CARLO MATTOGNO

"NO HOLES, NO GAS CHAMBER(S)"

AN HISTORICAL-TECHNICAL STUDY OF THE HOLES FOR INTRODUCING
ZYKLON B IN THE ROOF OF
LEICHENKELLER 1 OF KREMA II AT BIRKENAU

Copyright © MMII Russ Granata. All Rights Reserved.
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I. INTRODUCTION

Charles D. Provan is the author of a pamphlet entitled No Holes? No Holocaust?(1) A Study of the Holes in the Roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krematorium 2 at Birkenau.(2)

First of all Provan emphasizes the importance of the problem of the holes for the introduction of Zyklon B into the presumed homicidal gas chamber of Krema II. This question, raised by historical revisionism, obtained much prominence last year during the trial between David Irving versus Deborah Lipstadt and the publishing house Penguin Books Limited. It was also discussed by Justice Gray during the judgment. (3)

In his study, Provan analyzes as follows, the five categories comprising the evidence for these presumed holes, generally accepted by the supporters of the thesis of the reality of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau:
  1. Witnesses and early historical testimony

  2. Aerial photographic evidence of the gas chambers roof holes

  3. The blueprints of Leichenkeller 1, Krematorium 2

  4. German wartime photographs of Leichenkeller 1 of Krematoria 2 and 3

  5. Physical evidence
In the first group Provan cites 16 testimonies, 9 from major witnesses and 7 from minor witnesses (pp.3-9).

He then examines the statements of minor witnesses (pp.10-11) in the following order: Egon Ochshorn, Dr. Friedmann, Janda Weiss, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, Ota Kraus and Erich Kulka, Werner Krumme and Alfred Franke-Gricksch, and concludes that these are unreliable. As for the major witnesses on the other hand - in order, Rudolf Höss, Henryk Tauber, Karl Schultze, Salmen Lewental, Konrad Morgen, Miklos Nyiszli, Paul Bendel, Josef Erber and Filip Müller - all of whom would have been "eyewitnesses" - Provan provides no analysis: he assumes a-priori that these are reliable. All the same, this is all the more dubious, as we shall subsequently see.

As to the rest, Provan bases his arguments on only four testimonies:

  • that of Henryk Tauber for the arrangement and number of holes for the introduction of Zyklon B (two on the east side and two on the west side of Leichenkeller 1)

  • that of Karl Schultze for the dimensions of the holes (cm 25 x 25)

  • that of Konrad Morgen for the crudeness of the extermination facilities - that of Rudolf Höss for the transformation of the crematoria into instruments of mass extermination without the knowledge of  the head of the Zentralbauleitung [Central Building Administration].

The other testimonies would serve as confirmation of these four principal views.

Before examining in detail Provan's arguments, let us verify the level of reliability of the major witnesses cited by him.

II. THE MAJOR WITNESSES CITED BY PROVAN

Josef Erber

This is a testimony cited by Provan and dealt with by Gerald Fleming in his book Hitler and the Final Solution. (4) The text cited by Fleming is taken in turn from a letter that Josef Erber wrote to him on 14 September 1981. (5) The declaration of the witness is therefore already dubious on account of the date In the first edition of the above book, which appeared in German with the title Hitler und die Endlösung, (6)
Fleming quotes from the original text of Erber's letter:
    «In diesen Vergasungsräumen (von Krematorium eins und zwei in Birkenau, G.F.) waren je zwei Einschütten: innen je vier Eisenrohre vom Fussboden bis zum Dach. Dieselben waren mit Stahlnetzdraht umgeben und innen war ein Blech mit niedrigem Rand. Daran war ein Draht, mit dem das Blech bis zum Dach gezogen werden konnte. Auf jeder Einschütte war am Dach ein Eisendeckel angebracht. Wurde der Deckel gehoben, konnte man den Blechbehälter raufziehen und das Gas einschütten. Dann wurde der Behälter runtergelassen und der Deckel geschlossen.» (7)
What sort of thing is a "Einschütte"? The verb "einschütten" means "pour into" as a technical term, "to feed," "to charge or load." If, as it seems, the "Einschütte" was a mechanism, it concerns a device for pouring or feeding. Yet, according to the text, there were two "Einschütten" in each "gas chamber" of Kremas II and III and on the inside of each "Einschütte" there were four "Eisenrohre." Therefore, in each "gas chamber" there were eight "Eisenrohre."   These devices are clearly inconsistent with those described by Henryk Tauber, and moreover it is not easy to imagine how they were made, to the point where Provan himself, in order to make the text intelligible reads "rooms" (note 24 on p.7) and where Fleming, translating the German term "Einschütten," wrote "ducts." Even so, the original text categorically excludes this interpretation.

In conclusion, the testimony of Josef Erber is unreliable.


Konrad Morgen

Provan cites two statements made by this witness (p.5). The first deals with the affidavit made by Morgen on 13 July 1946, document SS-65. There the witness states:
    «In diesem Augenblick trat ein SS Mann im Gasanzug ueber einen aeusseren Luftschacht und goss eine Buechse mit Blausaeure in den Raum.»
Here it is a question of a single "ventilation shaft", which stands in contradiction to the description accepted by Provan. The term "Luftschacht" is moreover inappropriate in that the presumed holes for introducing Zyklon B had nothing whatsoever to do with "ventilation." In Kremas II and III there were in fact a "Belüftungsschacht" and an "Entlüftungsschacht" which connected "Leichenkeller 1" to the ventilators (Gebläse), blowing and drawing and situated in the attic (Dachgeschoss) of the structures. (8)

The second citation is inferred from the deposition of Morgen at the trial of Pohl. The witness confirms here that the Zyklon B was introduced into the "gas chamber" through a "special shaft" (p.5): again, a single introduction device.

How reliable this witness is for the presumed "gas chambers" becomes clear from what he declared during the August 8, 1946 hearing of the Nuremberg trial:
    «Mit "Vernichtungslager Auschwitz", meinte ich nicht das Konzentrationslager. Das gab es dort nicht. Ich meinte ein besonderes Vernichtungslager in der Nähe von Auschwitz, "Monowitz" bezeichnet.» (9)
A little later he confirmed this:
    «Diese Lastkraftwagen fuhren dann ab. Sie fuhren nicht in das Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, sondern in eine andere Richtung, in das einige Kilometer entfernte Vernichtungslager Monowitz.» (10)
One could imagine a slip of the tongue: Morgen was thinking of Birkenau but said Monowitz. But he was thinking literally of Monowitz, as is revealed by the following statement:
    «Das Vernichtungslager Monowitz lag weit von dem Konzentrationslager entfernt. Es befand sich in einem weitläufigen Industriegelände und war als solches nicht zu erkennen, und überall am Horizont standen Schornsteine und es rauchte.» (11)
In fact, there is no doubt about it, in a "vast industrial zone" full of chimneys he had found Monowitz, certainly not Birkenau. Now if Konrad Morgen is an "eyewitness", how could he confuse Birkenau with Monowitz? It seems that he had seen precisely nothing but spoke - for the most part rambling - from hearsay. Therefore, as far as we are concerned, Konrad Morgen is a completely unreliable witness.

Paul Bendel

Provan cites via Pressac the short text « Les Crématoires. "Le Sonderkommando" » carrying the signature "Paul Bendel" (12) which appeared in a book published in 1946. (13) Here the author states that the "chambres à gaz" ("gas chambers") in each of Kremas II and III were "au nombre de deux" ("in number two") and adds:
    «Construites en béton armé, on avait l'impression, en y entrant que le plafond vous tombait sur la tête tellement il était bas. Au milieu de ces chambres, descendant du plafond, deux tuyaux grillagés à soupape extérieure servaient à l'émission des gaz.» (14)
"Constructed of reinforced concrete, one had the impression the ceiling was falling on one's head. In the middle of these chambers two pipes surrounded by wire mesh and with an exterior valve served for the emission of gases."

Provan notices that the presence of two gas chambers is in accord with the declaration of Tauber, according to whom "at the end of 1943, the gas chamber was divided into two by a brick wall to make it possible to gas smaller transports" (note 20 on p. 6).

Therefore Bendel would confirm Tauber. However, matters are not so simple.

It is known that the Leichenkeller 1 of Kremas II and III measured internally 30m x 7m x 2.41m. (15)   At the trial of Bruno Tesch, Bendel testified that "each gas chamber was 10 meters long and 4 metres wide" and that each had a height of 1.60 m:
    «Q. You have said that the gas chambers were ten metres by four metres by one metre sixty centimetres: is that correct?
    A. Yes.» (16)
Previously, on 21 October 1945 Bendel had declared:
    «There were 2 gas chambers, underground, roughly 10 metres long, 5 metres wide and 1 ½ metres height, each one.» (17)
Nevertheless, even if Leichenkeller 1 of Kremas II and III had been divided exactly in two, this would have given rise to two localities each measuring 15m x 7m x 2.41m. How can these measurements be reconciled with the quite different ones given by Bendel, that is, 10m x 4m x 1.6m or 10m x 5m x 1.5m?

I well understand that an estimate with the naked eye can entail a not inconsiderable margin of error, but how could Bendel claim that the ceiling had a height of barely 1.5 or 1.6m? Here we are no longer dealing with an estimate since any person of medium height would have had to stoop in order to enter these fictitious places, while in the actual localities he would have had more than 60 to 70 cm of space above his head before touching the ceiling. An error in good faith is therefore impossible. But even the errors relative to the length and breadth of the localities, considering their modest dimensions, are difficult to explain.

Whatever the case, it is impossible for Bendel to have entered a "gas chamber" with a height of 1.5 or 1.6 m, since such localities did not exist and it is just as impossible that he could have made such a gross error; therefore he is an unreliable witness.  

Strangely, Bendel makes no mention of the presumed "undressing room"(Leichenkeller 2), even though it had a ceiling 11cm lower than that of Leichenkeller 1! (18)

Miklos Nyiszli

Provan cites two passages from the statements of this witness (pp. 5-6). The first goes back to 28 July 1945, and the other to 8 October 1946. Nyiszli mentions four "ventilation valves" equipped with "perforated tubes" which popped out above the "gas chamber " of Krema II in "concrete chimneys" closed with "concrete lids." "Chlorine gas" was introduced into these "valves."

In 1946 Nyiszli published a book of memoirs in Hungarian with the title Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban (19) ("I was Dr. Mengele's anatomist at an Auschwitz crematorium"), of which there is an English translation published in the USA. (20) Among other things it contains an accurate description of the basement of Krema II:
    «The room (21) into which the convoy proceeded was about 200 yards long (körülbelül kétszát méter hosszú) (22): its walls were whitewashed and it was brightly lit. [...].

    Making his way through the crowd, an SS opened the swing-doors of the large oaken gate at the end of the room. The crowd flowed through it into another, equally well-lighted room. This second room (23) was the same size as the first (ez a terem olyan nagyságú, mint a vetkezöterem) (24) but neither benches nor pegs were to be seen. In the center of the rooms, at thirty-yard intervals, columns rose from the concrete floor to the ceiling. They were not supporting columns, but square sheet-iron pipes, the sides of which contained numerous perforations, like a wire lattice. [...].

    The Deputy Health Officer held four green sheet-iron canisters. He advanced across the grass, where, every thirty yards (egymástót harminc méterre), (25) short concrete pipes jutted up from the ground. Having donned his gas mask, he lifted the lid of the pipe, which was also made of concrete. He opened one of the cans and poured the contents - a mauve granulated material - into the opening. The granulated substance fell in a lump to the bottom. The gas it produced escaped through the perforations, and within a few seconds filled the room in which the deportees were stacked. Within five minutes everybody was dead.» (26)
 The English translation omits the following phrase from the last passage:
    «A beszórt anyag Cyclon, vagy Chlór szemcsés formája, azonnal gázt fejleszt, amint a levegövel érintkezik!» (27)
that is: «The scattered substance is Cyclon or chlorine in granular form, the gas develops immediately, hardly coming into contact with air!».

Let us recapitulate.

Miklos Nyiszli, in contradiction with the plans and the ruins of the crematoria, maintains that Leichenkeller 2 had a length of 200 meters, while in reality it measured 49.49m (28) and that likewise Leichenkeller 1 had a length of 200 meters, while in fact its length was 30 meters. In the "gas chamber " there were 4 devices for the introduction of Zyklon B, but they were separated from each other by 30 meters - the entire length of the site!

Perhaps the omission in the English translation of the above passage from the original Hungarian happened by chance, but the fact remains that it gives rise to another absurdity: as everyone knows, the toxic agent of the Zyklon B was not "cloro," but rather hydrocyanic acid.

The description given by witness Nyiszli presents many more incredible blunders. For example, he maintains that there were four elevators in the basement of Krema II:
    «Négy nagy teherfelvógép müködik itt» (29)
    «Four good-sized elevators were functioning [here]» (30)
while it is well known that there was a single elevator (Aufzug).

In addition, he maintains that in the furnace room of Krema II there were 15 single ovens:
    «A tizenöt égetökazán nagy vöröstéglás építményekbe van külön- külön beágyazva,» (31)
    «Each of these fifteen ovens was housed in a red brick structure.» (32)
In Krema II (and III) there were in fact 5 ovens each with 3 muffles, and so five brick structures, not fifteen..

Nyszli claims to have spent eight months  (33) (from May 1944 to January 1945) in the so-called "Sonderkommando" of the crematoria; for six months his lodging was a locality on the ground floor of Krema II. (34) He should then have had a perfect knowledge of Krema II. So how could he have been so grossly mistaken in good faith about the dimensions of the facilities, the number of elevators and the structure of the ovens? And being a medical man and having presumably assisted in various "gassings," how could he maintain that the toxic agent of Zyklon B was chlorine?

It is therefore evident that this witness is absolutely unreliable.

A final observation. According to Nyiszli there was a single gas chamber in Krema II, while according to Tauber the "gas chamber" was subdivided into two at the end of 1943. On the other hand there is the witness Bendel, who in his own words, became a member of the so-called "Sonderkommando" of the crematoria in June 1944, (35) and in the same period and in the same place "saw" two "gas chambers" of length 10 meters, while Nyisli saw one "gas chamber" there of length 200 meters. How can these statements be reconciled?

Filip Müller

The testimony of Filip Müller is pitifully late, going back to 1979. He describes in the following way the introduction devices for Zyklon B:
    «Die Zyklon-B-Gas-Kristalle (36) wurden nämlich durch öffnungen in der Betondecke eingeworfen, die in der Gaskammer in hohle Blechsäulen einmündeten. Diese waren in gleichmässigen Abständen durchgelörcht und in ihrem Innern verlief von oben nach unten eine Spirale, um für eine möglichst gleichmässige Verteilung der gekörnten Kristalle zu sorgen.» (37)
This description is very vague. Müller indicates neither the number nor the shape nor the dimensions nor the positions of either the holes or the columns. The last point takes on major significance from the fact that Filip Müller published a plan of Krema II complete with "criminal" captions: (38) an optimal but lost opportunity to indicate the positions of the holes on the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1!

From a witness who claims to have spent "three years in the crematoria and gas chambers of Auschwitz," as the subtitle of his book informs us, one would have expected something better than this dull description.

But this should not surprise us. As I have indicated elsewhere, here as in many other important places of his book, Filip Müller has done no more than plagiarize the account given by Miklos Nyiszli following the German translation that appeared in 1961 in the magazine "Quick" published in Munich, Bavaria. (39)

In this specific case Müller has added on his own the funny idea of the spiral, as though Zyklon B could evaporate during the few seconds it spent spiraling down this chute before arriving at the long floor!

Salmem Lewenthal

This witness is even more vague than Filip Müller. From the passage cited by Provan (p. 5) one cannot even gather the number of "small upper doors."

I will subsequently return to the witnesses Höss, Schultze and Tauber.

III. THE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS

In paragraph III (pp.12-14) Provan examines the photographs taken by the United States "Air Force" during the war. In some of the photographs of the roofs of Leichenkeller 1 of Kremas II and III, like in the one taken on 25 August 1944, there appear irregular dark patches that - as Provan recalls - Brugioni and Poirier interpreted since 1979 as "vents used to insert the Zyklon-B crystals." Since then, these patches have become a "proof" of the existence of devices for introducing Zyklon B into the presumed homicidal gas chambers.

Provan is not in agreement with the interpretation of Brugioni and Poirier and maintains that
    «No matter what one thinks of the authenticity of the smudgey marks, it is impossible to view them, whether authentic or not, as "vents"» (p. 13),
and concludes:
    «So we are hesitant to use the aerial photographs as proof that there were roof vents for Zyklon B» (p. 14).
In fact, the interpretation of Brugioni and Poirier creates insuperable difficulties.

The first is that these patches are not shadows. At the second (1988) trial of Zündel, Kenneth R. Wilson, an expert in photogrammetry and aerial triangulation, testified - according to Barbara Kulaszka's report  - that in the aerial photograph of 31 May 1944 "the patches on top of the Leichenkeller at Krema II were flat and had no elevation." As for the photograph of 25 August 1944, "he determined that the patches were not shadows but did not have any elevation." (40)

Photograph 1
Photograph 1
Crematory II of Birkenau,
31 May 1944
In the second place, as other authors have since pointed out, (41) in the photograph of 25 August 1944 the patches on the roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II have lengths of 3-4 meters, and those on the roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema III have a minimum area of 3 square meters. Moreover, all the patches have their axis oriented in a north-south direction, whereas the axis of the chimney's shadow is aligned in a north-east/south-west direction. Finally, let me add that in the aerial photograph of 31 May 1944 there appears a single dark patch at the western edge of the roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II. (42)

Krema II of Birkenau, 31 May 1944

It being determined that the above patches were not shadows, what then were they? Kenneth R. Wilson advanced the hypothesis that they were "discolorations on the surface of the roof." (43) In my opinion this explanation is correct. The covers of Leichenkeller 1 of Kremas II and III were roofs of reinforced concrete 18 cm thick (44) isolated from rainwater by a layer of bitumen which was protected from atmospheric agents by a thin layer of cement. Whoever has worked in the field of building construction knows that a thin layer of cement covering a large area, if it cannot be matched with a scaffolding of iron rods, inevitably tends to disintegrate. In the case in question, at the places where disintegration had occurred the lower stratum of darker bitumen emerged, creating the patches which are seen on the aerial photographs.

Photograph 2
Photograph 2
The reinforced concrete cover of
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II
at Birkenau in June-July 1945

Photograph taken by
Stanisaw Kolowca

This phenomenon is still evident in the roofs of the Leichenkeller of the crematoria. Photograph 2, which I will subsequently return to, shows the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in 1945. Here the described phenomenon - probably caused by the explosion which destroyed the locality - is particularly evident: In a broad transverse band the external cement stratum is shattered and the lower bitumen appears, creating a black patch contrasting with the clear color of the cement.




Photograph 3
Photograph 3
The reinforced concrete cover of
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II
at Birkenau in August 2000.

© Carlo Mattogno
The same phenomenon is still visible today, as can be seen in photograph 3 which shows part of the same cover in August 2000.

The inevitably many repairs carried out by the Zentralbauleitung provisionally restored the superficial layer of cement, but seeing that this had to adhere to older cement, its setting was unavoidably precarious, that is, the new "top" fragmented more easily than the original layer. In my opinion this explains both the appearance and disappearance over a period of a few months of the above-mentioned patches in the aerial photographs.

IV. THE PLANS OF LEICHENKELLER 1 OF KREMA II

Referring to Robert Faurisson's discovery of the fact that the presumed gas chamber of Krema II is designated as "Leichenkeller 1" in the original plans of Krema II in Birkenau, and that no holes in the ceiling are displayed for this locality, Provan notes:
    «Though these two discoveries are important, let us observe that they are in agreement with an interrogation which took place over 50 Years ago.» (p.15)
Next he cites an extract from the interrogation that Rudolf Höss underwent on April 1, 1946, of which he summarizes and comments as follows:
    «Note that Höss mentioned several times that he was forbidden to discuss the execution of the Jews with anyone. Upon his return to Auschwitz he began working on the plans for extermination facilities by instructing his construction chief (whose name was Bischoff). He ordered Bischoff to begin work on a large crematorium, the plans of which were sent to Himmler. Subsequently, Höss figured out the changes needed to convert the crematorium into a homicidal facility, and sent them to Himmler. The changes were approved.» (pp. 15-16)
In concluding, he writes that the " gas chamber" was called "Leichenkeller 1" and that no holes were described for the introduction of Zyklon B:
    «since the man in charge of it was not permitted to know of its real purpose, and therefore did not draw them on the plans.» (p.16)
Provan's conclusion is therefore based on the statements of Rudolf Höss; but are such statements reliable? To answer this question let us now examine the context in which they are placed.

Höss maintained that he received the order to exterminate the Jews in Berlin from Himmler personally in July 1941. (45) On that occasion Himmler explained
    «the extermination camps in Poland that existed at that time were not capable of performing the work assigned to them.» (46)
Then to a specific query of the interrogator, Höss responded:
    «There were three camps: first, Treblinka, Belzak [sic] near Lemberg and the third one was about 40 kilometers in the direction of Kulm. It was past Kulm in an easterly direction.» (47)
The third "extermination camp" should have been Sobibór. Nevertheless, the geographic direction given by Höss is mistaken since "Kulm" corresponds to the Polish "Chelmno," while the neighboring city of Sobibór is "Chelm," which in German is called "Cholm."

Therefore, when Höss claimed that Himmler had informed him that
    «the camps in Poland were not suitable for enlargement and the reason why he had chosen Auschwitz was because of the fact it had good railroad connections and could be enlarged» (48)
and ordered him
    «to look at an extermination camp in Poland and eliminate in the construction of my camp the mistakes and inefficiency existing in the Polish camp.» (49)
he understood that,according to Himmler, in July 1941 there already existed the "extermination camps" of Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibór, exactly as Höss described them during the interrogation of 14 March 1946 when he declared
    «I was ordered to see Himmler in Berlin in June [sic] 1941 and he told me, approximately, the following: The Führer ordered the solution of the Jewish question in Europe. A few so-called Vernichtungslager are existing in the general government (Belzek [Belzec] near Rava Ruska Ost Polen, Tublinka [Treblinka] near Malina [Malkinia] on the river Bug, and Wolzek (50) near Lublin).» (51)
Let us now turn to the interrogation of 1 April 1946. Höss declared there that he had visited the Treblinka camp before constructing his extermination facilities at Auschwitz. The purpose of his visit was precisely to "eliminate in the construction" of his "camp the mistakes and inefficiency" of Treblinka. Höss describes at length the presumed extermination procedure at Treblinka, specifying
    «at that time the action in connection with the Warsaw Ghetto was in progress, and I watched the procedure." (52)
Also this description reproduces what Höss declared at the interrogation of 14 March 1946:
    «I visited the camp Treblinka in Spring 1942 to inform myself about the conditions. The following method was used in the process of extermination. Small chambers were used equipped with pipes to induce exhaust gas from car engines. This method was unreliable as the engines, coming from old captured transport vehicles and tanks, very often failed to work. Because of that the intakes could not be dealt with according to the plan, which meant to clear the Warsaw Ghetto. According to the Camp Commandant of Treblinka 80000 people have been gassed in the course of half a year.» (53)
Rudolf Höss recounted the same story also at the interrogation of 8 April 1946:
    «Ich hatte den Befehl, Ausrottungserleichterungen in Auschwitz im Juni 1941 zu schaffen. Zu jener Zeit bestanden schon drei weitere Vernichtungslager im Generalgouvernement: Belzek, Treblinka und Wolzek. Diese Lager befanden sich unter dem Einsatzkommando der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. Ich besuchte Treblinka, um festzustellen, wie die Vernichtungen ausgeführt wurden. Der Lagerkommandant von Treblinka sagte mir, dass er 80000 im Laufe eines halben Jahres liquidiert hätte. Er hatte hauptsächlich mit der Liquidierung aller Juden aus dem Warschauer Ghetto zu tun. Er wandte Monoxid-Gas an und nach seiner Ansicht waren seine methoden nicht sehr wirksam. Als ich das Vernichtungsgebäude in Auschwitz errichtete, gebrauchte also Zyclon B, eine kristallisierte Blau Säure [sic], die wir in die Todeskammer durch eine kleine öffnung einwarfen.» (54)
So Höss affirmed that in June or July 1941 there were already in existence the camps of Belzec and Treblinka and that he had visited the Treblinka camp "in Spring 1942", but before the construction of the "Vernichtungsgebäude" at Auschwitz, that is, at the latest, before the installation of the so-called "Bunker 1" - which should have entered into service on 20 March 1942 (55) or in May 1942, according to Pressac. (56)

Nonetheless, the Belzec camp was opened on 17 March 1942, (57) Treblinka on 23 July 1942. (58)

In conclusion, these two camps did not exist in 1941, therefore the statements that Höss attributes to Himmler are false. What is more, Höss could not have visited Treblinka before the start of the presumed extermination at Auschwitz, therefore his account of it is false. Now the declarations of Höss cited by Provan are situated in this context of manifest historical falsehood, so why then should one believe in their truthfulness?

Hence the context leads one to seriously doubt the reliability of the declarations of Rudolf Höss which Provan cites.

Let us now examine the substance of Rudolf Höss' statements. He maintains:
    «I immediately got in touch with the chief of a construction unit and told him that I need a large crematorium." (59)
This took place in June or July 1941 on his return to Auschwitz from the meeting with Himmler in Berlin. Nonetheless, the first plan of the new crematorium - the future Krema II - was drawn up by SS-Untersturmführer Dejaco on 24 October 1941, (60) that is three or four months later, which is hard to reconcile with the adverb "immediately." The second plan of the crematorium was realized in November 1941 by the architect Werkmann, of the SS-Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten, (61) which shows that the construction of this facility was not a local secret affair. Höss then states that he  "changed" the plans "in accordance with the real purpose" of Himmler's instructions - that is, he modified the original plans, thus transforming a simple hygienic and sanitary facility into an instrument for extermination - and sent these plans so modified to Himmler, who approved of them. (62)

The definitive plan for the crematorium was completed at Auschwitz in January 1942. (63) Yet, the first presumed "criminal" modification of these plans, is, according to Pressac, in plan 2003 of 19 December 1942. (64) Therefore, Höss would have waited for twelve months before initiating the criminal modification of the crematorium! I say "initiating" because, as Provan states, the holes in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II would have been made between the end of January and the middle of March 1942 (pp. 18-19), so that Höss would have had to wait at least another month before carrying out this indispensable modification in order to use the above locality as a homicidal gas chamber. I shall return to this essential point in Section VI.

On the other hand, the claim of Rudolf Höss to have created at Auschwitz installations for extermination without the head of the Zentralbauleitung having been previously informed is decisively nonsensical, considering our knowledge of the structure, functions and duties of this bureau. (65) This is even more true of the presumed "criminal" modifications to Krema II. In fact, had Bischoff transformed the so-called "Bunker 1," already in May 1942 into a homicidal gas chamber (and in June the so-called "Bunker 2"), and if by July 4 at the latest the mass extermination of the Jews had begun, (66) then Himmler's "secret" at Auschwitz was revealed, and Bischoff could not but have been perfectly informed of it. But then, why ever did Höss have to continue transforming gradually and in great secrecy Krema II into an extermination facility without the knowledge of Bischoff, who now knew the "secret"?

All this is nonsensical, so that the statements of Rudolf Höss are false also on this score.

A final observation: A further "criminal" modification of the "Kellergeschoss" of Krema II was supposed to have been of the entrance staircase to Leichenkeller 2. Now although in the economics of the extermination process this entrance was less important than the holes in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 (because the victims could have entered the Kellergeschoss by going through the entrance on the north side of the crematorium), (67) this entrance does appear in the plan attached to the documentation on the "Übergabeverhandlung" of the crematorium to the Kommandantur. (68)
But then why do the much more important holes for introducing Zyklon B not appear in this plan?

In conclusion, while it is true that the plans for the crematoria are "in accord with the statement of Höss" (p. 30), these "statements" are not "in accord" with historical reality, therefore Provan's arguments are altogether untenable.

V. THE TERRESTRIAL PHOTOGRAPHS OF LEICHENKELLER 1

In paragraph V, "German wartime photographs of Leichenkeller 1 of Krematoria 2 and 3," Provan analyzes the four photographs adduced by Pressac as proof of the existence of chimneys on the roof of Leichenkeller 1 for the introduction of Zyklon B, and Provan comes to the conclusion that in reality these prove nothing.

  1. Photograph 1 (negative number 20995/507 from the Auschwitz Museum):
      "Try as we might, we cannot see any of these openings on the photograph." (p. 17)

  2. Photograph  2 (negative number 20995/494 from the Auschwitz Museum):
      "It is our conclusion therefore, that whatever they are, they are not the Zyklon B insertion Chimneys spoken of by the eyewitnesses." (p. 18)

  3. Photograph 3 (negative number 20995/460 from the Auschwitz Museum):
      "Since the object, whatever it is, isn't on the roof at all, this is conclusive evidence that it was not a Zyklon B introduction chimney." (p. 18)

  4. Photograph 4 (negative number 20995/506 from the Auschwitz Museum):
      "The roof is covered with snow, and no vents for Zyklon B are visible. Since the picture is dated from January 20-22, 1943, we can deduce that any holes for Zyklon B insertion must have been put in after that date." (p.18)
To Germar Rudolf's observation that the perforations in the cover of Leichenkeller 1 "would imply an inconceivably stupid error in planning," Provan responds:
    «We do not see why this would be so. We have already seen that Höss could not even tell his SS architect about the building's real purpose, and we can observe that all of the blueprints call that gas chamber "Leichenkeller 1". [...]. So we see no problem with this method being the method of creating Zyklon B holes in the roof of Leichenkeller 1» (p. 19).
This statement deserves an adequate response.

VI. THE HOLES FOR INTRODUCING ZYKLON B IN THE SO-CALLED "CRIMINAL" ARGUMENTATION CONTEXT OF PRESSAC AND VAN PELT

As I have shown in Section IV, Provan's hypothesis regarding the criminal transformation of the crematoria without the knowledge of the head of the Zentralbauleitung is completely untenable, therefore this cannot explain why the roof of Leichenkeller 1 was constructed without holes for introducing Zyklon B.

 Therefore the problem of why the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II was constructed without holes for introducing Zyklon B remains open, but is far more serious than what Provan thinks. In fact, this is in blatant contradiction with the thesis of the transformation of Krema II in the criminal sense - a thesis which Provan himself adheres to.

As is known, Pressac maintains that Krema II, like Krema III, was planned and constructed as a normal facility for hygienic and sanitary purposes, (69) but at the end of October 1942 the Zentralbauleitung decided to transfer the presumed homicidal gassing activity from  the so-called "Bunker" to the crematoria of Birkenau. In fact, from the end of 1942 the original plans of the basement (Kellergeschoss) underwent various modifications in which Pressac sees "criminal traces" of the transformation of the Kellergeschoss for homicidal purposes by means of the installation of a gas chamber in Leichenkeller 1 and of an undressing room in Leichenkeller 2. The modification which Pressac emphasizes most is that in plan 2003 of December 1942, in which the elevator for the cadavers (Rutsche) no longer appears, so that - the French historian tells us - "the unique possible access to the morgue became the north stairway, which implies that the dead will have to descend the stairs on foot." (70)

 Pressac's interpretation has been accepted in its general line of argument by all western historians who support the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, including Robert Jan van Pelt, who took it up in his book Auschwitz 1270 to The Present, written in collaboration with Debórah Dwork, (71) where he quotes without giving a source even the following comment of Pressac:
    «The victims would walk to their death.» (72)
In this context another "criminal index" cited by Pressac is the term "Sonderkeller" ("special basement"). In this regard he writes:
    To inform Bischoff, Wolter wrote a note on this subject entitled "De-aeration for the crematoria (Kremas I and II)" in which he designated the "basement 1 for cadavers" (73) of Krema II as a "special basement" (Sonderkeller).» (74)
This note, written on 27 November 1942 by SS-Untersturmführer Wolter, would have formed part of the presumed plan of the Zentralbauleitung to transfer the activity "with gas" in Bunkers 1 and 2 to a locality in the Krema equipped with artificial ventilation and would constitute the first "criminal blunder," that is, the first indication relative to "an abnormal use of the crematoria that is inexplicable except as a massive treatment of human beings with gas." (75)

Therefore, the term "Sonderkeller" which appears in this note would be a secret code designating a homicidal gas chamber. Pressac's argument is based solely on the presence of this term.

Wolter, in the note under discussion and referring to what engineer Prüfer had told him on the telephone, wrote:
    «Within about 8 days firm [Topf] will have a mechanic free who can install the de-aeration appliance when the covers over the special basements are ready; also the suction system for the five three-muffle ovens»
    Die Firma hätte in ca. 8 Tagen einen Monteur frei, der, wenn die Decken über die Sonderkeller fertig sind, die Entlüftungsanlage montieren soll; ferner die Saugzuganlage für die 5 3-Müffelöfen.»] (76)
As we have seen above according to Pressac, the term "Sonderkeller" designated «the "basement 1 for cadavers" of Krema II.»

Nevertheless, in this document the term "Sonderkeller" is in the plural, and moreover the possibility that it refers also to the "basement 1 for cadavers" of Krema III can be excluded because though this document has for its object "De-aeration for the crematoria" [Entlüftungen für Krematorien], that is, for Kremas II and III, in reality it refers only to Krema II.  In fact, it was only in this locality that construction work had progressed sufficiently to realize within a short period the cover of the basements (Kellergeschoss). Indeed, by 23 January 1943 the reinforced concrete cover of cellars (Keller) 1 and 2 in Krema II had already been completed, while in the corresponding localities of Krema III only the work of isolating the floor from the water-bearing stratum [aquifer] had been finished. (77) Furthermore, the reference to the installation of the "Saugzuganlage" only makes sense with respect to Krema II in which the five 3-muffle ovens as well as the smoke conduits had already been completed, whereas in Krema III the chimney had been raised up only to the crematorium ceiling. (78)

On the other hand, there were two "Keller" in Krema II for which an "Entlüftungsanlage" [de-aeration appliance] was foreseen, namely, "Leichenkeller 1" and "Leichenkeller 2." The first was also furnished with "Belüftungsanlage" [aeration appliance], the second only with an "Entlüftungsanlage" which was installed between the 15th and 21st March 1943. (79)

It is therefore clear that the "Sonderkeller" in Wolter's note were the two "Leichenkeller" of Krema II. These basement localities were "sonder-" precisely because of the six basement localities into which the "Kellegeschoss" of the crematorium was subdivided, (80) they were the only two morgues thus equipped with an "Entlüftungsanlage."

The term "Sonderkeller" also appears in a document formerly unknown to Pressac. It concerns the "Construction Report for the Month of October 1942" drawn up by Bischoff on the 4th of November 1942, in which, referring to Krema II, one reads:
    Betondruckplatte im Sonderkeller eingebracht. Die Entlüftungsschächte aufgemauert und das innere Kellermauerwerk begonnen.»] (81)
The "Betondruckplatte" was the layer of concrete in the cellars (Kellersohle) that served to contain the groundwater pressure (Grundwasserdruck).  (82)

If, as seems likely, the term "Sonderkeller" refers in this context to "Leichenkeller 1," then its use is explained by the fact that this locality, being equipped with an appliance for aeration and de-aeration (Belüftung-Entlüftung), was probably - as Pressac himself hypothesizes - intended:
    «to take corpses several days old, beginning to decompose and thus requiring the room to be well-ventilated.» (83)
Let us suppose that Pressac's interpretation of the criminal transformation of the crematoria is correct. Let us concede that this "Sonderkeller" was "Leichenkeller 1" and that this was a secret code indicating a homicidal gas chamber.

Then let us see what the consequences of this postulation are regarding the question of apertures we are examining in the cover of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II.

Pressac maintains that at the end of October 1942 the Zentralbauleitung decided to transfer the presumed homicidal gassing activity from the so-called Bunker 1 and 2 "to a locality of the crematorium equipped with artificial ventilation, as was practiced in December 1941 in the morgue of Krema I." (84) This is how he explains the way in which the presumed homicidal gassing was carried out in this crematorium [Krema I]:
    «Three square holes were made and located in the ceiling of the "morgue" (85) to allow for the introduction of Zyklon B which was poured directly into the locality whose two access doors had been made gastight.» (86)
As photograph 20995/506 of Auschwitz Museum demonstrates, and as Provan himself admits, the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II was constructed without holes for the introduction of Zyklon B.

If then the "Sonderkeller" of Krema II designated a homicidal gas chamber to be realized according to the model of Krema I, why did the Zentralbauleitung not anticipate the holes in the reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 already during the construction of its scaffolding by carpenters?

Therefore, one must imagine that the Zentralbauleitung, although having planned the transformation of Leichenkeller 1 into an homicidal gas chamber at the time when only the concrete floor in this locality had been laid for protection against the water-bearing stratum, would have constructed a ceiling without holes - an essential device for gassing with Zyklon B - and then later, with mallet and chisel, made four holes for Zyklon B in the reinforced concrete cover of the locality which was 18 cm in thickness!

Unfortunately for Pressac, the technicians of the Zentralbauleitung were not so idiotic. In fact, as we shall see in Section VII, at the time of laying the concrete they prepared the round hole in the reinforced concrete ceiling of Leichenkeller 2 for the passage of piping for the de-aeration appliance and they did the same thing in the ceiling of the furnace room with the five intake apertures for hot air.

In conclusion, not only is the postulation regarding perforation in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 to create holes for the introduction of Zyklon B an "inconceivably stupid error," as Germar Rudolf says, but it is also decisively senseless and totally against one of the cornerstones of  the thesis of Pressac, van Pelt and Provan himself.

VII. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOFS.

In March of 2000 Provan went to Birkenau and made a series of inspections of the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II which he then documented together with 18 photographs (pp. 37-41).

He mentions eight holes, three of which - numbers 2, 6 and 8 - he considers to be original (pp. 25-26 and 30), that is, made by the SS in 1943 in order to introduce Zyklon B into the "gas chamber," so that
    «the "No Holes, No 'Holocaust' " argument is no longer possible to make, since there are three suitable areas where there are holes in the roof, in accord with eyewitness testimony, with the fourth unobservable.» (p. 31)
Let us examine his arguments.

Provan's two assumptions

Provan's conclusion rests on the essential assumption that the presumed holes for introducing Zyklon B measured 25 cm x 25 cm, according to a statement of Schultze (p.30).

Karl Schultze participated together with Heinrich Messing in the installation of the "Be- und Entlüftungsanlage" in Krema II. His dispatch to Auschwitz for this purpose was announced in advance on 24 February 1943 by the Topf firm for the first of March. (87) He worked with Messing in Leichenkeller 1 until 23 March, the date on which the ventilation appliance was definitely put into operation ("Be u Entlüftungsanlage in Keller I in Betrieb genommen" [sic]), (88) the day after the first presumed gassing took place, (89) so that the columns described by Tauber had already been installed. (90) By contrast, Schultze mentions no columns, limiting himself to saying
    «In der Decke waren vier quadratische Öffnungen 25 x 25 Zentimeter.» (91)
Provan fails to notice this contradiction.

The testimony of Michal Kula

The above assumption is moreover categorically belied by the witness Michal Kula. It is as well to specify that the existence of the holes in question is based exclusively on testimonies, and in this respect the quintessential witness is Michal Kula, inmate no. 2718. I will explain why. First let us see what he declared during his cross-examination on June 11, 1945.
    «Among other things made in the locksmith's workshop (slusarna = Schlosserei) were the fake showers intended for the gas chambers, as well as the columns of wire netting (slupy siatkowe) for introducing the contents of cans of Zyklon into the gas chambers. This column had a height of 3 meters with a square cross-section of (width) about 70 cm. Such a column was constituted of three nets, one inside the other. The outside net was made of 3 mm iron wire stretched over angle irons measuring 50 mm x 10 mm. These angle irons were found all over the net and the upper and lower parts were linked by an angle iron of the same type. The mesh of the nets was square, measuring 45 mm. The second net was constructed in the same way and was inserted into the interior of the first at a distance of about 150 mm. The mesh of this net was square and measured about 25 mm. Both nets on angle irons were connected by an iron bar. The third part of the column was movable. It was an empty column made of a thin zinc lamina with a square section of about 150 mm. At the top it terminated in a cone and below in a flat square base. Angle irons of sheet metal were welded onto a thin bar of sheet metal at a distance of about 25 mm from the edge of this column. On these angle irons a thin net was stretched with square mesh of about 1 mm. This net ended at the base of the cone and from there toward the upper extension of the net ran a framework of sheet metal along the full height to the vertex of the cone. A can of Zyklon was poured from above into the distribution cone and thus a uniform distribution of the Zyklon on all four sides of the column was obtained. After evaporation of the gas the entire central column was withdrawn and the evaporated silica removed. (92)
Kula was a member of the "Häftlingsschlosserei" as a turner (Dreher). His number appears in a document with a stamp dated 8 February 1943 and having for object "Häftlingsschlosserei. Aufstellung der Häftlinge," in which the numbers of the 192 detainees who belonged to this workshop are recorded. (93)

The Häftlings-Schlosserei was a Kommando of the Werkstätten of the Zentralbauleitung - workshops specializing in various building sectors in which the Kommandos (of inmates) - for the most specialized workmen - operated.

 The Kommandos of the Werkstätten did their work in all Bauwerke, including the crematoria. Following the practice of 1942, the Bauleiter or Bauführer who needed the service, first of all submitted a request to the materials administration (Anforderung an die Materialverwaltung) with the correct numbered form. If the request was authorized (genehmigt), the Werkstättenleiter imparted the task (Auftrag) to the Kommando concerned by means of the appropriate numbered form in which was indicated the type of work to be done. The Kommando which carried out the work then compiled a work-card (Arbeitskarte) in which was indicated the job number, the Kommando, the consignee and the commencement and end of the work. On the back of the card  were listed the materials used (Materialverbrauch) and the cost of the materials plus the work. The Häftlings-Schlosserei had a different card on which was recorded the column (Kolonne), the object of the work (Gegenstand), the customer (Auftragsteller), the commencement (Angefangen) and the end (Beendet) of the work, the name, his qualification and the time the detainee took to do the work. The back of the card was not different from the other card model. The Kommandos were subdivided into columns that operated under the responsibility of the head of the column (Kolonnenführer) and of an Ober-Capo. If the service of the work was the manufacture of any object, on receiving it, the consignee signed a numbered receipt (Empfangsschein).

On 8 February 1943 the 192 detainees of the Häftlings-Schlosserei, who were under the authority of SS-Unterscharführer Kywitz, were in the charge of D.A.W. (Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke) (94) and the new workshop assumed the name D.A.W. WL (= Werkstättenleitung) Schlosserei. Beginning from the next day, the orders that had been placed with the workshop were noted in a register titled WL-Schlosserei which comprised the following headings: date of arrival of orders (Eingegangen am...), serial number of D.A.W. (Lauf. Nr. D.A.W.), reference (Betrifft), object (Gegenstand), number of used working hours (Arbeitsstunden), start (Angefangen) and end (Beendet) of the work. Then relative data was extracted from the Arbeitskarten. The register also contained an indication of the number and date of the orders based on appropriate forms. The Zentralbauleitung supplied these workshops with the necessary material, issuing a delivery order (Lieferschein) in their favor. The work being done, D.A.W. sent the Zentralbauleitung the relative invoice. (95)

The numbered form in which the type of work to be carried out (Auftrag) was indicated bore as a rule the plan that showed the form and size of the object to be constructed and listed the necessary materials, as for example appears in "Auftrag" no. 67 of 6 March 1943. (96)

Photograph 4 Photograph 5
Photograph 4
Auftrag of the Zentralbauleitung
to the W.L. Schlosserei no. 67
of 6 March 1943. Recto

Photograph 5
Auftrag of the Zentralbauleitung
to the W.L. Schlosserei no. 67
of 6 March 1943. Verso
Click on each picture for a blowup version
Photo #5 is dark in the original.

This "Auftrag" appears in the register of the "WL-Schlosserei" in the following terms:
    «8.3.43. Nr.165. K.G.L. Einäscherungsanlage BW. 30 b und c. Przedmiot [object]: 64 Stck. Steinschrauben aus Rundeisen 5/8" Ø nach nachstehender Skizze. Lieferzeit: eilt! Baultgs. Auftrag. Nr. 67 vom 6.3.43. Ukonczono [completed]: 2.4.43.» (97)
So if Kula really built the above contraption, then it was the object of a specific Auftrag of the Zentralbauleitung in which there was a sketch indicating the structure and exact dimensions of the device's various parts, and Kula constructed it on the basis of this sketch. Having therefore studied the sketch and then having realized the device, Kula was the person who best understood it and who could best describe it. Consequently, in this respect he is the number one witness.

On the other hand, the description of the device for introducing Zyklon B that was supplied by Henryk Tauber in his deposition of 24 May 1945 agrees with that of Kula, as can be seen from the following translation made from the original text:
    «The vault of the gas chamber rested on concrete pillars along the center of its length. On the left and on the right of these pillars there were four columns. The outside part of these columns was made of grills (kraty) of thick steel wire (z grubego drutu) that went up to the ceiling and into the exterior. Inside (98) this part was a second net (druga siatka) with smaller mesh and holes, and in its interior a third [net] was planted. In this third net (w tej trzeciej siatce) a box (pudelko) was moved by means of which, using a steel wire, the powder - from which the gas had by now evaporated - was withdrawn.» (99)
Consequently, faced with the testimony of Kula, the testimony of Karl Schultze is totally insignificant, either because - as we have seen above - he only mentions the holes but not the columns, and hence did not see the columns at a time when they would necessarily have had to have been present, or because he was a chance witness.

In conclusion, if the columns measured 70 x 70 cm, the holes in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II could not have measured 25 x 25 cm.

The second assumption upon which Provan bases his conclusions is the "rule of architecture," according to which
    «when violent stress is put on a concrete structure, cracks show up passing through holes made previous to the violent force, since the holes makes the structure weaker in that location.» (p. 26)
This "rule" has already been stated and applied by Germar Rudolf in his analysis of the holes in question (p. 26).

Provan's analysis of "criminal" hole no. 2

Provan adopts this "rule" in the following way to explain hole no. 2:
    «According to the testimony of the witness Schultze, the Zyklon B holes were only some 25 cm square when he saw them (in 1943). We do not see why a small hole couldn't be made much larger after suffering a violent shock of a massive explosion, so violent as to lift the entire southern end of the roof into the air high enough to smash a hole in the roof at Pillar 1 on the way down. If some of the holes in the nearby oven room were entirely destroyed in the explosion, we think it reasonable to suppose the cause for Hole 2 being so large now, is the same demolition work. Bear in mind that the explosions which occurred were strong enough to open holes in the ceiling where none had been before, and one will recognize the power to make a smaller hole bigger. So we posit a smaller hole originally, made larger by the explosives.» (pp. 27-28)
This postulation is untenable because it is based on
a "rule" that is belied by the reality of the facts.

The explosion in Leichenkeller 2 of Krema II was still more violent than that in Leichenkeller 1 since it destroyed nearly all the cover of the locality, except for a small part at the east end. Now it is precisely on this part of the cover that there is a round hole through which passed the piping for the de-aeration (Entlüftung) of Leichenkeller 2. (See photographs 6 & 7).
Photograph 6
Photograph 6
Round hole for the pipe of the de-aeration
(Entlüftung) appliance in the reinforced
concrete cover of Leichenkeller 2 of
Krema II in Birkenau. August 2000.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 7
Photograph 7
Round hole for the pipe of the de-aeration
(Entlüftung) appliance in the reinforced
concrete cover of Leichenkeller 2 of
Krema II in Birkenau. August 2000.
Enlargement of photograph 6.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 8
Photograph 8
Round hole for the pipe of the de-aeration
(Entlüftung) appliance in the reinforced
concrete cover of Leichenkeller 2 of
Krema II in Birkenau. October 1991.
© Carlo Mattogno

This hole, with a diameter of 38 cm, (100) has not suffered any damage from the explosion: its edges have remained intact (see photograph 8).

The ventilation holes that existed in the reinforced concrete ceiling of the furnace room in Krema III have also remained intact, or damaged but in such a way that their rectangular form remains clearly recognizable. These holes measured 80 cm x 50 cm, (101) were 5 in number, and each was placed on the ceiling above the central muffle of each crematory oven. (102) As Pressac has noted, these are clearly visible in a photograph of Krema II taken at the beginning of 1943. (103) Photographs 9 and 10 show the first two holes from the west, one intact, the other slightly damaged.
Photograph 9
Photograph 9
Attic of the furnace room of
Krema III. First ventilation hole
(from the west). June 1990.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 10
Photograph 10
Attic of the furnace room of
Krema III. Second ventilation hole
(from the west). June 1990.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 11
Photograph 11
The 5 ventilation holes in the
attic of the furnace room of
Krema III.
Photograph of J.-C. Pressac

Click on photo for a blowup version
Pressac has published a photograph in which all five holes appear (photograph 11).

Starting from the hole nearest the lens (from the east), the first is damaged but recognizable as a hole. The second is indistinct since from it emerges one of the reinforced concrete pillars that supported the attic of the furnace room. The remains of a pillar jut out also from the first hole. The two holes are linked by a long crack that was evidently caused by the collapse of this part of the ceiling on these two pillars. The third hole appears to be slightly damaged, the fourth and fifth are intact.

Therefore, of five (104) holes originally placed on two reinforced concrete covers that were blown up by the SS and of which we have visual documentation, three remain intact, one is slightly damaged and the other has suffered more serious damage but is nonetheless easily recognizable as a hole: the rectangular squaring and the straight internal edges are still clearly visible.

From this investigation comes the conclusion that in the specific case of the ruins of Kremas II and III the "rule" assumed by Provan and Germar Rudolf is worthless in that it is categorically refuted by the ruins.

Hence Provan's conclusion that the existing hole no. 2 in the cover of Leichenkeller 1 was enlarged from a smaller hole  due to the explosion is totally untenable.

Photograph 12
Photograph 12
Detail of the reinforcement of
the reinforced concrete cover
of Leichenkeller 2 of Krema II.
Photograph published by
J.-C. Pressac

Such a conclusion is also untenable from a technical point of view. The reinforcement of the ceiling of the Leichenkeller  constituted a thick lattice of iron rods arranged in parallel in the longitudinal and transversal senses, as can be seen in a photograph published by Pressac (105) of which an enlarged section appears in photograph 12.

Now the violent action caused by an explosion is due to the enormous pressure which it causes. For example, TNT creates an impact force of 8,100 kg per square meter. Though huge, such a pressure cannot volatize the thick plaiting of iron rods that are found inside the presumed original hole no. 2 of 25 cm x 25 cm (= 625 cm2). (106) According to Provan, this hole measured 89 cm x 52 cm (p. 26), so about 4 630 cm2. It follows that the explosion would have volatized about 4,000 cm2 of reinforced concrete and iron bars, leaving only insignificant traces. Nevertheless, all the other holes photographed by Provan - and also others not photographed - show most plainly the remains of the iron bars in the reinforcement, which therefore have not been volatized at all.

Having established that hole no. 2 could not have been enlarged from an originally smaller one, let us now consider another essential question.

As I showed above, by far the most important witness of the presumed columns for introducing Zyklon B is Michal Kula.

He declared that such columns had a square cross-section of 70 cm x 70 cm and a height of 3 meters, so that they ran across the ceiling and protruded above it by 41 (=300 - 241 - 18) cm. In order to install such an apparatus it was necessary to make a slightly bigger hole in the reinforced concrete ceiling, let us say of 75 cm x 75 cm.

Photograph 13
Photograph 13
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 of
Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in June 1990.
© Carlo Mattogno

Nevertheless, when I measured it in June 1990, hole no.2 had a trapezoidal form of greatest side 86 cm and a maximum breadth of 50 cm (see photograph 13). The side opposite the greatest ran obliquely for 52 cm toward the interior ending in the shape of a tooth, then it continued parallel to the opposite greatest side for a further 40 cm. A distance of 43 cm separated the tooth from the opposite side.

Between 1992 (photograph 14) and 1997 (photograph 15) the hole has been coarsely enlarged and squared by blows with a chisel.
Photograph 14
Photograph 14
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau. Hole no. 2 in July 1992.

© Carlo Mattogno


Photograph 15
Photograph 15
Reinforced concrete cover of
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in
Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in August 1997.

© Carlo Mattogno

As can be seen from a comparison of the photographs 16, 17 and 18, hole no. 2 appearing in the photograph of 1945 has been successively enlarged, especially in its eastern part.

[IMAGE]
Photograph 16
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in June - July 1945.
Enlargement of photograph 2.
Photograph 17
Photograph 17
Reinforced concrete cover of
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in July 1992.

© Carlo Mattogno
Photograph 18
Photograph 18
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in August 2000.

© Carlo Mattogno

Because the greatest sides of the hole measured 50 cm x 86 cm in 1991 and this hole was smaller in 1945, it could not have contained a column with square section 70 cm x 70 cm, so that this hole is absolutely incompatible with the essential testimony of Kula.

When and by whom was this hole made?

Photograph 2 was taken by Stanisaw Kolowca who was engaged on 29 May 1945 as a press-photographer by the examining magistrate Jan Sehn. (107) It was published as photograph no. 70 in the court record of the trial of Rudolf Höss (108) and probably goes back to the months of June and July of 1945.

In the expert report on the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau made by Prof. Roman Dawidowski on behalf of Jan Sehn and finished on 26 September 1946, it is stated that on the 12th of May and the 4th of June of 1945 inspections in the areas of Krema IV and Krema II were carried out, where there were discovered
    «2 damaged shutters from the ventilation apertures of the gas chamber in this crematorium / Zinksiebe 7 cm x 18 cm - order no. 162.» (109)
In this regard, the expert toxicological report made by Dr. Jan Z. Robel on 15 December 1945 specifies that:
    «4 complete and 2 damaged shutters from ventilation apertures were received on 12 May 1945; these were found during inspection of Krema II in Birkenau and originated from the ventilation apertures of the gas chamber [Leichenkeller no.1] in this crematorium.» (110)
So the inspection of this presumed gas chamber was very thorough, seeing that it authorized the find of the above six shutters. (111) Moreover, these were not found by accident but were searched for because Jan Sehn knew of the ventilation appliance for Leichenkeller 1 either from the crematory plans later analyzed by Dawidowski or from the register of the "Schlosserei" from which could be seen that this workshop manufactured 50 shutters of this type for Krema II. (112)

Nevertheless, Prof. Dawidowski did not mention any holes in the ceiling of this locality in his specialist report that listed nearly all the "criminal pieces of evidence" that were later taken up by Pressac (including various photographs and eight plans of the crematoria). As for the presumed devices for the introduction of Zyklon B, he limited himself to stating:
    «Then an SS-man wearing a gas mask opened from the outside the trapdoors (klapy) of the apertures in the ceiling of the gas chamber and poured the contents of cans of Zyklon B into the evaporation column of [wire] nets which was situated beneath these holes.» (113)
Why did Prof. Dawidowski not mention the most important evidence, that of hole no. 2 in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1? If it existed, this hole could not have escaped the notice of Jan Sehn during his inspection of 12 May 1945. In my opinion, the hole was made during the investigation by Jan Sehn in order to discover proof or evidence of the presumed criminal activity of the SS in this locality. However, it cannot be excluded that the Soviets had previously made it for the same purpose.

Photograph 19
Photograph 19
Sketch of the device for
introducing Zyklon B, made
by J.-C. Pressac according
to the statements of
Michal Kula

A final observation. Pressac has published a sketch of the device described by Kula, just in the chapter dedicated to the witness Tauber, which Provan has read with particular care and from which he has taken two citations. As photograph 19 shows, this drawing indicates both the dimensions of the sides (70 cm x 70 cm) and the documentary source. (114)

Furthermore, the work Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp (115) - which Provan knows well since he cites it in note 35 on p. 10 - has a chapter written by Franciszek Piper with the title "Gas Chambers and Crematoria" where one reads in connection with the testimony of Michal Kula:
    «Zyklon B was distributed in the gas chamber through four introduction columns custom-made in the metalwork shops of the camp. They were shaped like pillars and made of two wire grids with a movable core. Cross sections of the pillars, 3 m high, formed a square, each measuring 70 cm.» (116)
In spite of this, Provan never mentions it in his study. Why? And why did he fall back on the irrelevant testimony of Karl Schultze? Evidently because the evidence of Kula regarding measurements does not agree at all with any for the holes that are found in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II.

Hole no. 7

Study of hole no. 7 allows one to better understand the transformation over the years of hole no. 2.

Provan accepts the revisionist argument that this hole
Photograph 20
Photograph 20
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in June 1990.

© Carlo Mattogno

    «cannot be a Zyklon B insertion hole, for the simple reason that up until a few years ago, the rebars originally running west to east were merely cut at the western end and pulled up and over toward the east. (This was true, though now only one of these rebars remains intact; the rest, as we have observed, have been removed). The Germans would have never constructed a poison gas aperture like this, since it could not be airtight» (p.26).
In fact, in 1990 this hole was as it appears in photograph 20

Photograph 21
Photograph 21
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in June 1990.
© Carlo Mattogno
From the eastern edge of the concrete on the roof of the Leichenkeller five iron bars of length up to 40 cm are bent back; moreover, two transverse iron bars delimit the northern and southern sides of this hole (see photograph 21) whose edges show evident traces of chiseling.

These iron bars were still intact in 1991 (see photograph 22) and in 1992 (see photograph 23).
Photograph 22
Photograph 22
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in October 1991.
© Carlo Mattogno


Photograph 23
Photograph 23
Reinforced concrete cover of
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in
Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in July 1992.
© Carlo Mattogno

In 1997 only two iron bars remained and the hole had been crudely squared (photograph 24). Finally, in 2000 there remained only a single iron bar (photograph 25).
Photograph 24
Photograph 24
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in August 1997.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 25
Photograph 25
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 7 in August 2000.
© Carlo Mattogno

Having established that this was not a hole for the introduction of Zyklon B and that it was not made by the SS, the question remains: who made it and why?

Photograph 26
Photograph 26
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 2 in October 1991.
Inside the hole one notes the square concrete
cover from an inspection manhole from the
sewer of the crematorium.
© Carlo Mattogno


However that may be, what is certain is that this hole and also hole no. 2, both of which were made after the collapse of the locality's ceiling, were later tampered with to make them look like holes for introducing Zyklon B. In order to complete this theater, a concrete cover from one of the inspection manholes for the sewer of the crematorium (photograph 26) - that Pressac had earlier found next to this hole (117) was dropped into hole no. 2.

In conclusion, if there really were four 70 cm x 70 cm square holes in the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1, what need would there have been, even for research purposes, to create new holes, even smaller ones? 

The "criminal" holes no. 6 and no. 8.

Let us consider the holes regarded by Provan as "criminal." Hole no. 6 (photographs 27 and 28) is a crack clearly caused by the collapse of this part of the ceiling on supporting pillar no. 6, exactly like hole no. 1. This does not even have a definite shape like holes no. 2 and no. 7.

Photograph 27
Photograph 27
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in Birkenau. Hole no. 6 in June 1990.
© Carlo Mattogno

Photograph 28
Photograph 28
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II in Birkenau. Hole no. 6 in August 2000.
© Carlo Mattogno

The hole no. 8 (Photograph 29) forms a part of a long fracture in the covering of the Leichenkeller/morgue, due to the fact that this part of the cover separated from the exterior wall which had received rain (evident in the background of Photograph 30) and collapsed into Pillar 6 (that appears around the right of the fissure) and into Pillar 5, not visible, which is found to the left, under the covering, in connection to the start of the fracture.

Photograph 29
Photograph 29
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau.
Hole no. 8 in August 2000.
© Carlo Mattogno
Photograph 30
Photograph 30
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau. August 2000.
© Carlo Mattogno



 Line of fracture part of which forms hole no. 8 (the last on the right in the photograph) and which continues past it (see photograph 31).

Photograph 31
Photograph 31
Reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1
of Krema II in Birkenau. 2000.
Hole no. 8 (at the center) is the continuation of
the fracture of which it forms a part.
© Carlo Mattogno

(click picture for blowup)
This fracture continues to the right of pillar 6 in a large crack in which the lattice of iron rods of the reinforcement is clearly visible (photograph 31).

Hole no. 8, like no. 6, is a simple fracture without definite shape. Moreover, as can be seen in the enlargement of photograph 29, a good half of its area (the upper part) is crossed by four iron bars, which confirms on the one hand that we are dealing with a fracture caused by the collapse of the cover, and on the other, which excludes the possibility that it was an introduction hole for Zyklon B, as Provan admits is the case for hole no. 7. In fact, accepting the revisionist thesis, he denies that this hole served for introducing Zyklon B, precisely because of the previous presence on its edges of the reinforcing iron bars (p. 26).

The"chimneys"

There is another important problem to which Provan hasn't paid the slightest attention: the question of the little "chimneys" supposedly constructed on the roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II and whose purpose was to house in their interior and protect the part of the device of metallic nets for introducing Zyklon B - chimneys, which as we have seen above, protruded by 41 cm above the level of the roof. According to Tauber, these chimneys were closed "with a concrete cover" (p.4), so that they must have been made from bricks - something otherwise obvious - and these bricks had to be walled with concrete or cement. Nevertheless, inside the holes now existing in the reinforced concrete cover there is no trace of these "chimneys," and it is impossible that the explosion which destroyed Leichenkeller 1 caused a disappearance of all the bricks from which they were made.

The hypothesis of Robert Jan van Pelt

In his report for the Irving-Lipstadt trial, van Pelt provided a peculiar argument to explain the absence of holes in the roof of Leichenkeller 1. In fact, he takes it to be "logical" that these holes for the introduction of Zyklon B were closed again by the SS before they blew the roof of the crematorium sky-high! (118)

Therefore, the SS would have worried about the Soviets finding traces of the holes for the introduction of Zyklon B and then have left in their hands 5,800 eyewitnesses to the alleged homicidal gassing as well as the entire archives of the Zentralbauleitung! (119)

And all this without taking into consideration the fact that the closure of a big hole in a roof of reinforced concrete would have left easily visible traces, as can be seen in the ceiling of the Leichenhalle of Krema I! When at the end of 1944 this crematorium was transformed by the SS-Standortartz (120) into a "gasdichter Behandlungsraum," round holes for the ventilation piping were made in the ceiling of the former Leichenhalle, now subdivided into small rooms. In fact, the 26 August 1944 letter of "Luftschutzleiter" SS-Obersturmführer Josten mentions the
    «Herstellung der für die Beheizungsöfen, sowie für die Ent- und Belüftung erforderlichen Mauerdurchbrüche und Schläuche.» (121)
Photograph 32
Photograph 32
Ceiling of the Leichenhalle of Krema I.
August 1997.
Traces of one of the round holes for ventilation
of the "Luftschutzbunker."
© Carlo Mattogno


Nonetheless, since the external wall of the Leichenhalle was re-covered with earth (just like the opposite wall on the side of the furnace room), it is clear that holes for the tubing of the Entlüftung-Belüftung were made in the ceiling. They were subsequently closed again, but in the ceiling of the locality there remain traces still easily recognizable, as can be seen from photograph 32.

Photograph 33
Photograph 33
Interior of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II. July 1992.
© Carlo Mattogno



In Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II an extensive area on the internal side of the ceiling is preserved around pillar no. 1, a zone in which the first hole for the introduction of Zyklon B should be found. Nevertheless, the ceiling shows no sign of having been closed again, and this should have been even more evident because the ceiling still preserves the outline of planks used for the carpentry work.

Photograph 33 shows a section of the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 (East side).

Van Pelt's hypothesis is therefore totally untenable.

VIII. THE RELIABILITY OF WITNESSES TAUBER AND KULA

Having established that there are no introduction holes for Zyklon B in the reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II, and that there never were any, it remains to explain the concordance between the testimonies of Kula and Tauber.

It must first be established whether the devices described by the two witnesses were effectively constructed.

In Section VII we have seen that if Kula had really built the device he describes, then it was ordered from the WL-Schlosserei (or previously the Häftlings-Schlosserei) of the Zentralbauleitung by means of a specific Auftrag. But if this is true, this Auftrag ought to appear in the register of the WL-Schlosserei.

Now on 25 July 1945 - some months after witnesses Tauber and Kula had been heard - the examining magistrate Jan Sehn drew up a record in which he summarized all orders relating to the crematoria that had been found in the above register:
    «There are in the book, among other things, the following entries that refer to work done by the slusarna (= Schlosserei) in relation to the construction and maintenance of the crematoria.» (122)
There follows the list of entries of the "Aufträge" of the Zentralbauleitung relating to the crematoria. Nevertheless, in this long list - which contains 85 "Aufträge" - the device described by Kula is missing.

Yet, the first entry is a "Bestellschein" of the Zentralbauleitung dated 28 October 1942, (123) so that the absence of the device described by Kula is not for chronological reasons. Its absence is neither for reasons of "secrecy" since in the register various orders are recorded relating to gas-tight doors (gasdichte Türen) for the alleged gas chambers in the crematoria. (124)

On the other hand, even a bit of work carried out personally by Kula appears in the register - the only bit in the entire register. In fact, Jan Sehn writes at the end of his list:
    «Moreover, under the current number 433 of the book there is an entry dated 20 May 1943 with the following drift:
      "Rö[ntgen]-Station in F.L. [Frauenlager]:
      Przedmiot [object]: 2 Stück kopl. Verbindungsstücke für Gummischlauch.
      Liferzeti [Lieferzeit] - dringend. An Prof. Schumann ausfolgen.
      Wykonawca [executor]: Kula.
      Ukonczono [terminated]: 21.5.43."
Compare the interrogation record of witness Michal Kula dated 11 June 1945.» (125)

So Jan Sehn knew perfectly well that Kula's statements about the columns for introducing Zyklon B had no documentary basis and were therefore false. But when at the hearing of 15 March 1947 during the Höss trial Kula testified as a witness (126) and once again provided the above description of columns, (127) nobody confronted him with the fact that the relative Auftrag did not appear in the register of the WL-Schlosserei. And the reason for this is easy to understand.

Moreover, something even more surprising is that during his interrogation on 11 June 1945 Kula made explicit reference to the above work done for Dr. Schumann, giving the exact number of the relative Auftrag in the register of the WL-Schlosserei:
    «From the book of the slusarna (= Schlosserei) it emerges that at the time I had to repair this pump [current situation no. 433].» (128)
Hence he already knew this register, but then why did he not indicate any "current situation" for the above-mentioned columns?

In this case the response is also easy to comprehend.

In the second place it is necessary to establish if the testimonies of Kula and Tauber on this matter are independent of each other. Now seeing that the descriptions of the columns given by these two witnesses coincide, and seeing that these columns were never constructed, it is clear that we are dealing with a concordance on falsehood, so that the question of independence of the testimonies becomes irrelevant. It remains a fact however that Tauber and Kula remained at Birkenau until the 18th and 21st  of January 1945 respectively, and considering the close contact that detainees maintained (above all by those who belonged to various resistance movements in the camp), the independence of the testimonies seems exceedingly dubious.

IX. CONCLUSIONS

The thesis of holes for introducing Zyklon B in the reinforced concrete cover of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II is based exclusively on statements made by self-styled eyewitnesses, in particular by Michal Kula, and there is neither any documentary nor any material proof to support it. In their turn, these statements have no verification, either documentary or material, so they are totally unreliable. In its present state, the cover of Leichenkeller 1of Krema II shows no holes for the introduction of Zyklon B, nor is it possible that they were later closed without leaving any trace. Therefore these holes never existed.
This does not justify the slogan "No Holes? No Holocaust," but fully justifies the following conclusion:

No holes, no homicidal gas chamber in Krema II, no homicidal gas chamber at Auschwitz.

No Holes, No Gas Chambers!



Abbreviations

AGK : Archiwum Glównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni w Polsce (Archives of the Central Commission of Inquiry into German Crimes in Poland), Warsaw.

APMO : Archiwum Panstwowego Muzeum Oswiecim-Brzezinka (Archives of the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau).

IMT : Der Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem internationalen Militärgerichtshof. Nürnberg 1947.

NA : National Archives, Washington D.C.

RGVA: Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennii Vojennii Archiv (Russian State Archives of the War, ex TCIDK - Tsentr Chranenija Istoriko-dokumental'nich Kollektsii, Center for the Custody of the Historical-Documentary Collection, Moscow).


Completed on 26 March 2001


NOTES


1. The slogan "No Holes, No Holocaust" is due to Robert Faurisson.

2. Printed by : Zimmer Printing, 410 West Main Street, Monongahela, PA 15063. © 2000 by Charles D. Provan.

3. Royal Courts of Justice, sentence of Justice Gray of 11 April 2000, points 7.91-7.94.

4. University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles, 1994, pp. 187-188.

5. Idem, p.188.

6. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden und München 1982.

7. Idem, p. 204.

8. Plan 933 of 19 January 1944, in  J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York 1989, pp. 280-281.

9. IMT, vol. XX, p. 545.

10. Idem, p. 550.

11. Idem, p. 551.

12. Bendel called himself "Charles Sigismund."

13. Témoignages sur Auschwitz. Paris 1946.

14. Idem, p. 161.

15. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers , p. 286.

16. NI-11953. Interrogatotion of 2 March 1946.

17. NI-11390.

18. The ceiling of Leichenkeller 2 was 2.30 m high. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 286.

19. Copyright by Dr. Nyiszli Miklos, Oradea, Nagyvárad, 1946.

20. Auschwitz. A Doctor's Eyewitness Account. Fawcett Crest, New York 1961.

21. It concerns Leichenkeller 2, the alleged "undressing room."

22. Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban, p. 33 ("length about 200 meters").

23. Leichenkeller 1, the alleged "gas chamber ".

24. Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban, p. 34 ("This room has the same size as the undressing room ").

25. Idem, p. 35 ("30 meters, the one from the other").

26. Auschwitz. A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, p. 44-45.

27. Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban, p. 35.

28. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 286.

29. Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban, p. 37.

30. Auschwitz. A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, p. 47.

31. Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban, p. 32.

32. Auschwitz. A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, p. 43.

33. Idem, p. 149.

34. Idem, p. 37. After 18 November 1944 Nyiszli was transferred from Krema II to Krema V. Ibidem, p. 139 and 146.

35. Témoignages sur Auschwitz., p. 161-162.

36. Zyklon B was not constituted of "crystals," but an inert support base - normally fossil granules [diatomaceous earth] soaked in hydrocyanic acid.

37. Filip Müller, Sonderbehandlung. Drei Jahre in den Krematorien und Gaskammern von Auschwitz. Verlag Steinhausen, München 1979, p. 96.

38. Idem, p. 287.

39. Auschwitz: un caso di plagio. Edizioni La Sfinge, Parma 1986; English translation: Auschwitz: A Case of Plagiarism, The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 10, n. 1, spring 1990.

40. Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian "False News" Trial of Ernst Zündel - 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Samisdat Publishers Ltd., Toronoto 1992, p. 353.

41. Ernst Gauss, Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte. Strittige Fragen im Kreuzverhör. Grabert Verlag, Tübingen 1993, pp. 104-107. Jean-Marie Boisdefeu, La controverse sur l'extermination des Juifs par les Allemands. Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, Anvers 1996, vol. I, pp. 162-165.

42. Mission: 60 PRS/462 SQ. Exposure : 3056. Can : D 1508, 31 May 1942, NA.

43. Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian "False News" Trial of Ernst Zündel - 1988, p. 353.

44. Measurement by the author among the ruins of Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II.

45. Testimony of Rudolf Hoess taken at Nuremberg Germany, on 1 April 1946, 1470 to 1730 by Mr. Sender Jaari and Lt. Whitney Harris, pp. 17 - 19.

46. Idem, p. 20.

47. Ibidem.

48. Idem, p. 26.

49. Idem, p. 25. Provan cites this passage on p. 15.

50. This camp never existed. It should correspond to "Sobibór," but it is absolutely incomprehensible how Höss could have transformed "Sobibór" into "Wolzek."

51. NO-1210.

52. Testimony of Rudolf Hoess taken at Nuremberg Germany, on 1 April 1946, 1470 to 1730 by Mr. Sender Jaari and Lt. Whitney Harris, p. 27.

53. NO-1210.

54. PS-3868.

55. Danuta Czech, Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbeck bei Hamburg 1989, p. 186.

56. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie du meurtre de masse. CNRS Editions, Paris 1993, p. 115.

57. Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas. Eine Dokumentation. Herausgegeben von Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein, Adalbert Rückerl u.a. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt/Main 1983, p.165.

58. Idem, p. 182.

59. Testimony of Rudolf Hoess taken at Nuremberg Germany, on 1 April 1946, 1470 to 1730 by Mr. Sender Jaari and Lt. Whitney Harris, p. 25.

60. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie de meurtre de masse, document 9, plate.

61. Idem, documents 10-11 (plates).

62. Testimony of Rudolf Hoess taken at Nuremberg Germany, on 1 April 1946, 1470 to 1730 by Mr. Sender Jaari and Lt. Whitney Harris, p. 25.

63. Plan 936(p), 936 (r), 1173-1174(p), 1173-1174(r), 933, 933[-934], 933[-934](p), 933[-934](r), 932(p), 932(r), 934 in: J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, pp. 268-288.

64. J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 302. Idem, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie de meurtre de masse, pp. 63-64.

65. On this, see my study La "Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz." Edizioni di Ar, Padova 1998.

66. Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945, p. 241.

67. The one appearing in plan 2003 of 19 December 1942.

68. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, pp. 311-312.

69. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie de meurtre de masse, pp. 54 and 50.

70. Idem, pp. 64-65.

71. W.W. Norton & Company, New York London 1996.

72. Auschwitz 1270 to the Present. W.W. Norton & Company, New York London 1996, p. 324. Plan 2003 of 19 December 1942 is published by the two authors as Plate 17 in the appendix "Plates. Blueprints of Genocide."

73. Leichenkeller 1.

74. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie du meurtre de masse, p. 60.

75. Ibidem.

76. Note of SS-Untersturmführer Wolter of 27 November 1942. RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 65.

77. Bericht Nr. 1 referring to construction work done on the crematoria and drawn up on 23 January 1943 by Bischoff for Kammler. RGVA, 502-1-313, pp. 54-55.

78. Ibidem.

79. Topf, Arbeits-Bescheinigung of Messing for 15-21 March 1943. APMO, BW 30/31, p. 25.

80. According to plan 1311 of 14 May 1942, which on 27 November was still in force. Cf. J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op. cit., p. 294.

81. Baubericht für Monat Oktober 1942. RGVA, 502-1-24, p. 86.

82. Letter of 14 October 1942 from Bischoff to the firm Huta. RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 112.

83. J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 284.

84. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie du meurtre de masse, p. 60.


85. The Leichenhalle of the crematorium.

86. J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie du meurtre de masse, p. 34.

87. RGVA, 502-1-336, page number illegible.

88. Arbeits-Bescheinigung of Messing for the week 8-14 March 1943. APMO, AuII-BW 30/31, p. 26.

89. The Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945 indicates erroneously the date of 13 March (p. 440).

90. Regarding this Provan writes: "The Pressac date for the beginning of gassing at Krematorium 2 is about the middle of March, 1943, so this would be the latest date for the 'installation' of introduction holes" (pp. 18-19).

91. Protokolle des Todes "Der Spiegel", 40/1993, p. 162. The passage cited by Provan is in English translation on p.4.

92. Trial of Höss, vol. 2, pp. 99-100.

93. RGVA, 502-1-295, p. 63.

94. See the preceding note.

95. For the sources and relative documents, see my above study La "Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz."

96. APMO, BW 1/31/162, pp. 328-328a.

97. The trial of Höss, vol. 11, p. 86

98. "Za," literally "behind."

99. The trial of Höss, vol. 11, cross-examination of Henryk Tauber of 24 May 1945, pp. 129-130.

100. Measurement of the author. Pressac publishes 5 photographs showing the same hole, but the diameter he gives is erroneous (25 cm). J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 365.

101. Measurement by the author of the ruins of Krema III.

102. See the Topf plan D 59366 of 10 March 1942, "Schnitt b-b" where one reads: "Diese Öffnungen liegen über jeder Ofen-Mitte." J-C. Pressac, Les crématoires d'Auschwitz. La machinerie du meurtre de masse. Pressac, document 15 (plate).

103. J.-C-Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 367.

104. The second hole in the attic of the furnace room is too indistinct to judge how much it has been damaged. Moreover, the damage has been caused by the collapse of the attic onto a supporting pillar.

105. J.-C-Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 338.

106. Michele Giua - Clara Giua-Lollini, Dizionario di chimica generale e industriale. UTET, Torino 1949, vol. II, under the headword "Esplosivi," p.178.

107. AGK, NTN, 93, p. 29.

108. Idem, p. 45.

109. Idem, p. 30.

110. Idem, p. 72.

111. Photographs of two of these shutters have been published by Pressac (Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 487, where they are called "galvanized sheet coverings").

112. "18.2.43. Nr. 83. [...]. 50 Stick (sic) Blechsiebe 7 x 18 cm. Liefertermin 17.2.43". Trial of Höss, vol. 11, p. 83.

113. Trial of Höss, vol. 11, p. 45.

114. J.-C-Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 487.

115. Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berembaum, editors. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 1994.

116. Idem, p. 167.

117. J.-C-Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 229, caption for l document 46.

118. "The Pelt Report," p. 295.

119. Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945, p. 995.

120. The relative plan 4287 of 21 September 1944 is titled "Ausbau des alten Krematorium. Luftschutzbunker für SS Revier mit einem Operationsraum." RGVA, 502-2-147, p. 20.

121. RGVA, 502-1-401, p. 37.

122. Trail of Höss, vol. 11, p. 82.

123. Ibidem.

124. Auftrag 323 of 16 April 1943, Trail of Höss, vol. 11, p. 92. Other references on pages 84 ("4 dichte Türen"), 90 ("Gasduchte [sic] Türen"),

125. Trail of Höss, vol. 11, p. 97.

126. AGK, NTN, 107, p. 467-523.

127. In this deposition Kula said that the columns had a height of 2.5 meters, since he believed that the ceiling of Leichenkeller 1 had a height of only 2 meters. Idem, p. 498.

128. Trial of Höss, vol. 2, p. 83.