by Walter Lüftl
In March 1992, a prominent Austrian engineer made headlines when a report he had written about alleged German wartime gas chambers was made public. Walter Lüftl concluded in his controversial report, "Holocaust: Belief and Facts," that the well-known stories of mass extermination of Jews in gas chambers at the wartime camps of Auschwitz and Mauthausen are impossible for technical reasons and because they are incompatible with observable laws of nature. Lüftl further characterized the often-repeated stories of Jews being gassed with diesel engine exhaust (at Treblinka, for example) as a sheer impossibility. (See the IHR Newsletter, April 1992, p. 6.)
Lüftl, 59, is a court-recognized expert engineer and heads a large engineering firm in Vienna. On the basis of a well-established reputation as a particularly precise and exact specialist, he was chosen to serve as president of the Austrian Engineers Chamber (Bundes-Ingenieurkammer), a professional association of 4,000 members.
In spite of his reputation, he was obliged to resign as president of the engineers' association in the uproar that followed news reports about his iconoclastic report. A leading official of the governing People's Party expressed fear that Lüftl's report could harm Austria's image abroad.
A few days later, Austrian police raided Lüftl's residence, turning it inside out in a "Stasi"-like search for possibly "incriminating material" that might show that he had violated a recently enacted law that makes it a crime in Austria to deny the "National Socialist crimes against humanity."
To insure that Lüftl is not brought into any further legal jeopardy, it should be stressed that his report is published here (for the first time in English) without the author's authorization or cooperation. The text has been slightly edited, and the editor has added some clarifying words in brackets.
Lüftl's report is further authoritative confirmation of the findings of American gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter, who testified about his on-site investigation of the supposed "gas chambers" of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek in the 1988 trial of German-Canadian publicist Ernst Zuendel. (A deluxe illustrated edition of The Leuchter Report, with a foreword by Robert Faurisson, and an introduction by David Irving, is available from the IHR for $20.00, plus $ 2.00 for shipping.)
Lüftl's report also corroborates Leuchter's findings from his 1989 investigation of the supposed extermination "gas chamber" at the Mauthausen camp. (This "Second Leuchter Report" was published in the Fall 1990 IHR Journal.)
-- The Editor
The following remarks are intended neither to threaten the democratic order that has prevailed in the Republic of Austria since 1945, nor to advocate or promote the reintroduction of National Socialism. These remarks are intended solely to correct one-sided presentations of historical events, and to do so taking into consideration the laws of nature and technical limits, which are of course beyond dispute both politically and historically.
These remarks are not intended to "quibble over the number of victims" or to "defame the victims." Rather, they are intended to serve as a scientific clarification of the number of possible victims on basis of technical and organizational considerations. These remarks are also intended to encourage further investigation into the actual events and the search for truth.
Because "Holocaust literature" tends to be so one-sided, it is unfortunately not possible to provide a "balanced presentation" here. A critical examination of the limited area of the overall topic under discussion has shown that the accounts of "eyewitnesses" in particular have been immensely exaggerated and unbelievable; so much so that a balancing of the discussion appeared indispensable. The impossible does not become any "truer" when it is claimed by many people. In cases of contradiction between witness testimony and objective proof, the latter takes precedence in every modern constitutional state. In the case of the "Holocaust," though, this has obviously been otherwise.
The author would like to anticipate the proposed introduction of Section 283a of the Criminal Code [of Austria], according to which "the offense . . . [has been] committed whenever a person denies the fact that millions of human beings, especially Jews, were systematically exterminated in a genocidal way in the concentration camps of the National Socialist regime." Such a legal provision could have the effect of rendering the following remarks punishable, in spite of the fact that they are based on scientific considerations treated in a manner subject to experimental duplication.
In the view of those who believe -- or cause others to believe -- in the [Holocaust], mass gassings, especially of Jews, were carried out in the concentration camps of the Third Reich. Above all in Auschwitz (hence the term "Auschwitz Myth"), four million Jews were gassed. [The Nuremberg Tribunal "established" that four million people (Jews and non-Jews) had been killed (by all means) at Auschwitz.] Currently, though, unimpeachable sources are seeking to reduce this [sic] figure to 1.5 million. On mathematical grounds alone, the "symbolic figure of Six Million" should be reduced by 3.5 million. Of course, such a reduction does not lessen the [gravity of the] crime in any way, because even one victim is one too many.
All the same, the question remains whether mass gassings took place at all, or could possibly have taken place.
Insofar as possible, the author has carefully examined many reports of "eyewitnesses," as well as "confessions" of SS men. If one examines the "eyewitness" testimony, doubts still persist, even if one believes everything that appears in the Holocaust literature. These doubts become even greater when one studies the "confessions" of those who were later found guilty [of crimes].
The author does not "deny" anything. (In proper legal terminology, this should really mean, "to dispute.") He does not wish to minimize or glorify anything. To use a currently fashionable phrase, he wishes only to "inquire into" [the truth of] the "Auschwitz myth."
The author wishes to focus on the critical core of the "Auschwitz myth": the technical possibilities of industrial mass killing with Zyklon B.
If Zyklon B is unsuitable for use in "deliberate genocidal extermination," then the entire Auschwitz extermination story ["Auschwitz-Mythos"] falls apart. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Because the Auschwitz extermination story ["AuschwitzMythos"] has so far not been subjected to scientific analysis, the discussion has been dominated by belief. Even intelligent, well-educated people believe in the "atrocities confirmed by many eyewitnesses." In doing so, they forget that in any modern constitutional state, forensic evidence and documentary proof carry more weight than witness testimony.
Witnesses may err; their memories may deceive; witnesses may exaggerate their own importance and repeat hearsay. Witnesses have also been known to lie. Even the "confessions" of allegedly guilty individuals (which may be extorted through torture or obtained through promises of lesser punishment) are worthless without the support of objective proof. Anyone who doubts this should check Solzhenitsyn. . . [In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn cites the case of the Bavarian Jupp Aschenbrenner, who "confessed" to serving in a German wartime murder commando. Only later, in a camp in 1954, was he able to prove that at the time of the alleged crimes, he was in Munich learning to be a welder.]
All the arguments against the Holocaust [story] will be meaningless if people are not willing to accept the truth. In the words of Schopenhauer:
Nothing is more galling
Than to fight with facts and arguments
Against an adversary
In the belief
That one is dealing with his understanding,
When in reality
One is dealing with the will,
Which obdurately closes its mind to the truth.
One must understand that reason
Applied against the will
Is like seed sown on bare rock
Like light arrows against armor,
Like the stormwind against a beam of light.
Nothing can be done for those who do not want to face the truth. But perhaps, after reading the following, some will be ready to want to comprehend.
According to the Holocaust literature, the victims were "packed" into the gas chambers and then poisoned with hydrogen cyanide (Prussian Blue) vapors from Zyklon B. The bodies were burned in crematory ovens, and the ashes were strewn on hillsides or in water.
Because certain organizational problems arise even in mass extermination -- for example, varying killing capacities of the gas chambers or varying crematory capacities in disposing of the bodies -- it should be obvious even at this point that events cannot have transpired as described in the Holocaust literature. We shall nevertheless limit our discussion to the essentials.
What is Zyklon B? Zyklon B is a pest control agent, the active ingredient of which is Prussian Blue (hydrocyanic acid, HCN).
Hydrocyanic acid is a highly toxic, highly flammable liquid that vaporizes at 25.7 degrees Celsius. The vapors released upon evaporation are lighter than air (density: 0.95). The ignition point of hydrocyanic acid is 535 degrees Celsius, but the acid can be ignited at temperatures as low as -17.8 degrees Celsius. The explosion point in air at 20 degrees Celsius ranges from 5.4 to 46.6 percent by volume percent, or between 60 and 520 grams per cubic meter (m3).
Among other uses, gaseous hydrogen cyanide is used as a fumigant gas.
What is the effect of hydrogen cyanide gas on human beings?
For safe handling, hydrocyanic acid is absorbed in diatomite (following the admixture of an irritant for safety purposes), and is stored and transported in airtight metal cans. The product is generally used within three months. Because the Zyklon B manufacturing facilities were totally destroyed in bombing attacks in early 1944, gassings with Zyklon B could not have taken place after the summer of 1944.
The trade weight of the cans was 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 1500 grams HCN content. The total weight of a can corresponds to approximately three times the HCN content.
Hydrocyanic acid vapors are not released immediately after the cans are opened. The evaporation of Zyklon B requires as many as 32 hours or as few as six hours, depending on whether the ambient temperature ranges from five to 30 degrees Celsius. The evaporation rate is not exactly proportional to time.
The victims were led to gas chambers, which were disguised as shower baths, and were deceived by being handed soap and a towel. But what for? Who takes a shower holding a towel in his hands? But let's not detain ourselves with such trivia.
It is said, for example, that a hundred victims were packed into a chamber of 20 square meters, that is, five persons per square meter. (Witnesses sometimes even speak of as many as 25 victims per square meter.) At five persons per square meter, the victims wouldn't even be able even to soap themselves, due to lack of space. So what would they need the soap for? Soap was a commodity in short supply, but was permitted to fall on the floor unused, and become unusable. But let's move along.
The doors of the 2.5 meter-high chamber were hermetically sealed. An SS man wearing a gas mask threw Zyklon B, a mixture of hydrocyanic acid and irritant (added as a warning substance, since some people cannot smell hydrocyanic acid, the odor of which peculiarly resembles that of bitter almonds) absorbed in a carrier substance, from a can containing 200 grams of HCN in each case, from above. (This is the usual procedure described in the Holocaust literature. According to some sources, it was done differently only at Mauthausen.) The mixture fell to the floor, and the hydrocyanic acid began to escape. The gassing procedure normally lasted 15 to 20 minutes. (According to some sources, it lasted from five to as long as 30 minutes.)
Assuming that the floor temperature was 25 degrees Celsius (which is quite warm, since the gas chambers were mostly cold, damp cellars), let us also conservatively assume a gassing time of one half hour. After one half hour, there would have been at most 16 grams of HCN in the air of the chamber. The volume of air would be 44 cubic meters. (That is, 50 cubic meters, minus the volume of the victims, estimated at six cubic meters, assuming an estimated average body weight of 60 kilograms per person, which would mean a volume of 6 cubic meters for the victims.) The hydrocyanic acid content in the air of the chamber would thus have been 363.6 mg/m3. (That is, 16,000 mg/44 m3 = 363.6 mg/m3.) That certainly would have been enough to kill them. (That is, 270 ml/m3 x 1.23 = approximately 330 mg/m3.)
The one hundred victims would now therefore be dead, if we assume that the hydrocyanic acid did not condense on the cold ambient surfaces inside the room -- perhaps the room was pre-heated to a comfortable temperature.
At this point, the "chief of the gassing operation" looked through a peephole in the door to see whether any of the victims showed signs of life. But just how he could have done that at Mauthausen, looking through a peephole 1.20 meters above the ground in a door that is only 1.68 m high, is a matter that merits further study.
How could he see anything when the victims were "packed together," and therefore could not fall down even in the remotest corners of the room? Nevertheless, after a brief look, the SS executioners turned on the ventilators to air out the gas chamber. And here we hit the first snag. The ventilators must, of course, have been exhausters. For them to work (that is, to exchange the air in the chamber), the gas chambers would have to have been equipped with air intake channels and chimneys equipped with blowers. Nothing of the sort has ever been found in any [alleged homicidal] gas chamber!
Are the Nazis supposed to have caused all of this equipment to disappear without a trace in the confusion of defeat? Apart from that, some concentration camps were liberated intact by the Allies.
The ventilation lasted 30 minutes, and, finally, the door was opened (!) to determine whether the room was gas-free. "The gassing chiefs, wearing gas masks" carefully held up a strip of [chemically sensitized] paper inside [the chamber]. When the room was free of gas, the doors were opened and the blue [skin-colored] corpses were taken by prisoner members of the crematory work team to the morgue, or straight to the crematory. (However, any textbook on toxicology will confirm that the skin color of victims of hydrocyanic acid poisoning is red.) Then the gas chambers -- heavily soiled with blood, excrement, and vomit -- were cleaned.
What is the evidence against such a procedure? Zyklon B!
Holocaust writers have overlooked the fact that, during the ventilation process, Zyklon B would still have retained 92 percent of its hydrocyanic acid content, and would thus continue merrily on its way, releasing hydrocyanic acid gas. At 25 degrees Celsius, it would continue to do so for fully 15 1/2 hours, and even longer yet at lower temperatures.
Of course, one could have sent work team members into the gas chamber wearing gas masks and protective clothing to remove the Zyklon B [carrier material], which would at that point still be only partially gas-free. But just how they could remove this [carrier material] from the midst of the tightly packed piles of corpses covered with excrement, vomit and blood, defies explanation.
The bodies could have been removed, and the gas chamber then cleaned, only by men wearing gas masks and protective clothing. But this would mean a huge pile of excrement, vomit, and similar material, thoroughly contaminated with 184 grams of hydrocyanic acid (which would still continue to evaporate, although slowly). But the remaining 184 grams of hydrocyanic acid would still be enough to kill approximately 3,000 persons (at 0.001 gram per kilogram, assuming an average body weight of 60 kg per person).
This is the flaw in the Holocaust literature!
How did they get rid of the remaining Zyklon B from the midst of the one hundred corpses, without lengthy ventilation periods, and without causing mass deaths outside the gas chamber?
The procedure described above might have worked at Mauthausen, if people were really gassed at intervals of weeks or months. If we are to believe Hans Marsalek, the Mauthausen "historian," an interval of 17 months elapsed between the fourth and fifth gassings at Mauthausen (April 17, 1943, and September 25, 1944). But at Auschwitz, people are said to have been gassed [continuously] on an industrial basis.
In fact, Zyklon B is utterly unsuited for purposes of systematic mass murder. It can be used to fumigate, and it could be used to gas a group of persons occasionally. But for time considerations alone, quasi-industrial killing would simply be impossible.
Although the Prussic (hydrocyanic) acid contained in Zyklon B can, of course, kill quickly and certainly, the handling requirements for Zyklon B and the circumstances involved rule out any significant use for the mass killing of people. This eliminates Zyklon B as a direct instrument of the Holocaust. The "eyewitness accounts" in this regard are false. The witnesses could never have seen an actual gassing. The events described never took place.
There remains the possibility of Zyklon B being used as a carrier material for hydrocyanic acid in gas generators.
The description of the [gassing] procedure given during a trial before the German district court [Landesgericht] at Hagen suggests the existence of a gas generator of almost ingenious simplicity of design. (The evidence for gassing in the Mauthausen camp was provided by the document archives of the Austrian Resistance Center [DOeW].)
In this case, Zyklon B was not thrown in from above. (Even though this is what a commemorative plaque tells us, Marsalek reports differently.) Why this brilliant procedure was never used in other concentration camps remains a mystery. At Mauthausen, the gas generator consisted of a sheet metal box with a lid, in which a hot brick (that had been heated in the open fire of the crematorium) was laid. This means that the SS could have gassed people only when bodies were already being burned. Zyklon B was then strewn onto this hot brick. But because of the temperature, this would mean an explosively rapid vaporization of the gas, resulting in an explosion of the HCN itself.
This version of gas generation may clearly be relegated to the realm of fairy tales. But it was believed by the Hagen district court, just like the fairy tale of blue (actually, red) victims of hydrogen cyanide poisoning. [The red coloring is confirmed, for example, in: Allgemeine und spezielle Pharmakologie und Toxikologie (Dr. W. Forth, et al., eds.), Mannheim, 4th ed., p. 645.]
Nothing is known of any other gas generators.
An absolutely unbiased study of the problem must conclude that, by and large, the views of the so-called "Revisionists" -- the so-called "deniers" -- are far more in line with the laws of nature, logic, and technical realities than the accounts in the Holocaust literature (in which, moreover, scientifically verifiable data is generally lacking). When, as an exception, verifiable data is given in the Holocaust literature, a critical examination of such data leads to absurd results (25 persons per square meter, and so forth).
The decisive error in the Holocaust literature is the belief that the hydrocyanic acid contained in Zyklon B could be fully released in the alleged time span of 15-30 minutes required for the gassing, and that the carrier material would simultaneously and completely vaporize like a moth ball. The [fact of the] residue of Zyklon B makes the Auschwitz extermination story ["Auschwitz-Mythos"] obsolete.
Preliminary note: The "Gerstein Report" discussed here is the "confession" of an "informed" SS man, and is a cornerstone of the Holocaust literature. [For a detailed analysis, see The 'Confessions' of Kurt Gerstein, by Henri Roques. Available from the IHR.] It should therefore be critically examined for its technical correctness with regard to the reported mass gassing.
Note: The quotations [from the "Gerstein Report" given] here are from the book Der Nationalsozialismus: Dokumente, 1933-1945 (W. Hofer, ed.), Fischer, 1957, pp. 307-311.
First of all, this writer has made a remarkable observation: the terms "Zyklon B" and "mass gassings with hydrocyanic acid" appear nowhere in the entire chapter [about persecution and extermination of Jews]. Didn't Hofer think that they were worth mentioning in 1957?
According to the book Judenfeindschaft: Darstellung und Analysen ["Hostility to Jews: Description and Analysis"], (K. Thieme, ed.), Fischer, 1963 (p. 277), Gerstein was assigned ". . . to pick up 100 kilograms of hydrocyanic acid. Gerstein carried out the order, and became an eyewitness to the extermination of Jews in the concentration camp at Belzec . . ." Apparently he must have left the hydrocyanic acid in his luggage once he got there, because [according to Gerstein] he witnessed a gassing [there] with carbon monoxide.
Was the Zyklon B story invented between 1957 and 1963? This is a possible subject of research for contemporary historians! But back to the "eyewitness."
. . . The rooms are five by five meters, and 1.90 meters high . . . The SS forced 700-900 people into 25 square meters, 45 cubic meters. [Actually: 47.5 cubic meters.] The doors close . . . The people are to be put to death with diesel exhaust gas. But the diesel doesn't work! . . . Yes, I see everything! And I wait. My stop watch has recorded everything perfectly. Fifty minutes, 70 minutes, the diesel still won't start! The people wait in their gas chambers. In vain. We hear them cry, sob . . . After two hours and 49 minutes -- the stop watch has registered everything -- the diesel starts . . . Another 25 minutes go by . . . After 28 minutes, only a few of them are still alive. Finally after 32 minutes, all are dead . . .
"Eyewitness" Gerstein never saw a gassing. He produced an absurd confession, perhaps to alert others that this atrocity story was extorted out of him. This writer wonders why the people who have used this confession never examined it in its physical and physiological aspects. They overlooked that any confession requires technical examination. A confession can become a liability if used without examination. The Gerstein Report is a particularly important indication of the incorrectness of the Holocaust literature. Nothing reveals the absurdity of this "eyewitness report" more than an examination of the verifiable facts described.
There were [according to Gerstein] 700-800 persons -- that is, an average of 750 persons -- in the chamber, weighing an average of 60 kilograms, and with a density of approximately one [sic], a volume of 45 cubic meters (m3).
How the people could be "packed" into a room measuring 47.5 cubic meters is a mystery. Such an attempt would be absurd and unthinkable. At the most, ten persons can fit into one square meter. (Using rather slender persons, experimentation has usually yielded a result of eight persons.)
Two hundred and fifty persons displace 15 cubic meters, which means an air volume of 32.5 cubic meters (47.5 - 15 = 32.5). The breathing time volume (BTV) of those people will amount, on the average, to 7.5 liters per minute. Therefore, 250 people will require 250 x 60 x 7.5 / 1000 = 112.5 cubic meters of air to breathe in one hour. In 32.5 cubic meters of room space, this air, therefore, will pass through the lungs of the people shut up in that room 3.45 times in one hour. It will therefore take 17 minutes and 20 seconds for the air to pass through their lungs once.
Dry air contains approximately 21 percent oxygen and only traces of carbon dioxide. Exhaled air contains approximately 15 percent oxygen and 4.4 percent carbon dioxide, as well as six percent water vapor. After 34 minutes and 40 seconds, the air will have passed through their lungs a second time, and will now contain approximately ten percent oxygen, but already eight percent carbon dioxide. After a (hypothetical) third passage through the lungs, the air in the chamber would contain approximately five percent oxygen, but at least eleven percent carbon dioxide, after only 52 minutes.
But unconsciousness and anoxia would have appeared after 30 to 45 minutes. And five minutes of anoxia means brain death.
Therefore, the people in the "gas chamber" could not, first of all, have waited two hours and 49 minutes for the diesel engine to start. Nor could they have cried and sobbed after 50 minutes of hopeless waiting. They would certainly have been dead by that time. And how could 700-800 people -- assuming they could be packed or forced into the chamber at all -- have breathed at all if they were "packed together"? They would have been unconscious soon after the doors closed, and in another five minutes they would have been dead.
The Gerstein Report is no report, but a whopping lie. This "eyewitness" (or rather, those who told him what to write, or who made it up themselves) was lying! As shown by the calculations given above, this "eyewitness" is quite obviously lying.
In addition to the "Gerstein Report," there are a number of reports that describe the "genocidal extermination of millions of people, particularly Jews" in gas chambers in the concentration camps of the National Socialist regime, as well as reports of so-called "gas vans." In addition to Prussic acid [HCN] gas, which came from the pest control agent Zyklon B, carbon monoxide from diesel exhaust gas was [reportedly] also used.
It is true that carbon monoxide is a dangerous poison. The many unemployed people in Vienna who, during the 1930s, used illumination [coal] gas (which contained carbon monoxide) to commit suicide were very well aware of that. [On the toxicity of carbon monoxide, see, for example: Allgemeine und spezielle Pharmakologie und Toxikologie (Dr. W. Forth, et al., eds.), Mannheim, 4th ed., pp. 643-645.]
The toxicity of carbon monoxide is undisputed. As always, though, the question remains: How could this dangerous poison have been applied to the victims in a quasi-industrial manner?
First, permit me to digress: According to the Holocaust literature, submarine motors and tank diesel engines are supposed to have been used. These details are intended to enhance the credibility of the claims. It is nevertheless worth noting that submarine motors, or any other kind of ship's diesel engines, were not readily available, and that German tanks -- incomprehensibly, due to the greater fuel consumption and considerably greater danger of fire in the event of a direct hit -- were exclusively equipped with spark-ignition (gasoline) engines. The only diesel motors available would have been those from captured tanks after the beginning of the Russian campaign. However, their use would hardly have been advisable due to the difficulty of obtaining spare parts. But that is beside the point, only a noteworthy detail.
What the Holocaust writers have obviously overlooked is the fact that diesel motors are particularly unsuited for the efficient production of carbon monoxide (CO). The SS would have gone over to spark-ignition [gasoline] engines immediately after the first alleged attempts to kill the victims with diesel exhaust gases. Spark-ignition engines can certainly produce eight-percent carbon monoxide by volume with poor idle adjustment, but diesels are practically CO free.
. . . Spark-ignition [gasoline] engines deliver up to 120 times as much carbon monoxide (CO) [as diesel en-gines], and diesel exhaust gases cannot produce enough CO.
And something else is interesting here:. . . If the reader compares these figures [Fuehrer]with those of diesel exhaust gases, he will quickly notice that this [diesel exhaust] is less toxic. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is also poisonous gas, is less, the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) is negligible, and the amounts of oxygen and nitrogen are nearly the same. Just what does this mean in plain language?
It means that nobody can be gassed with diesel exhaust. Instead, victims would more readily suffocate from using up the oxygen in the "gas tight" chambers. In fact, if diesel exhaust gas is introduced into the chamber, the people inside would actually receive more oxygen than they would from breathing the air in the closed chamber after it passed twice through their lungs!
This [twice-breathed] air would have only ten percent oxygen left in it, but would already contain eight percent carbon dioxide. The oxygen content would continue to drop as the people [in the chamber] continue breathing, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) content would continue to rise. Anoxia (oxygen deprivation) would occur very quickly, and five minutes after that, the end will come quickly through brain death.
The victims -- who would otherwise die quickly -- would easily live longer as a result of "gassing" with diesel exhaust, because of its high oxygen content. This means that the diesel engine is not suited for quick killing, assuming this could be done at all. On the other hand, if the victims were gassed with exhaust from spark-ignition engines, death would come much more quickly as a result of oxygen deprivation and the high carbon dioxide (CO2) content than death by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Any executioner would have chosen spark-ignition [gasoline] engines to suffocate victims in the gas chamber: the first time he tried a diesel motor, it would quickly become obvious that he had chosen the wrong method of execution.
Furthermore, a diesel motor with a five liter displacement running at 1000 revolutions per minute would create an overpressure of one (1) atmosphere after ten minutes in a 50-cubic meter (m3) large air-tight chamber, and two (2) atmospheres after 20 minutes. That's more than the air pressure inside an automobile tire. This means that after ten minutes, there would be twelve tons of pressure against the "gas chamber door," and 24 tons after 20 minutes. (The measurements of the door at Mauthausen are 72 x 166 cm.) How long would it take to blow open the door?
This proves that the testimonies about mass killings with diesel exhaust gas (such as given in the Gerstein Report) are objectively untrue. They do not stand up to scientific examination.
In the Holocaust literature one can often read reports of eyewitnesses who saw dense smoke coming from the chimneys of the crematories in German concentration camps. Inmates also often saw flames "many meters long" shooting out of the chimneys. People with especially good eyesight even saw such phenomena from as far away as 20 kilometers from Auschwitz.
Mauthausen "historian" and state official [Hofrat] Hans Marsalek writes (in the book Das war Mauthausen, p. 14, point 18, "Bunker"):
. . . Below the bunker was the first crematorium. Its fire burned day and night, and the glare of the flame shooting out of the chimney could be seen far away in the Danube valley . . .
All these "eyewitnesses" (who are now commonly referred to as "contemporary witnesses") are telling conscious untruths when they report such things, unless they are the victims of an optical illusion. Only they themselves know if they are lying.
The origin of such tales is obvious, even if those who speak loosely without any technical knowledge achieve exactly the opposite effect by it: they are thinking of an open fire, which burns higher as more wood is put on it. This is supposed to make the story of mass cremations -- of more and more people -- appear more credible. These people confuse a midsummer bonfire with a crematory oven.
First, we will make two demands upon the reader's knowledge of geometry and sense of logic:
1. Geometry: From a distance of 20 kilometers, even over the Neusiedlersee [Neusiedl Lake] (which is quite flat), the influence of the curvature of the earth is enough to cut off any possible visual contact between the eye of the observer and any high chimney or high flame, even from a high vantage point (such as the roof of a railroad car, since the "eyewitnesses" were railroad workers). In the vicinity of Auschwitz, furthermore, there were gently rolling hills, which were nevertheless sufficient to shield the installations from view.
2. Logic: Why did the Germans lay a smoke screen over the "Hermann Goering Works" in Linz, and order strict blackouts if, at the same time, (according to Marsalek) ". . . the glare of the flame shooting out of the chimney could be seen far away in the Danube valley . . ."? This would have been a beacon for US bombers. (I can just hear the co-pilot reporting to the pilot: "John. I see the lights of Mauthausen straight ahead! Now five degrees [to the] west for Hermann!"). Nobody can believe this.
Turning now to technology, because objective proof is always far more conclusive than witness testimony.
In the book Bauentwurfslehre ["Textbook on Construction Design"] by Ernst Neufert (Ullstein Fachverlag, 1962), p. 423, one can read:
Cremation takes place in special ovens which are cokefired, electrically-fired (cremation of a body requires about 45 Kw of energy), or gas-fired . . . [and is] entirely free of smoke [Staub] or odor.
(This puts an end to the fairy tales of noticeable odor of the cremated corpses!)
[The cremation] takes place in dry air heated to 900-1,000 degrees [Celsius], that is without the flame coming into contact with the dead [body]. The oven is heated beforehand for two to three hours, and the cremation process itself requires between an hour and a quarter and an hour and a half.
(See also the Meyer and Brockhaus standard reference works.)
Thus, technology also establishes that the crematory capacity could never have kept pace with the number of bodies in the "genocidal mass gassings of millions of people," and that therefore the bodies could not have been disposed of in sufficient quantity by burning.
That no "flame many meters high" could shoot out of the chimney should be clear to anyone who has ever watched the burning of wood in an open fireplace, or who watched the grilling of pieces of meat (a preliminary stage of cremation) on a charcoal fire.
Contrary to popular belief, corpses are not combustible materials. Cremation of bodies requires large quantities of fuel. (With a wooden coffin of 40 kilograms, and assuming 50 percent total efficiency of combustion, 45 kilowatts [of electrical energy] corresponds to about 15 kilograms of coke, or eight cubic meters of natural gas.)
The cremation of four million people using coke would alone require at least 50 kilograms [per body], which would mean about 200,000 tons of coke!
It is also senseless (and technically impossible) to speak of cremating several corpses at the same time in the same oven (witnesses have claimed as many as ten bodies at a time!), because this would exceed the capacity of the oven.
And what about the flames? Coke is a short-flamed fuel. The flame could not even exceed the confines of the burning chamber. In addition, there is a short exhaust channel, the flue, between the oven and the chimney. The chimney only comes after that. So, using [such] short-flamed solid fuels, there wouldn't be any "flame." At most, there would be exhaust fumes at a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, the chimney would soon be ruined. Therefore, after traversing eight or ten meters of chimney, no flame could be visible outside. (The chimney length is determined by the required draw, not the length of the flame.) Not even a reflection would be visible because it would be lost in the flue. I always wonder why the judges who believed such testimony never at least asked a chimney sweep about this, even if they didn't consult an expert. Only "contemporary historians" and a series of courts have ever accepted these tales of "contemporary witnesses" about "flames many meters high" shooting out of the crematoria chimneys.
On this subject as well, it might be noted that the objections of "Revisionists" are far more in harmony with the laws of nature and technology than the tales of the olocaust writers.
Before dealing with the question of whether a [homicidal] gas chamber existed at Mauthausen at all, a few facts -- based on unimpeachable sources -- should first be noted. The following sources have been used:
The following statements are taken from the above sources:
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen, p. 15:
On August 17, 1942, 56 Soviet citizens and five Poles were gassed.
According to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen, p. 227:
On August 17, 1942, 56 Soviet citizens and five Poles were shot.
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen, p. 15:
On November 19, 1943, 38 Soviet citizens were gassed.
According to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen, p. 227:
On November 19, 1943, 38 Soviet citizens were shot.
If those aren't contradictions, what are?
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen (1988), p. 15:
1. Gassing on May 9, 1942: 231 Soviet prisoners of war.
But according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte (1974/1980), it was only 208.
2. Gassing on October 24, 1942: 261 Czechs.
But according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte (1974/1980), it was only 128.
3. Gassing on January 26, 1943: 31 Czechs.
But according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte (1974/1980), it was only 15.
4. Gassing on April 17, 1943: 59 Soviet citizens and five Poles.
5. Gassing on September 25, 1944: 138 Soviet citizens and one Pole.
But according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte (1974/1980), it was only 110 Soviet citizens.
And so forth.
To sum up here:
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen (1988), the sum total, up to September 9, 1944, is 726 persons.
But, according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen (1974 and 1980), the sum total, up to September 9, 1944, is 526 persons.
It is worth noting here that more than 17 months elapsed between the fourth and fifth gassings.
We are further given to understand -- from H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen -- that yklon B was already delivered on September 22, 1942, and was again delivered on July 7, 1942, on April 28, 1943, July 1, 1943, and November 5, 1943, in the amount of 240 kg of cyanide content for each delivery.
Zyklon B was therefore already being delivered long before the [homicidal] "gas chamber" was [supposedly] put into operation, and was thereafter delivered in quantities exceeding the requirements for executions in a "gas chamber" by many thousands of percent. This may be proven by the following calculations:
The fatal dose would amount to 180-270 ml/m3, or 220-330 mg/m3. (Source: Supplement [Beilage] ./D, Merkblatt M 002 der Berufgenossenschaft der chemischen Industrie, p. 9.)
The volume of the "gas chamber" was approximately 35 cubic meters (3.70 x 3.90 x 2.46). Subtracting a volume of approximately two cubic meters for the people to be gassed, the chamber therefore contains a volume of 33 cubic meters of air. Assuming a certain fatal dose of one gram per cubic meter (or about 3 to 4.5 times as much as would really be required to kill), per gassing 33 grams are required, or 1.1 grams of hydrocyanic acid per person. Assuming five grams per person -- conservatively assuming a 22 percent degree of efficiency of the cyanide content in Zyklon B for purposes of yielding cyanide gas -- the 2,481 persons (according to H. Marsalek, Giftgas) could have been killed 10 to 20 times over with 12 kilograms. So why did they deliver more than one ton between September 22, 1941, and November 11, 1943, even though only 526 persons could have been gassed up to September 25, 1944, according to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen? Or was the Zyklon B used only for delousing and pest control? The actual requirement for the certain killing of 526 persons is about one half kilogram.
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen, p. 233:
On August 19, 1944, 457 (or 456) Jewish prisoners were sent to Auschwitz. On August 28, 1944, 419 arrived [at the camp].
And according to M. Gilbert, Auschwitz und die Allierten, p. 362 [or, Auschwitz and the Allies, p. 308]:
A train with 417 [or 429] persons arrived at Auschwitz from Mauthausen on August 22, 1944. Of this number, 93 were transferred to the work camp, and 326 were gassed.
A close look at the above reveals something remarkable. The question arises: Why did the Nazis, who possessed a properly functioning gas chamber at Mauthausen (but one which, at this point in time, apparently had not been used for 17 months), first transport the 326 Jews for three (or nine) days to Auschwitz, and then immediately gas them? Why didn't they gas them right away in Mauthausen?
According to H. Marsalek, Giftgas in Mauthausen, p. 15: The gassing operations in Mauthausen first really began in earnest on March 23 (or 27), 1945. Up until April 28, 1945, there were nine gassings, and up to the period between May 9, 1942, and February 19, 1945, also only nine.
According to H. Marsalek, Die Geschichte der Konzentrationslager Mauthausen, gassings took place on just 18 days, with 1,980 victims. But according to H. Marsalek (the same author), in Giftgas in Mauthausen, there were 2,481 victims!
In H. Marsalek, Mauthausen: Fuehrer durch die Gedenkstatte, p. 12, a document is cited. This is a communication from the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA), dated Nov. 10, 1943, to the commandants of the concentration camps. Among other things, it reads:
The bordello and the crematories are not to be shown during camp visits. These installations are not to be mentioned to persons visiting the camp . . .
Apparently, then, everything else could be shown and mentioned to visitors. Logically, then, a gas chamber, if one existed, could be shown and talked about; otherwise, it would have been included in the prohibition.
Since we cannot assume that the SS ever showed a [homicidal] gas chamber to the inspectors of the International Red Cross, it is permissible to conclude that none existed.
Why was Zyklon B delivered for a year prior to the [alleged homicidal] gassings? Obviously, for pest control and delousing! Delousing chambers are in Mauthausen even today, but there is no structure capable of being used as a [homicidal] gas chamber.
Why was nobody gassed for 17 months even though there [supposedly] was a working gas chamber? Why did they send hundreds of people during this period to Auschwitz for gassing? Obviously, in fact, because nobody was ever gassed in Mauthausen as part of any "systematic genocide."
Why would a gas chamber be built if, during a period of more than three and a half years, it was used on only 18 days, and if the adjacent installation -- where people were shot in the back of the neck (according to H. Marsalek in Giftgas in Mauthausen) -- worked three times as efficiently?
The answer is that the room shown today as a gas chamber was never used for that purpose, and -- for technical and physical reasons -- never could have been used for that purpose. It was very probably the shower room for the crematory personnel, although its use as a morgue cannot be excluded.
Anyone familiar with the danger involved in handling hydrocyanic acid gas (which is explosive and extremely toxic) must wonder why the SS executioners didn't use carbon dioxide gas -- which is easy to handle and completely harmless to the executioner -- to kill the prisoners who were allegedly poisoned with Zyklon.
Any textbook on physiology confirms that in the event of anoxia (oxygen deprivation), disturbances of brain functioning appear after five seconds, followed by unconsciousness after 15 seconds, and brain death after five minutes. This is how animals are put to sleep, painlessly and surely. It also works with people.
But according to Marsalek (in Giftgas in Mauthausen, p. 10), instead of blowing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the "gas chamber," the Nazis sprinkled Zyklon B onto a brick heated on a shovel in the crematory oven to generate cyanide gas!
The allegation is also found in olocaust literature that gas chamber victims were suffocated using carbon monoxide (CO).
In Hans Marsalek's work, Vergasungsaktionen im Konzentrationslager Mauthausen: Die Gaskammer im Schloss Hartheim ["Gassings Actions in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp: The Gas Chamber in the Hartheim Castle"], pp. 21 ff., we read:
. . . People were apparently first gassed in Hartheim with carbon monoxide gas on June 6, 1940 . . . New supplies of steel flasks with poison gas . . . were provided . . . Poison gas streamed through this pipe, which was always blown in from a steel flask located in the next room . . .
This allegation can also be found in the indictment of the Prosecuting Attorney of Linz, dated July 20, 1947 (3 St 466/46).
In Simon Wiesenthal's book, Doch die Moerder Leben (Droemer Knaur), 1967 [US edition: The Murderers Among Us], p. 385, on the photo of the site diagram of Hartheim Castle, the gas flask storage area [Gasflaschenlager] is marked, right next to the "gassing area" [Vergasungsraum].
(Interestingly, Wiesenthal refers in this book to eleven million people supposedly gassed [sic] by the Nazis. As part of the downward trend, this figure has been reduced to six million. The figure continues to fall, and because of the recent subtraction of three recent million from the Auschwitz figure, the grand total must now be three million.)
That this diagram is actually a forgery fits, of course, with the general pattern. ([Specifically:] Captions and, there-fore, room designations, were not made with a typewriter. Instead, the diagram designations were made with standard script or with block letters. And a "gas chamber" with a window is technical nonsense. The handwritten word "crematory" has been added to the words "oven room," apparently to criminalize the heating system. Given the lack of space, the question of precisely how the bodies were [supposedly] brought into the ovens is a matter worthy of some consideration. And the word "Sektierkammer" [dissection chamber] was obviously added by someone who is not entirely familiar with the German language.)
Gassing by means of carbon monoxide from flasks is technical nonsense. Carbon monoxide (CO) could only have been filled and stored in high pressure steel flasks, which would have been extremely expensive to fill, and even more expensive to transport. Anyone engaged in quasi-industrial mass killing could generate carbon monoxide in large quantities by simply using a spark-ignition (gasoline) engine, with a suitably "bad" (but for this purposes quite logical) carburetor adjustment. With just one liter of gasoline, and set at idle, such an engine can deliver many cubic meters of [deadly] exhaust in a very short time. This exhaust would not have any oxygen content, but would have eight, ten, 15 or even 20 percent carbon monoxide content. It would also be produced cheaply and on the spot, and at a fraction of the cost of the fuel required for the transport of any "gas flasks."
Once again, it must be stated that the Nazis may have been criminals, but they certainly were not stupid enough to use approximately one hundred liters of gasoline to produce a quantity of carbon monoxide that they could easily have manufactured on the spot using a couple of liters of gasoline.
In addition, carbon monoxide was produced in chemical plants and was a basic element for [the production of] synthetic gasoline. If for no other reason, the story of "carbon monoxide in flasks" for mass killing appears improbable because of the energy required to compress it, transport it in filled high pressure flasks, and then release it later at atmospheric pressure during use.
Thus, the last remaining cornerstone of the mass gassing story is relegated to the class of technical fairy tales rather than scientifically proven fact. This applies to gassings whether by:
The mass gassing story is certainly not a "fact of common knowledge"!
Had the Nazis really wished to "gas" (or, more accurately, to "suffocate") people on a quasi-industrial basis ("systematic genocide"), they certainly would have turned to carbon dioxide gas (CO2), which would have been absolutely harmless to the executioners and cheap to produce, instead of hydrocyanic acid (HCN) in Zyklon B or carbon monoxide (CO).
Anyone who does not believe this should take care to read the newspaper accounts of frequent accidents with fermentation gas which occur every year in the springtime in Austrian wine cellars.
Carbon dioxide kills quickly, painlessly and surely.
Leuchter states that "the gas chambers at Auschwitz were not used to kill human beings with Zyklon B, because they could not be heated and had insufficient ventilation installations."
In this regard, the author H. Auerbach, writing in a statement on "The So-Called Leuchter Report," issued in November 1989 by the [semi-official German] Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte ["Institute of Contemporary History"] in Munich, stated:
Leuchter fails to consider that even in a much larger room (Note: compared to a US execution gas chamber), this temperature (of evaporation of hydrogen cyanide) would be reached very quickly if it were packed full of people, and that therefore no heating at all is required.
Like so many olocaust writers, Auerbach is mistaken.
An experiment was carried out by this writer to simulate the heating of a chamber by human beings.
The dimensions of the chamber were as follows: Floor area: 5.43 square meters. Height: 2.45 meters. Volume: 13.30 cubic meters. Surface area: 33.70 square meters. The chamber floor was tiled, as were the walls up to a height of 1.50 meters. Above that height, the walls were of wood section covering, with a wood section ceiling. Because of the large wood surface, the chamber is far easier to heat than the "gas chambers" shown as tourist attractions at Auschwitz. The chamber took an hour to heat using an 1.8 Kw electric convection heater, after which the room was "ventilated" for 30 minutes.
The nearly square chamber had one outside wall (outdoor air temperature: 20 degrees Celsius), and three inside walls (inside air temperature: 22 degrees Celsius).
The rise in temperature (Celsius) is shown in the following table (with figures rounded off):
Because, according to the laws of nature, warmth flows from areas of higher temperature to cooler areas, and the standard "average body temperature" is approximately 33-34 degrees Celsius (Physiologie des Menschen, Schmidt/Thews, Springer, 1987, p. 655), the figures measured in the simulation (at summer temperatures) are well above those that could be attained in the middle of the year in an unheated "gas chamber." Even [in a room] with people "tightly packed crushed together," an air temperature in excess of 30-32 degrees Celsius would not be attained. In addition, the gassings are supposed to have taken place quickly and on a quasi-industrial basis.
Consequently, the wall temperatures would rise only slightly (hence the possibility that the hydrocyanic acid would condense on the walls), and the floor temperature would hardly rise at all. Nor would the bare feet of the victims warm the floor to any appreciable extent, because the temperature of the arch of the foot is only 27-28 degrees Celsius, and the temperature of the soles is practically identical to the floor temperature. Therefore, rather than warming the floor to any measurable extent, the victims would suffer from cold feet.
According to the Holocaust literature, yklon B was normally thrown in from above. This means, naturally, that it would land on the floor (which even in summer was colder than 26 degrees Celsius). As a result, the hydrocyanic acid contained in the Zyklon B would not vaporize quickly, but would instead evaporate more or less slowly (from six to 32 hours, at five to 30 degrees Celsius). This is precisely the secret of the success of Zyklon B as a pest control agent: a nearly even yield of the active ingredient over longer periods of time depending on the temperature.
To achieve the rapid killing described in the Holocaust literature, the SS therefore would have had to incorporate floor heating installations into the "gas chambers" in order to be able to use them as [homicidal] gas chambers.
And there is another detail: rapid and effective ventilation would have required not just mechanical ventilation, but suitable air intake channels. Without an air intake, using ventilators alone, the deadly air-gas mixture could never have been exhausted from the gas chamber. If this were attempted, the ventilator would reach a "suction limit" and run empty. That is, it would deliver nothing, but would instead simply maintain a certain partial vacuum [Unterdruck] in the chamber. Deadly hydrogen cyanide (HCN) would continue to evaporate for many hours, and the concentration in the air of the chamber would thereby become more and more rapidly fatal. How the room [removal] work team could work without heavy breathing equipment and protective clothing, only a "witness" can explain. Science can provide no answer.
Rather, science shows that:
Holocaust writers now face a dilemma.
The weapon for the "systematic genocidal extermination of millions of people, especially Jews" must now be abandoned if one looks at the facts instead of concentrating on belief.
No weapon, no crime. What now?
Mass murder with diesel exhaust gases (in 32 minutes, according to Gerstein) is a sheer impossibility for reasons of time alone. This can be proven experimentally, even today, with a couple of brave men. Therefore, the [stories of] "gas chambers with diesel engines" and "gas vans" ["gaswagen"] can only be disinformation. The "witnesses" make objectively false statements, and the "confessions" are clearly false. The laws of nature apply both to Nazis and anti-fascists. Nobody can be killed with diesel exhaust gas in the manner described.
Mass murder in the manner described, with Zyklon B and with carbon monoxide, cannot have taken place, either, because it too would violate the laws of nature, and because the necessary technical and organizational prerequisites were lacking.
Experimental killings with Zyklon B may have taken place. After fifty years, this cannot be ruled out with certainty. But such experiments would have resulted in deaths among the executioners, and the recognition that something like the [supposed] Mauthausen shooting installation would be more logical and safer.
A similar recognition would have come very quickly in any experiment using diesel exhaust gases ("get rid of that diesel and get us a spark-ignition engine"), if there had ever been any "gas chambers with diesel engines" or "gas vans" ("generator gas" from "wood gas" trucks would have been more logical). The Nazis may have been criminals, but they certainly were not stupid enough to use diesel motors and Zyklon B in the manner described.
The crematories could never have disposed of the number of victims: this may be considered proven by engineering science. Bodies are not a combustible material. Their cremation requires a great deal of time and energy.
In light of what is now known, there are no "facts of common knowledge" [or "judicially noted" facts] with regard to the Holocaust. The facts given above should be elaborated to a higher degree of proof by specialists, and preferably by court-recognized experts. Such a study will certainly produce amazing results, which will radically alter the basic views of many people.
Objective proof will refute the testimony of perjured "witnesses" and the "confessions" of "criminals."
Judges and historians must draw the appropriate conclusions, and a whole generation of "contemporary historians" will sit on the ruins of their worldview, much as the Marxists today sit on the ruins of their Marxist ideology.
In court trials of "Revisionists," therefore, "contemporary historians" should never be the only ones permitted to determine the "facts" of the Holocaust. There must be interdisciplinary cooperation with scientists and technicians.
Any legal provision that seeks to hinder or even penalize scientific investigation of the Holocaust (such as section 283a of the Austrian criminal code) would amount to a state-ordered reign of terror against the human spirit.
Should actual investigation of the Holocaust prove the "deliberate genocide" to be a fact, the discussion will then be at an end, among the "Revisionists" as well. Who could wish to oppose discussion of the Holocaust, on any grounds, let alone attempt to choke discussion using criminal law?
Who is there who could abolish freedom of thought and the rule of law, without opening himself to the suspicion of trying to exert improper influence by suppressing discussion?
Is "1984" coming after all -- through the back door?
Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 391-420.
Published with permission of and courtesy to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR).
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