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Holocaust Denial & The Big Lie

Doors of Gas Chambers Too Weak to Prevent Escape

Holocaust denial asserts that the doors of the "alleged" gas chambers were much too weak to withstand the pressure of people trying to escape death from inside the chambers.

Since none of the Kremas remained in their original state (Bunker I & II and Kremas II,III,IV and V destroyed, and Krema I modified) there is no physical evidence as to how the doors of the extermination gas chambers looked like. However, a door which probably belonged to an extermination gas chamber was discovered in the camp's building yard; it is massive, and reinforced with iron bars. Furthermore, the small peephole is protected from the inside with a strong metal grid, probably installed so the victims would not break the glass in the peephole.

Picture of gastight doors of Krema II
Picture of Gas-Tight Doors of Krema II

Those making this claim present pictures of doors for the delousing chambers, which were not fortified, presumably on the assumption that viewers are too inept to notice the switch. For a photograph of a door probably used in an extermination gas chamber, see Pressac (486). Pressac also includes photographs of a door discovered in the ruins of Krema IV.

How Krema IV Looked Before  It Was Destroyed

They would not have used Zyklon-B for gassing

Holocaust denial often claims that if the Nazis had intended to kill people by lethal gassing, they would have used something other than Zyklon B.

Zyklon-B was in use at Auschwitz as a delousing agent, and was thus readily available. The Nazis had experience in its safe use as well, which made it even more attractive. It is easy to transport, store and use.

Zyklon B Canister and Human Remains
Zyklon B Canister And Pellets

In addition, Zyklon B was easy to ship and to store, which also made it attractive to the SS, who ordered enough of it, as Ho"ss pointed out in his testimony, to kill two million people. Yitzhak Arad mentions Christian Wirth's rejection of Zyklon-B for use in exterminations: Wirth developed his own ideas on the basis of the experiences he had gained in the Euthanasia program. Thus, in Belzec he decided to supply the fixed gas chamber with gas produced by the internal-combustion engine of a motorcar. [He] rejected Cyanide B which was later used at Auschwitz. This gas was produced by private firms and its extensive use in Belzec might have aroused suspicion and led to problems of supply. He therefore preferred a system of extermination based on ordinary, universally available gasoline and diesel fuel. (YVS XVI, 211)

In a letter requesting for a truck to bring Zyklon-B to Auschwitz, the standard camouflage term "resettlement of Jews" is used to refer to extermination. Another such document asks for "material for special treatment" - another term used to disguise extermination (See Pressac, 557. For more examples of the camouflage terms noted, Google Nazi documents).

Nazis "Resettlement Of Jews". This Was Code For Sending Jews to Death Camps, Like The Ones Being Loaded Onto These Trains.

Man Holds Infant Son As He Boards Train For Death Camps

Jews being Loaded On Train For Death Camps

Radio message 13 SS Garrison Radio Station Auschwitz Origin WVHA [SS economic administration head office]
Received 2nd October 1942 in the Kommandantur of Auschwitz Concentration camp
The movement authorization for one 5 Ton truck with trailer to Dessau and back in order to pick up material for the resettlement of the Jews, is hereby accorded.
The authorization is to be given to the driver.
SS Lieutenant Colonel
Permanent representative of the head of the service
with the rank of Waffen SS
Lieutenant General
For file Head of the radio station

When camp adjutant R. Mulka was asked by Judge Hofmeyer what "material for the resettlement of the Jews" meant, he answered "well, sure. Zyklon-B" (The Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, 11 Sep. 1964).

The gas chambers were never sealed... or there was no provision to exhaust the gas from them... or there was no way for the guards to release the pellets into them, or....

As stated earlier, the extermination chambers were dynamited by the SS when they deserted the camp. There is therefore no direct evidence of what they looked like when they were in operation other than a few photographs taken by the Allies and the SS during the war (See Brugioni; see picture Krema3.gif for view of Krema III taken during the war, from the air). The construction plans do include the air extraction systems, as one readily sees (picture Plan01.gif for example) and the air extraction system is mentioned in many documents. Some of the ventilation openings are still visible in the ruins of the gas chambers. The plans even include the shower heads that were placed in the gas chamber to mislead the victims (see picture Invntry.gif).

It is a sad reflection on Leuchter's integrity and ability to use logic to see that he admits the Kremas were demolished, yet continues to claim he can deduce from their current state how they looked in 1944, before they were blown up! The following is a verbatim excerpt from his cross-examination by Mr. Pearson, in the Zundel trial:

Q. Crematoria III has been demolished.

A. Um, there are still parts of Crematorium III there, but for the most part, the roof of the alleged gas chamber has crumbled and is all lying in bits and pieces in the basement of what would have been the alleged gas chamber.

Q. So, it's no longer subterranean?

A. That's correct. There's a hole in the ground.

Q. With respect to the gas chambers at Crematorium IV and V, those are totally demolished.

A. With the exception of the foundation, yes.

Q. So, all that was there for you to examine was the foundation of the building. Is that right?

A. That is correct.

Leuchter admits that the roof of the gas chamber of Krema III was all blown up and collapsed, and that Krema IV and V are gone except for the foundation! As for Krema II, his testimony is also intriguing:

Q. So, the gas chamber facility itself is presently underground?

A. Parts of it are and parts aren't.

Q. All right. And the parts that are underground, I take it that the roof is no longer whole; is that right?

A. Um, one of the roofs is broken into several pieces but it's essentially whole.

Q. It's broken in several pieces but it's essentially whole?

A. I mean it's not fragmented.

Q. How many pieces?

A. Three, I believe. I say that only to indicate that it's not fragmented. There are large slabs left of the roof.

Q. Right. And it's collapsed.

A. It's dropped several feet. It's partially collapsed.

Q. Is there dirt over it? Is it subterranean?

A. In some places there are dirt over it and some places there's no dirt.

Q. All right. And that's with respect to Crematorium II?

A. That's correct.

Even more incredible is to see what Leuchter writes in his report:
"In Birkenau, Kremas II,III,IV and V are collapsed, or razed to the ground. Bunker I (the red house) is gone."

"Evidence as to Krema function is non-existent since Krema's I oven has been completely rebuilt, Kremas II and III are partially destroyed with components missing, and Kremas IV and V are gone".

"Are gone"! Yet, he can still conjecture about how they functioned
before being destroyed...

The pictures of the gas chambers in their current state appear in Pressac. They are totally demolished and there is no way a reasonable person would claim to be able to conclude anything about how they functioned before they were destroyed.

Leuchter further ridicules himself by stating that the gas chambers were never sealed and that using cyanide gas inside them would be dangerous. But, he admits that the gas was used in them (for delousing purposes, as he claims). This is absurd, of course; if they were not sealed, introducing the gas into them would be dangerous no matter what the purpose was. This obvious contradiction alone is reason enough to discard the "Leuchter report".

If the gas chambers were ventilated, the gas would kill people outside.

Nonsense; it is all a question of concentration. Once the gas is released into the atmosphere, its concentration drops and it is no longer dangerous. Also, HCN dissipates quickly. The execution gas chambers in US prisons are also ventilated directly into the atmosphere. Furthermore, if this argument would hold for the extermination chambers, it would hold for the delousing chambers as well, and one would have to conclude that no delousing chambers existed either.

If so many people were actually killed and cremated, where is all the ash?

After a person is cremated, quite a small amount of ash remains - it fits in a small urn, or a box. This means that ashes of thousands of people fit into one truck. The ash was either scattered around in fields, buried, or - in Auschwitz, for instance - dumped into a river. Also, piles of ash were discovered at some camps (Maidanek, Sobibor).

Trolley Used At Aushwitz to Shove Bodies Into Crematorium Ovens

The people who dropped the Zyklon-B into the chambers would have died from the gas themselves.

Utter nonsense. Like those who used the Zyklon-B in the delousing chambers, the SS men who carried out the gassings utilized gas masks. (The mind boggles at the realization that a "gas chamber expert" could not figure this out.)

The death lists from Auschwitz do not show that any people were gassed, and point to a smaller number of victims.

This is because those lists refer only to those who where assigned serial numbers. The majority of people transferred to the camp were classified as "unfit for work" and gassed immediately. This fact is noted, for instance, in a report written by top SS officer Franke-Gricksch to Himmler (this report is included in our file of Nazi documents, in this archive). These people were not registered nywhere, and no one recorded their names. (Testimony of Polish prisoner Aloiz Oskar Kleta, Shelly, p. 284; Fertig, 12; Fleming, 174. Also, see testimony of Henryk Tauber, Pressac, page 488, as to how the SS routinely burned documents regarding the number of victims).

There was a swimming pool in Auschwitz, hence it could not have been an extermination camp.

Indeed, a water reservoir in Auschwitz I (the main camp) was converted to a swimming pool which was used by the camp's staff. Other means of entertainment for the SS personnel existed - a band composed of prisoners, and a brothel. How this "proves" that Auschwitz was not an extermination center is beyond the author of this text.
Auschwitz reservoir

Aushwitz Reservoir Later Used As Staff Swimming Pool

Much of the area of Auschwitz has a high water table, therefore corpses could not be burned in ditches.

Picture of burning holocaust corpses in ditch.There are pictures of these ditches with corpses burning in them . During the period in which Auschwitz was active, the SS had the area drained; as can be seen today, the drainage, which has not been maintained since 1945, has deteriorated and the water level had risen. Furthermore, the ditches were not used all the time, but only when there were not enough furnaces to cremate the victims or during the extermination of the Hungarian Jews, when so many people were murdered daily that the furnaces could not handle the amount of corpses. The "incineration ditches" are known to have been active in October-November 1942 and the summer of 1944, which do not coincide with the period the snow melts and the water level rises.

How come eye witnesses to the gassings survived? Why didn't the Nazis kill them?

The answer is rather simple - the SS did kill almost all of them. After the war, for instance, there were about 70 survivors from Treblinka (more than 700,000 victims, see also file with excerpts from ruling of German courts in this archive). These survivors escaped from the camp, mostly during the rebellion they carried out. Same for Auschwitz: nearly all the members of the "Special Commando" who saw the gassings and had to carry out and cremate the victims, were killed by the SS, but a small number of them escaped, mostly during the rebellion of October 1944. Another factor is the fact that in the end of the war Auschwitz was in total chaos - the Soviets were approaching fast, and they even bombed the camp. Thus there was no time to kill all the occupants, and some were transferred to camps within Germany. Many of them died in those forced "death marches".

Fumes from a diesel engine are not toxic enough to kill people.

(This claim is made with regard to the death camp of Treblinka - see file with ruling of German courts on this. In other death camps, gasoline engines were used. The method of killing was simple - people were crammed into the gas chambers, and the exhaust of powerful engines was pumped into them).

Nonsense. In a closed chamber, of course diesel fumes will kill. There was actually a study on this, and its results are reported in "The Toxicity of Fumes from a Diesel Engine Under Four Different Running Conditions", by Pattle et al., British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1957, Vol 14, p. 47-55. These researchers ran a few experiments in which various animals were exposed to diesel fumes, and studied the results.

In the experiments, the exhaust of a small diesel engine (568 cc, 6 BHP) was connected to a chamber 10 cubic meters (340 cubic feet) in volume, and the animals were put inside it. In all cases, the animals died. Death was swifter when the intake of air to the engine was restricted, as this causes a large increase in the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) that is emitted. (See, for instance, "diesel Engine Reference Book", by Lilly, 1985, p. 18/8, where it is stated that at a high air/fuel ratio the concentration of CO is only a few parts per million but for lower ratios (25:1) the concentration of CO can rise up to 3,000 ppm. It is very easy to restrict the air intake; the British researchers did so by partially covering the air intake opening with a piece of metal.)

Even in cases where the CO output was low, the animals still died from other toxic components - mainly irritants and nitrogen dioxide.Now, the diesel engines used in Treblinka were much larger - they belonged to captured Soviet T-34 tanks. These tanks weighed 26-31 tons (depending on the model) and had a 500 BHP engine (compared to a mere 6 BHP in the British experiments). The volume of the extermination chambers in Treblinka is, of course, a factor. But the chambers' volume was about 60 cubic meters (2040 cubic feet); this is 6 times more than those in the British experiments, but the difference in the size of the engines is much larger than a factor of 6.

It should be remembered that what matters in CO poisoning is not the concentration of CO, but the ratio of CO to oxygen. In a small room, crammed full of people, oxygen levels drop quickly, thus making death by CO poisoning faster. As noted, other toxic components in the fumes further accelerate mortality.

The SS was aware of the fact that cramming as many people as possible into the gas chamber, thus leaving no empty spaces, would accelerate mortality. This is evident, for instance, from a letter regarding "gassing vans" (used in the Chelmno extermination camp and other locations) sent to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Walter Rauff, 5 June 1942. The letter is quite long (more of it is reproduced in the file of original Nazi documents), but here is the relevant part (Nazism, document 913).

"2) The vans are normally loaded with 9-10 people per square meter. With the large Saurer special vans this is not possible because although they do not become overloaded their maneuverability is much impaired. A reduction in the load area appears desirable. It can be achieved by reducing the size of the van by c. 1 meter. The difficulty referred to cannot be overcome by reducing the size of the load. For a reduction in the numbers will necessitate longer period of operation because the free spaces will have to be filled with CO. By contrast, a smaller load area which is completely full requires a much shorter period of operation since there are no free spaces."

Another gruesome testimony to the "science of gassing" developed by the SS is the letter from Dr August Becker to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Rauff, 16 May 1942 (Nazi Conspiracy, 418)

"The application of the gas is not undertaken correctly. In order to come to an end as fast as possible, the driver presses the accelerator to the fullest extent. By doing that the persons to be executed suffer death from suffocation and not death by dozing off as was planned. My directions have now proved that by correct adjustment of the levers death comes faster and the prisoners fall asleep peacefully. Distorted faces and excretions, such as could be seen before, are no longer noticed".

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