. 97). All those retractions, sudden changes of direction and constantly shifting explanations add up to one further proof that the "gas chamber" and the "genocide" are nothing more than a myth. A myth constantly mutates under the influence of the dominant opinions and the necessities of the moment.
The Exterminationists of today have only two refuges left them, two points where they hope to be able to anchor their faith: the "gas van" and "Treblinka."
As regards the first point, I can tell them that the Frenchman Pierre Marais will soon publish a book entitled Le problème des camions à gaz (The Problem of the Gas Vans). On the second point, I can tell them that they are going to lose "Treblinka" as they have already lost "Auschwitz."
The promoters of the Holocaust, for the foreseeable future, will keep their money, their power, their capacity to produce films, to stage ceremonies, to build museums, but those films and ceremonies and museums will be more and more devoid of meaning. They will be able still to find more and more ways of repressing the Revisionists through physical attacks, press campaigns, the passing of special laws and even murder. Fifty years after the war they will continue to prosecute all those they call "war criminals" in show trials. The Revisionists will reply to them with historical and forensic studies, scholarly and technical books. Those books and those studies will be our stones, in this our intellectual Intifada.
The Jews will have a choice: they can either follow the example of the rare few among them who have been courageous and honorable enough to denounce the Big Lie, or they can support the melodramatic activities of people like Elie Wiesel and Samuel Pisar and the shameful witch hunts carried out by people like Simon Wiesenthal, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld and the O.S.I. in the United States.
David Irving, who rallied to the support of the Revisionist position in 1988, recently said:
The Jewish community have to examine their consciences. They have been propagating something that isn't true." (The Jewish Chronicle, London, 23 June 1989).
I couldn't have said it better.
- Dr. Robert Faurisson
In March of this year (1989), I was asked by Mr. Ernst Zündel of Toronto, Canada, to investigate three (3) alleged execution gas chambers and crematoria in Germany and Austria. These locations, allegedly operated by the Germans in World War II, were Dachau, in Germany, and Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, both near Linz, Austria.
The findings of these investigations and forensic analyses at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim were to result in an engineering report and forensic study on the efficacy of these aforementioned facilities to function as execution gas chambers. Although these facilities seem now accepted by many established historians to have never functioned as execution gas chambers, Mr. Zündel wanted to dispel any future doubts and scientifically prove beyond any question whether these facilities were or were not used, and if they could ever have been utilized, as gas execution facilities. Resultant to Mr. Zündel's direction, I undertook this scientific investigation and evaluation. On Sunday, April 9th of this year, I arrived at Dachau with the following team: Carolyn Leuchter as secretary/technician; Dr. Robert Faurisson, advisor and consultant; Mark Weber, historian and author of contemporary European history; Tijuda Rudolf, interpreter; Steven Devine, technician; Eugen Ernst, cinematographer, and Kenneth Ernst, assistant cinematographer. The following day, Monday, April 10th, we inspected Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, near Linz, Austria. This report and my findings are resultant to these investigations conducted at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim.
The purpose of this report, and the investigations antecedent to it, is to determine whether the alleged gas chambers at three (3) specific locations, one (1) in Germany and two (2) in Austria, specifically, Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, respectively, could have operated in any manner resulting in single or multiple gas executions. Although cognizant of the fact that many established historians presently seem to concur that none of these installations ever functioned as a gas execution facility, the author is also aware that immediately after American capture of these locations during World War II a mass gas execution function was ascribed to these facilities, an assertion which was widely published in the international mass media at the time. It is to eliminate any further doubt or question that this investigation was undertaken and this report written.
The purpose includes the investigation and on-site inspection of physical facilities, design of these facilities and a description of the alleged gassing procedures utilized at the alleged executions. The purpose also includes estimates of the maximum number of inclusions (persons) who could possibly have fit into these alleged gas chambers and estimated venting times. This purpose 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.
The principal investigator and author of this report is an engineer and a specialist on design and fabrication of execution hardware and specifically has worked on and designed hardware in the United States used in the execution of condemned persons and by means of hydrogen cyanide gas ("Zyklon B" gas).
The investigator has inspected the alleged execution gas chambers in Poland and is the author of the resort on these facilities: An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland (1988), Samisdat Publishers Ltd. The author has been recognized by a Canadian court as an expert on gas chamber technology, and has testified as to the non-existence of execution gas chamber facilities at these sites.
The investigator has inspected the facilities at Dachau, in Germany, and Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, in Austria, made measurements and taken forensic samples. Further, he purchased official printed brochures published and offered publicly for sale at the three (3) museum sites and reviewed this literature. He also reviewed the procedural literature on delousing with hydrogen cyanide ("Zyklon B") gas.
The scope of this report includes a physical inspection and quantitative data obtained at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim, literature obtained at the three (3) museum sites, and a consideration of forensic samples taken at Mauthausen. For reasons explained below, no samples were removed from Dachau or Hartheim. Further, data on the design of U.S. gas chambers and the operational protocol utilized in gas executions in the United States coming from the investigator's own personal knowledge and experience in the field, as well as knowledge gained in the investigation of the alleged Polish gas chambers, were utilized in the production of this report. Additionally, operational procedure and equipment utilized at delousing facilities were considered. Utilizing all of the above data, the investigator has limited the focus of this study to a determination of the capability of the alleged gas chambers in question at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle to accomplish the mass murder (extermination) of human beings by the use of "Zyklon B" (hydrogen cyanide) gas.
Synopsis and Findings
After a study of available literature, examination and evaluation of the existing facilities at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, with expert knowledge of the essential design criteria for gas chamber operation and the expert knowledge gained in the production of the previous study on the alleged gas chambers in Poland, the author finds no evidence that any of these installations, i.e., Dachau, Mauthausen or Hartheim Castle, frequently alleged to have been gas execution facilities, was ever utilized as such, and further finds, that because of the design and fabrication of these installations, they could not ever have been utilized as execution gas chambers.
The procedures involved in the study and forensic analysis which resulted in this report were as follows:
THE LEUCHTER REPORT
The Leuchter Report, which formed the basis of the author's expert testimony at the trial of Ernst Zündel, Toronto, Ontario, given on April 20, 1988, is a study of the existing alleged gassing facilities in Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland. This report contains the definitive data for gas chamber application purposes for hydrogen cyanide, "Zyklon B." fumigation design and procedures, execution gas chamber design and protocol, U.S. gas chambers, medical and toxic effects of hydrogen cyanide, a brief history of the alleged German gas chambers with an emphasis on design characteristics, and a consideration of crematory technology, including a discussion of maximum cremation rates. Additionally, there is a discussion of forensic considerations of cyano-compounds and crematories.
The materials contained in the above paragraphs of the Leuchter Report (1988) are a necessary complement to this report.
The Sites: Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle
These sites are considered separately and together, in that Dachau and Mauthausen have been at times described as camps which supplied prisoners to the Hartheim Castle site where they were allegedly executed.
The alleged execution facility at Dachau is located in a building called "Baracke X." This installation was erected in 1942 and contained a crematory consisting of four (4) retorts. It was constructed primarily as a replacement for the older and smaller two (2) retort crematory located nearby. The facility also housed a morgue, fumigation cubicles (delousing chambers), related work areas and a room identified by a sign over the door as a "Brausebad" (shower room). It is this shower room which has been alleged to be the gas chamber and which tourists today are informed was the "gas chamber."
The alleged gas chamber has an area of some 427 square feet and a volume of some 3,246.7 cubic feet It originally was a shower room but appears to have been modified sometime after Dachau's capture by the Americans. The present ceiling is some 7.6 feet in height and contains some seventeen (17) pseudo-shower heads, fabricated out of what appears to be soldered sheet zinc. Additionally, it contains some eight (8) recessed lighting fixtures which were/are not explosion proof. It also contains two (2) alleged gas inlet ports (dumps) with internal grates measuring 15.75 inches x 27.25 inches which are welded open to the outside. This alleged gas chamber also contains a ventilation port clearly added after construction. The walls are of tile and the ceiling of concrete painted white. There are two (2) 20.5 inch x 26 inch floor drains connected to the other floor drains throughout the building and the camp. It has two (2) doors with provision for gasketing, as do many European doors.
It appears from construction that the alleged gas chamber was originally a shower room, as found in all the other investigated camps. The pseudo-shower heads are fabricated from sheet metal of a cylinder and a cone with a sprinkler type head as found on a garden type watering can. The end is sealed and not threaded. They are not connected, nor are they capable of being connected to any piping system. They are designed to appear as functional shower heads when observed from below. The ceiling with the phoney shower heads seems to have been added at a time later than original construction. The ceiling is fabricated of poured concrete, cast around the pseudo shower heads. It is typical suspended-slab concrete construction. Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, of the United States, includes an investigation of Dachau. In this document, the gas chamber is described as having a 10 foot ceiling containing brass fixtures for introducing gas into the chamber. The present ceiling, as noted, is only 7.6 feet high and has none of the gas inlet fixtures described in Document No. 47.
Directly over the shower room are the steam and heating pipes, which is consistent with good and standard design for supplying hot water to the shower area. These pipes cannot be seen in the shower room today. Their existence, however, can be confirmed by observing the pipes entering into the shower room area from an off-limits corridor behind the shower room and visible only from a rear window of the building. It is an inept and extemely dangerous design to put hot, high pressure steam pipes over a chamber containing potentially explosive gas. At one end of the chamber the ventilation port was clearly added. The ports allege to have been "Zyklon B" introduction ports, no different from apartment incinerator garbage chutes, were obviously added after the original tiling. Both these modifications are clearly discernable from the uneven replacement of the interior tiles and the exterior brick. At one end of the room there are two (2) recessed electrical boxes with grates, something which should not be in a room containing potentially explosive gas. There is no means for sealing the room to prevent gas leakage and there is no system for exhausting the gas after use or any suitable (40 foot minimum is standard) vent stack. The doors are not gas proof, or even water proof. They are only water resistant There is no system for evaporating (heating) or distributing a gas into or within the chamber. The use of the improperly designed '"Zyklon B" introduction port would prevent proper evaporation of the gas from the "Zyklon B" pellets because of insufficient surface area exposure. Most, if not all, of the "Zyklon B" pellets would remain in the dumping mechanism due to insufficient angular motion of the gas pellet dump.
On a sign posted witnin the alleged gas chamber, Dachau Museum officials state:
"GAS CHAMBER - disguised as a 'shower room'
- never used as a gas chamber."
An examination of the alleged gas chamber clearly shows, however, that this facility was constructed as a shower room, used only for this purpose. The modifications to the room, which include the addition of the ceiling, pseudo-shower heads, air intake and gas inlet ports, were made at a time much later than the original construction of "Baracke X" and the shower room, and for reasons and by persons unknown to this author. No samples were taken at this location due to excessively heavy tourist traffic inside the alleged gas chamber.
For the record, this alleged gas chamber would have held only forty-seven (47) persons utilizing the nine (9) square foot inclusion rule as accepted by standard engineering practice for air-handling systems. Without an exhaust system or windows, it would require at least one week to vent by convection. This estimate is based on American gas chambers requiring twenty (20) minutes to vent with two complete air changes per minute, and a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours to vent a fumigated building with an abundance of windows.
An inspection of the four (4) new crematory retorts at "Baracke X" revealed that, although fired, none of these ever experienced much use, if any. These retorts were coal fired.
After an in-depth investigation of the alleged gas chamber at "Baracke X," Dachau, this investigator, in his best engineering opinion, categorically states that this installation could not have ever been utilized as an execution gas chamber. It was in fact a shower room (Brausebad) as originally labelled by the Germans.
The alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen Concentration Camp was located between the hospital, the crematory and the jail. Like Dachau, it is generally considered by some established historians and the Revisionists to have never been utilized for executions.
The alleged gas chamber has an area of some 150 square feet and a volume of 1,164 cubic feet. It has a ceiling height of some 7.8 feet containing piping and working shower heads. It has a floor drain of some eight (8) inches by eight (8) inches and steam pipes on the north-west wall for heating. The walls are finished in ceramic tile. It has two doors and provision for gasketing, as do many European doors. It has an alleged gas vent in the ceiling of the west end of the northwest wall but the purpose of this alleged gas vent cannot be verified since the ground above has been repaved. Additionally, an adjacent room is alleged to have been a control room for inletting gas (apparently not solid "Zyklon B" but actual hydrogen cyanide gas). There is no hardware in place for this function nor is there any evidence of its removal. The museum officials are very confused and incoherent about the operating function, and offered a succession of varying explanations on how the gas was introduced into the chamber. It has been successively stated by museum officials that the gas was introduced: (1) through overhead shower heads; (2) through a shaft in a remote corner of the room; and (3) through a perforated pipe, which does not exist today. The lighting is not explosion proof but merely water resistant. There is nothing to indicate the alleged control room ever existed. The facility is entirely underground, as is the morgue, the hospital and the jaiL The facility also housed the area for the condemned prisoners where they were executed by shooting.
It appears from the construction that this facility was constructed as, and further was utilized only as, a shower room. The installation has no provision to prevent gas leakage, the lighting is not explosion proof, the floor drain would allow leakage into the sewer system and there is no provision for inletting gas or for exhausting the air gas mixture after an execution. Further, there are steam heating pipes (radiator) on the northwest wall of the chamber, which would most likely result in an explosion if hydrogen cyanide gas were deposited in the room. Additionally, all shower heads are working and the overall design is unquestionably that of a shower room.
Forensic Considerations at Mauthausen
Four (4) forensic samples were selectively removed from the alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen and returned to the United States for chemical testing. Detailed analysis was completed on each sample for both iron and cyanide in accordance with the standard procedures utilized in the prior testing of samples from Auschwitz I and Birkenau. Resultant to this testing and comparison with known test results for insoluable iron cyanide compounds, it is demonstrated that this alleged gas chamber facility has never been exposed to repetitive concentrations of cyanide necessary for execution: referencing the delousing chamber control sample No. 32 (from Birkenau) as having 1050 mg/kg, the greatest concentration found at Mauthausen was 32 mg/kg, indicating fumigation of the building at some point in its history. This clearly indicates that this facility was not a gas chamber.
Resultant to an in-depth investigation of this installation, this investigator has determined that this facility was not capable of conducting executions by gas. In the best engineering opinion of this investigator this facility could never have supported gas executions and was never utilized as a gas execution chamber.
Adjacent to this facility is the morgue area, which contains a refrigeration unit for cooling the cadavers. This morgue also contains a dissection room and a crematory, all adjacent and connected to the hospital. The existing crematory contains a furnace with one (1) retort. In an adjacent room, there are indications of another crematory furnace of one (1) retort which has been removed. This existing retort shows signs of considerable use, which is expected in a camp of this size with only two (2) retorts. Both units were coal fired.
For the record the alleged gas chamber would have held only seventeen (17) persons, utilizing the nine (9) square foot rule. Without an exhaust system, this investigator estimated that it would require at least a week to vent for the same reasons as explained for Dachau.
This facility consists of a masonry room adjacent to a tower of a centuries old castle. This castle was donated by the monarchy to the mental health service of Austria and was also placed under the control of the German Government when it acquired control of the Austrian Government and the mental health service. The facilty had been utilized as a mental hospital and under German control it continued as such. Allegedly, mass gas executions were conducted at this location on prisoners transferred from Dachau and Mauthausen for this purpose.
The alleged gas chamber was a lower level room adjacent to one of the castle towers. This room has an area of 192 square feet and a volume of 1,728 cubic feet. It has a vaulted ceiling of some 8.9 feet at the highest point. The installation had one (1) door and one (1) window, although a rectangular aperture has now been made into an adjacent room. There are no facilities to inlet "Zyklon B" or evacuate the gas after use. The room now has been completely remodeled. It has recently plastered walls and ceiling. There are three (3) new floor surfaces, one on top of the other. Even the door has been changed to a modern conventional mental institution cell door with a shuttered view port. The window is alleged to have been original, but would leak gas if used for this purpose. Neither the door nor the window has any provision for gasketing. Allegedly, all gassing apparatus was removed by January, 1945. In truth, there was no gassing equipment in that the walls are very thick, as characteristic of castle architecture and construction, and not easily cut to accommodate the installation of gas vents or gas inlet ports. It and the adjacent room contain memorial plaques to those who allegedly died in gassings here. The castle is presently used as an apartment building.
It appears by construction that this facility would not lend itself for use as a gas execution installation, the walls being too thick for the installation of gassing equipment. Certainly, because of the construction, any changes would be visible, and not easy to conceal. There is no provision for a gas stack for evacuation of the gas-air mixture and no way to install one. The window would certainly leak, allowing large volumes of deadly gas to escape. No samples were taken at this location because of the extensive remodelling to the facility which decidedly would obscure any test results.
For the record, the alleged gas chamber would have held only some 24 persons, utilizing the nine (9) square foot rule. Without an exhaust system this room would require at least one week to vent (refer to Dachau).
Resultant to an in-depth investigation of this installation, this investigator categorically states that in his best engineering opinion this facility was not ever utilized for, and could never have supported, gas executions. The actual use of this room in unknown to the investigator. Based on a comparison with its mirror image on the other side of the facility, it could have been a store room.
There are no crematoria extant at this locaiton.
It is perplexing to note that the official museum literature states that Dachau and Mauthausen, both having facilities equal to, or better than those at Hartheim Castle, sent inmates to Hartheim for.gassing. It is unclear why this should occur since Hartheim's alleged facility would have been so difficult to construct, was so small and so distant from Dachau (200km). Based on all the available evidence it becomes abundantly clear that no gassing facilities ever existed at any of these locations.
Specialized Hardware: Non-existence
In all the author's investigations in Poland, Germany and Austria, hardware or constuction remarkable to gas chambers has never been found. There are no stacks of the necessary height, no ventilators, no gas generators, no intake air preheaters, no special paint or sealants on walls, floors or ceilings, no safety devices for the operators, and no coherent design consistently utilized throughout the alleged gas chambers. It is inconceivable that the Germans, having the highly developed technology utilized on the delousing chambers, would never have applied this technology to the alleged execution gas chambers.
After reviewing all the material and inspecting all of the sites at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, this investigator has determined that there were no gas execution chambers at any of these locations. It is the best engineering opinion of this investigator that the alleged gas chambers at the above inspected sites could not have then been, or now be, utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers.
Prepared this 15th day of June, 1989, at Malden, Massachusetts.
- Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc.
Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
Compiled by Robert Faurisson
(I. The First Leuchter Report - II. Dachau - III. Mauthausen - IV. Hartheim
- V. 1988: Jewish Historians Face the Problem of the Gas Chambers)
I. The First Leuchter Report
A distinguishing feature of the Dachau Camp was the gas chamber for the execution of prisoners and the somewhat elaborate facilities for execution by shooting. The gas chamber was located in the center of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height! In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for the execution and removed after execution.. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling. The chamber was of size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.
GAS CHAMBERS [plural]: the internees who were brought to Camp Dachau for the sole purpose of being executed were in most cases Jews and Russians. They were brought into the compound, lined up near the gas chambers, and were screened in a similar manner as internees who came to Dachau for imprisonment Then they were marched to a room and told to undress. Everyone was given a towel and a piece of soap, as though they were about to take a shower. During this whole screening process, no hint was ever given that they were to be executed, for the routine was similar upon the arrival of all internees at the camp. Then they entered the gas chamber. Over the entrance, in large black letters, was written "Brause Bad" (showers). There were about 15 shower faucets suspended from the ceiling from which gas was then released. There was one large chamber, capacity of which was 200, and five smaller gas chambers, capacity of each being 50. It took approximately 10 minutes for the execution. From the gas chamber, the door led to the Krematory to which the bodies were removed by internees who were selected for the job. The dead bodies were then placed in 5 furnaces, two or three bodies at a time.
I was told by an eye-witness of the mass extermination of Jews who were sent in a gas chamber 500 at a time and from there into the crematorium and the operation repeated until the whole convoy of several thousand people was disposed of. In the camp of Auschwitz the same thing took place but on a much larger scale with six crematories working night and day for several days. Witness: Wladislaus Malyszko.
Based on the interviews noted above, and further, based on actual inspection of the Dachau gas chamber (it has apparently been unused), it is the opinion of the undersigned that the gas chamber was a failure for execution purposes and that no experimental work ever took place in it. In view of the fact that much reliable information has been furnished the Allies by former inmates regarding the malaria, air pressure and cold water experiments, it is reasonable to assume that if such gas experiments took place, similar information would be available.
Dachau- factory of horrors. [ . . . ] Hanging in orderly rows were the clothes of prisoners who had been suffocated in the lethal gas chamber. They had been persuaded to remove their clothing under the pretext of taking a shower for which towels and soap were provided. This is the Brausebad - the showerbath. Inside the showerbath - the gas vents. On the ceiling - the dummy shower heads. In the engineers room - the intake and outlet pipes. Push buttons to control inflow and outtake of gas. A hand-valve to regulate pressure. Cyanide powder was used to generate the lethal smoke. From the gas chamber, the bodies were removed to the crematory.
The gas chamber was built for mass executions. There they used the asphyxiating gas Zyklon B.
Many executions by gas or shooting or injections took place right in the camp. The gas chamber was completed in 1944, and I was called by Dr. Rascher to examine the first victims. Of the eight or nine persons in the chamber there were three still alive, and the remainder appeared to be dead. Their eyes were red, and their faces were swollen. Many prisoners were later killed in this way. Afterwards they were removed to the crematorium where I had to examine their teeth for gold.
Two days later, on 11 January 1946, Dr. Blaha testified at the Nuremberg Tribunal. The American Executive Trial Counsel, Thomas J. Dodd, read his testimony. Neither the prosecution nor the defense asked the witness for clarifications on the subject of the gas chamber. Very likely the Presiding Judge of the Tribunat the British Lord Justice Lawrence would not have allowed any such request for clarification, since, implicitly, "judicial notice" had been taken of the existence of the gas chambers as is indicated by the official reports of the various Allied commissions of inquiry on "war crimes" (Article 21 of the IMT Charter) and since questions thought to be too indiscreet were not really allowed. For example, when Dr. Blaha was asked a difficult question by Dr. Alfred Thomas, Alfred Resoenberg's defense lawyer, Lord Justice Lawrence interrupted him to say: "[. . . ] this is intended to be an expeditious trial [. . . ]" (IMT, V, p. 194). Article 19 of the IMT Charter said: "The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value."
Prisoners (were) herded into the gas chambers to die [ . . . ]. Thousands of men, women and children died this way in Dachau [ . . . ]; the business of murder by gas continued (p.99).
On page 105, a photo caption says:
Killed by gas, these bodies are piled in a "storage room" awaiting cremation, but furnaces were shut down for lack of coal.
I look fearfully at that sinister porthole through which the Nazi executioners could peacefully watch the miserable people suffer after they were gassed.
On page 73:
From time to time, they would pick out, from that crowd of unfortunates (in the sick block), the elements of a convoy which were sent to some gas chamber.
I made a short stay in Block Z8, occupied by 800 Polish priests [ . . . ]. Several of the old priests, judged to be useless, were sent to the gas chamber.
Military Police Service
Circular Letter No. 31/48.
Vienna, 1 Oct. 1948.
1. The Allied Commissions of Inquiry have so far established that no people were killed by poison gas in the following concentration camps: Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenburg, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen and its satellite camps, Natzweiler, Neuengamme, Niederhagen (Wewelsburg), Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen, Stutthof, Theresienstadt.
In those cases, it has been possible to prove that confessions had been extracted by torture, and that testimonies were false. This must be taken into account when conducting investigations and interrogations with respect to war crimes. The result of this investigation should be brought to the cognizance of former concentration camp inmates who at the time of the hearings testified about the murder of people, especially Jews, with poison gas in those concentration camps. Should they insist on their statements, charges are to be brought against them for making false statements.
Thus, eventually every German concentration camp acquired a gas chamber of sorts, though their use proved difficult The Dachau gas chamber, for instance, has been preserved by the American occupation authorities as an object lesson, but its construction was hampered and its use restricted to a few experimental victims, Jews or Russian prisoners of war, who had been committed by the Munich Gestapo.
I was in Dachau for 17 months after the war, as a U.S. War Department Attorney, and can state that there was no gas chamber at Dachau.
Neither in Dachau, nor in Bergen-Belsen, nor in Buchenwald, were Jews or other inmates gassed. The gas chamber in Dachau was never completed and put "into operation."
The camp had to have a gas chamber, so, since one did not exist, it was decided to pretend that the shower bath had been one. Capt Strauss (U.S. Army) and his prisoners got to work on it Previously it had flag stones to the height of about four feet. Similar flag stones in the drying room next door were taken out and put above those in the shower bath, and a new lower ceiling was created at the top of this second row of flag stones with iron funnels in it (the inlets for the gas).
On p. 129, the author indicates that in Dachau "3,166 were gassed."
What is confusing is that this team of prisoners seems to have been given the job of building, in that location, a disinfection gas chamber in October 1944: "In October 1944, the 'Construction and Repair Commando' chosen from that of the heating plant (Kesselhaus) was given the job of installing the pipes in the gas chamber" [p. 202 in the French edition, but left out of the English edition, p. 176]. "During the winter of 1944-45, the disinfection squad, under the authority of the chief S.S. doctor, started disinfecting [in that location], by gas, the piles of vermin-ridden clothes" [English translation, pp. 8-91.
Please allow me one hypothesis and a few questions:
Gas chambers [plural] were built in Dachau but never used.
The gas chamber, about 20 feet by 20 feet, bears all the characteristics of an ordinary communal shower room with about fifty shower sprays in the roof, cement ceiling and cement floor. But there is not the usual ventilation, and the sprays squirted poison gas. One noticed that the doors, as well as the small window, were rubber-lined and that there was a conveniently situated glass-covered peephole to enable the controller to see when the gas could be turned off. From the lethal chamber a door leads to the crematorium. We inspected the elaborate controls and gas pipes leading into the chamber. Behind the crematorium there was an execution place for those who had to die by rifle fire; and there were ample signs that this place had been in frequent use.
On page 122, the caption reads:
Victims of the Dachau ras chamber lie piled to the ceiling in the crematorium.
Document L-159 is quoted on pages 127 and 129.
The gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was never put into operation. Thousands of inmates destined for annihilation were sent to other camps or to Hartheim Castle near Linz for gassing.
To the side of the four crematory ovens which never stopped working there was a room. some showers with sprinkler heads in the ceiling. In the preceding year  they had given a towel and a piece of soap to 120 children, from 8 to 14 years of age. They were quite happy when they went inside. The doors were closed. Asphyxiating gas came out of the showers. Ten minutes later, death had killed these innocents whom the crematory ovens reduced to ashes an hour later.
Before putting their prisoners to work [at Dachau], the Germans always stripped them of all their possessions, including their gold teeth. Then they worked them to death, especially the last year when rations were becoming scarce. At the end of the road they were sent to the "baths" (Baden), shabby-looking sheds linked to a reservoir by a couple of pipes. When the baths were full to the seams they opened the gas, and then, when the last groans had ceased, the bodies were taken to the ovens next door.
When news of this reached Quebec, and for some time after, people refused to believe. Heavy scepticism greeted such stories, which surpassed understanding . . . I can assure you that it was real, all right, that the gas chamber was real in its nightmarish unreality. The loaders had gone, trying to save their skins, leaving behind their last load of corpses, naked as worms in their muddy pallor.
These 28 references amount to only a sketch of a bibliography of the supposed "gas chamber" at Dachau. A researcher would have to do research in the Dachau Museum and in various research centers in the United States or Germany to study the transcripts there of the pre-trial investigation and the trials of such people as Martin Gottfried Weiss or Oswald Pohl. One could likewise compare photographs thought to represent the gas chamber or gas chambers of Dachau: three of those photographs are well known:
NOTE 1. The term IMT (International Military Tribunal) refers to the American edition of the transcripts and documents of the Trial of Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg, 1945-1946; published 1947-1949), which is not to be confused with the British edition.
In Dachau there was no mass extermination program with poison gas [ . . . ]. In 1942 a gas chamber was built in Dachau, but it was not put into use.
The sick, the weak and those inmates unfit for work were from time to time gassed in the gas chamber, in additon to political prisoners who were to be eliminated. Up to 120 inmates, naked, could be fit into the gas chamber and then Zyklon B was introduced. It often took hours for death to occur. The SS murderers watched the proceedings through a glass window in the door.
The K prisoners were taken directly to the prison where they were unclothed and taken to the "bathrooms." This bathroom in the cellars of the prison building near the crematory was specially designed for executions (shooting and gassing).
The shooting took place by means of a measuring apparatus. The prisoner being backed towards a metrical measure with an automatic contraption releasing a bullet in his neck as soon as the moving plank determining his height touched the top of his head.
If a transport consisted of too many "K" prisoners, instead of losing time for the "measuration" they were extermined by gas sent into the bathroom instead of water.
It is odd that two French officers would have given a deposition under oath in English. The authors were neither questioned or cross-examined about it The American Executive Trial Counsel, CoL Robert G. Storey, read it into the record on 2 January 1946. The official French translation is faulty (TMI, IV, p. 270).
By order of the SS-Haupsturmführer Dr. Krebsbach, a chamber camouflaged as a bath-room was built in Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The prisoners were gassed in that camouflaged bath-room [ . . . ]. Actually the gas chamber was constructed in Mauthausen by order of SS-Obergruppenführer Glucks, who advocated the viewpoint that it was more humane to gas prisoners than to shoot them.
This "deposition" is sometimes interrupted by remarks on the part of the interrogators, e.g., about the "insolent arrogance" of Ziereis. It ends with the following words: "Furthermore, Ziereis declares that, according to his estimation some 16,000,000 (??) people have been murdered in the entire territory of Warsaw, Kowno, Riga and Libau."
For the comments that Ziereis supposedly had on Hartheim Castle, see below, "Hartheim Castle."
An extra page says:
Do not use 1515-PS - This statement has been corrected and superseded. - See: 3870-PS. - [Signed:] D. Spencer.
[ . . .] political prisoners [killed] in the gas chambers [plural] at MAUTHAUSEN, [ . . . ]
A gas chamber with a capacity of 200 took care of many other victims; many women, among the Czech patriots, suspected of sabotage and refusing to give information, were gassed there.
The noise that accompanied the gassing process was familiar to me.
On 4 January 1946, at the trial, the American Associate Trial Counsel, Col. John Harlan Amen, questioned Alois Höllriegl. Amen did not ask him any questions about the gassing mechanism. The "confession" by Höllriegl about the Mauthausen gassings played the same role as the "confessions" of Rudolf Höss on the gassings at Auschwitz. In both cases, the interrogation was conducted by Amen for the purpose of incriminating Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
When they arrived in the camp, they were either shot or sent to the gas chambers.
They were shot in the back of the neck. There were also women. Some were killed in the gas chamber [ . . . ] Gissriegel/ he had led the sick to the gas chamber [ . . . ]. Altfudish [ . . . ] led the women to the room where they undressed, afterwards he brought the next 30. They had to go to the gas chamber [ . . . ]. A record [was] made of the prisoners of CC Mauthausen who were killed by shooting, gassing, cremating or by injections [ . . . ]. [These notes] are true, that 2-3,000 were killed in the gas chambers or on transports, we don't know the exact number [ . . . ]. Kaltenbrunner [on a visit] went laughing in the gas chamber. Then the people were brought from the bunker to be executed and then all the three kinds of executions: hanging, shooting in the back of the neck and gassing were demonstrated. After the dust had disappeared, we had to take away the bodies.
This testimony was read by U.S. Associate Trial Counsel Col. John Harlan Amen on 12 April 1946 in order to incriminate Kaltenbrunner (IMT, XI, p. 324).
Answer:There were Czech women gassed but we did not get the list of their names. I did not have anything to do with the books [ . . . ].
Question: Do you remember the gas chamber camouflaged as a bath house?
A. Yes, we always helped to carry the dead from the gas chamber.
Q. There were no shower baths in the chamber?
A. Yes. Cold and warm water was supposed to come out of them, but the flow of the water could be regulated from the outside of the room and mostly the water was turned off. On the outside of the room was the gas reservoir and two gas pipes led from the outside into the room. There was a slot at the back and the gas emanated from this slot.
Q. Gas never came from the showers?
A. All the showers were plugged. It was just to make the effect that the prisoners were entering a bathroom.
Q. [ . . . ]. Do you remember the last 800 people who were killed by a club or through drowning?
A. Yes, I know how people were led into the gas chamber and hot and cold water applied to them, and then they had to line up and were beaten until they died [ . . . ].
Q. Was Kaltenbrunner with [Himmler visiting Mauthausen]?
A. Kaltenbrunner is a dark fellow, I know him from the crematorium, but I cannot say whether he was with Himmler. I remember Himmler by his monocle. [NB: Himmler wore glasses.]
On 12 April 1946 Col. Amen read to Kaltenbrunner, in court, a very short statement of A. Tiefenbacher's sworn statement. In it Tiefenbacher claimed that he had seen Kaltenbrunner three or four times in Mauthausen. Kaltenbrunner replied that it was "absolutely false" (IMT, XI, p. 325). Tiefenbacher was not summoned to testify in court.
Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division [American Armored Division] Seibel; the former prisoner and physician Dr. Kopszeinski; and in the presence of another Polish citizen, name unknown, for a period of six to eight hours. The interrogation was effected in the night from 22 May to 23 May 1945. Franz Ziereis was seriously wounded - his body had been penetrated by three bullets - and knew that he would die shortly and told me the following. [ . . . ] A gassing plant was built in Concentration Camp Mauthausen by order of the former garrison doctor, Dr. Krebsbach, camouflaged as a bathroom [ . . . ]. The gassing of the prisoners was done on the urging of SS Hauptsturmführer Dr. Krebsbach [ . . . ]. The gassing plant in Mauthausen was really built by order of SS Obergruppenführer Glucks, since he was of the opinion that it was more humane to gas the prisoners than to shoot them.
Parts of this affidavit were read by U.S. Associate Trial Counsel Col. Amen on 12 April 1946 (IMT, XI, p. 330-332). Kaltenbrunner protested and insisted on having Hans Marsalek on the witness stand for a confrontation but the latter never came. This is especially odd since in 1945-46 Marsalek was the number one witness and the number one expert on Mauthausen. Today he is the official historian of the camp. He was never examined and cross-examined in court about the mechanics of gassing in Mauthausen.
As for what Ziereis, according to Hans Marsalek, is supposed to have said about Hartheim Castle, see below, "Hartheim Castle."
On May 8th, when Patton's troops entered the camp, Ziereis was identified in the camp precincts and shot in the stomach. His dying confession, having been taken down by an inmate in the presence of American officers who could not understand German, is not very reliable.
Prisoners were also killed by phenol injection at the euthanasia installation at Hartheim until a gas chamber was constructed at Mauthausen.
The gas chamber at Mauthausen was filled with carbon monoxide, which was pumped down from the gas van when required.
[Mayer] Markowitz was 26 years old on May 4, 1945, three years after he had arrived at Mauthausen, a Death camps in Austria. There was no gas chamber there, and perhaps in a way that made it worse.
The deaths of the Jews led to examining the gas chambers. We found in the basement of the main prison building a small air-tight chamber and within it several empty and full tanks of HCN, a very lethal gas.
Our prisoner-friends told us that the chamber had been used for two different purposes. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to de-louse bedding and clothing; Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to execute prisoners. The three gas chamber victims [who] we found there obviously had been killed just before the SS troops fled.
Before the gassings, an SS N.C.O. heated a brick in one of the Krema ovens and brought it into a small, divided room, located next to the gas chamber. This gas chamber contained a table, gas masks and the gas introduction unit connected with the gas chamber by means of a pipe. The hot brick was then laid on the bottom of the gas introduction unit this served to accelerate the process of "Zyklon B" crystals changing into liquid gas. With sufficient gas in the chamber, death by suffocation occurred in about 10-20 minutes.
When an SS doctor, watching through an observation "peephole" in one of the two doors of the gas chamber, ascertained the onset of death, the gas chamber was cleared of gas by ventilators sucking it out into the open air.
The whole gassing process for one group, consisting of approximately 30 persons, beginning with undressing, the so-called medical examinations murder, clearing the gas chamber of gas and removal of cadavers took about one and half to two and a half hours.
Hans Marsalek is considered the "official" historian of Mauthausen. See above, PS-1515 and PS-3970.
Although no gassings took place at Mauthausen, many Jews, as well as non-Jews, died there in a process the Nazis called "extermination through labor."
In 1988 Yehuda Bauer stated that he had made an "error" which would be corrected in the future editions of his book (Documentary Archive of the Austrian Resistance, Das Lachout "Dokument," Anatomie einer Fälschung, Vienna 1989, pp. 33-34, which quotes a letter from Yehuda Bauer dated 2 September 1988).
At the main camp, which had been established east of Linz in August 1938, the construction of a gas chamber began in the fall of 1941. The gas chamber was located in the basement of the hospital building, with the crematoria close by. It was a windowless room, camouflaged as a shower room, 3.8 meters in length and 3.5 meters wide. A ventilation unit was installed, the side walls consisted partly of tiles. There were two doors which could be closed airtight. All switches for electrical lighting, ventilation, water supply and the heating unit were located on the outside of this room. From an adjacent room, called the "gas cell," gas entered through an enamelled pipe that had a slot approximately 1 meter long cut into it on the side facing the wall, which was therefore invisible to the occupant of this room.
Remnants of this gassing unit are still discernable today.
It is not true that "Remnants of this gassing unit are still discernable today."
In the monograph on Mauthausen that I presented in La Revue d'histoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale in 1954, I spoke twice about a gas chamber. Having had time to think about that, I have said to myself: where did I get the idea that there was a gas chamber at Mauthausen? It was not during my time in the camp because neither I nor anyone else suspected that there could have been one there, so it is therefore a bit of "baggage" that I received after the war; it was generally admitted. Then I noticed that in my text, although I supported most of my statements with footnotes, there were none regarding the gas chamber . . .
The gas chamber was camouflaged as a bathroom by sham showers and waterpipes. Cyclone [sic] B gas was sucked in and exchanged through a shaft (situated in the corner on the right) from the operating room into the gas chamber. The gas-conduit was removed shortly before liberation on April 4th, 1945.
When the Fred Leuchter team inquired about the Mauthausen gas chamber on 10 April 1989, a staff member of the museum stated that the explanation given on the plaque regarding the shaft was not accurate. He explained that the gas had actually been introduced through a perforated pipe coming from a neighboring room. The pipe was no longer there and one could no longer find traces of its existence. The staff member said that the first explanation furnished about the functioning of the chamber came from the prisoners, who had said that the gas entered the chamber through shower heads; that explanation, he said, had long since been abandoned.
These 29 references amount to only a sketch of a bibliography of the supposed Mauthausen "gas chamber." A researcher would have to work in the archives of the Mauthausen Museum and in various archival sources in the United States and Germany.
NOTE 2. On page 53 of that same book, the author reproduced a drawing that he himself had done and that supposedly showed three prisoners executed by the Germans at Mauthausen. It is a fabrication. The drawing was made from a photo of three German soldiers shot as "spies" by an American firing squad and published in Life magazine, 11 June 1945, p. 50.
[ . . . ] the gas chamber [ . . . ] was disguised as a shower room [ . . . ]. [Some Czech women] were taken in groups to the gas chamber.
IV. Hartheim Castle
By order of Dr. Lohnauer and of Dr. Re[na]ult, professional criminals, non-reformable, were classed as mentally ill and sent to Hartheim near Linz, where they were exterminated by means of a special system by Hauptsturmführer Krebsbach [ . . . ]. SS Gruppenführer Glücks gave the order to designate the weak prisoners as sick and to kill them by gas in a large installation. There, around 1-1-1/2 million persons were killed. The area in question is named Hartheim and is located 10 kilometers in the direction of Passau [ . . . ]. The [insane] were taken to the provincial institution [Landesanstalt) of Hartheim near Linz. I [Franz Ziereis] found that with at least 20,000 prisoners, at the same time as the real mentally ill, it was necessary to have in the course of the year, according to my estimate (for I have seen the piles of files in the cellar) around 4 million persons gassed. The establishment in question at Hartheim used carbon monoxide. The room in question was laid out with tiles and camouflaged as a bathroom The execution of this work was not entrusted to the SS, with the exception of Dr. L[ohnauer] and Dr. Rena[u]d, but to police officers.
Some prisoners were taken from Mauthausen to Castle Hartheim to be gassed there.
On the order of Dr. Lohnauer, professional criminals, non-reformable, were sent as mentally ill to Hartheim near Linz where they were exterminated by means of a special system of SS-Hauptsturmführer Krebsbach [ . . . ]. SS- Gruppenführer Glücks gave the order to classify the weak prisoners as mentally ill and to kill them in a gassing installation that existed at Castle Hartheim near Linz. There, about 1-1-1/2 million human beings were killed [ . . . ]. The number of prisoners who were put to death at Hartheim is not known but the number of victims of Hartheim is around 1-1-1/2 million when you consider the civilians who were sent to Hartheim.
Hundreds of prisoners at Dachau, Aryan or Jewish, were gassed at Schloss Hartheim at the beginning of 1942, after having been judged only on their political past.
Patients slated for killing [ . . . ] were then transferred to one of six "euthanasia" installations (at Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein) [ . . . ] The procedure was pragmatically simple and convincingly deceptive. In groups of twenty or thirty, the patients were ushered into a chamber camouflaged as a shower room. It was an ordinary room, fitted with sealproof doors and windows, into which gas piping had been laid. The compressed gas container and the regulating equipment were located outside. Led into the chamber on the pretext that they were to take showers, the patients were gassed by the doctor on duty.
The author gives no source for the description of that procedure.
As soon as a group was in the gas chamber, the steel doors were closed, the gas allowed in, and the victims killed. Then the room was ventilated with the help of ventilators..
The author does not specify the nature of the gas used. He adds that a German named Vincenz Nohel had sworn, before being hanged by the Americans, that 30,000 persons had been killed at Castle Hartheim in the course of the "Euthanasia Action."
V. 1988: Jewish Historians Face the Problem of the Gas Chambers
Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable [ . . . ]. Most of what is known is based on the depositions of Nazi officials and executioners at postwar trials and on the memory of survivors and bystanders. This testimony must be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by subjective factors of great complexity. Diaries are rare, and so are authentic documents about the making, transmission, and implementation of the extermination policy. But additional evidence may still come to light. Private journals and official papers are likely to surface. Since Auschwitz and Majdanek, as well as the four out-and-out killing centers, were liberated by the Red Army, the Soviet archives may well yield significant clues and evidence when they are opened. In addition, excavations at the killing sites and in their immediate environs may also bring forth new information.
Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 261-322.
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