This article was first published in Hard Evidence, Vol. 8, No. 5, September-October 2008
Two recent issues of Hard Evidence have featured the Leuchter Report which is supposed to have proved there were no homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz. In 1988 Fred Leuchter had been hired by the Holocaust revisionist Ernst Zundel to prepare a report for his defence against the charge of publishing false news in Canada. Leuchter travelled to Poland, looked at the sites, took samples and produced a report which concluded that there could not have been homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz and Majdanek.
At first glance, the Leuchter Report, especially its forensic findings, may sound convincing, but the truth is it is flawed and incompetent. It does not prove there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz and many of its arguments have been abandoned by other Holocaust revisionists.
Leuchter’s lack of expertise
When I first heard about the Leuchter Report, I got the impression that Leuchter built and sold gas chambers to American prisons. This is not true. There were six American states with gas chambers in 1988, Arizona, California, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina and Missouri. None of these has a gas chamber which was supplied by Leuchter. The closest he appears to have come to selling a gas chamber to a prison is in Missouri, but they changed the law so prisoners could only be killed by lethal injection (1).
Although Fred Leuchter claimed to be an engineer, he has no academic qualifications in engineering. He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Boston University. This makes Leuchter one of the few Holocaust revisionists to have any academic qualifications in history. Boston University offered three engineering degrees when he was there, so it is not as though he did not have the opportunity to study engineering (2). Leuchter has practical experience in designing and building execution technology, but that does not make him an engineer, any more than someone, who can do their own tax return, is an accountant.
During the Zundel trial, Judge Ron Thomas did not allow the Leuchter Report to be admitted as evidence because Leuchter did not have the expertise to support his opinions (3). This decision was justified. Leuchter was incompetent.
The nature of Leuchter’s arguments
The arguments in the Leuchter Report can be divided into two categories, engineering and forensic. During the Zundel trial, Leuchter said he based 90% of his conclusions against the existence of the gas chambers, on engineering and design considerations, and only 10% on the forensic evidence (4). This is strange because Leuchter’s forensic findings of very low cyanide residue in the gas chamber sites might appear convincing, but his engineering and design criticisms are clearly wrong.
In the 1998 documentary Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter Jr. Leuchter described what he thought he was going to see when he went to Auschwitz;
“I expected to see facilities that could have been used as gas chambers. I expected to see areas that were explosion-proof. I expected to see areas that were leak-proof. There had to be holes in walls or areas where they had exhaust fans, pipes. There had to be something to remove the gas after it had been put into the room. There has to be some kind of device to heat the chalk (?) pellets and sublimate the gas to get it into the air. These things didn’t exist.” (5)
It sounds like Leuchter did not realize the Birkenau gas chambers had been destroyed in 1944-45 and he expected to find intact gas chambers in 1988. He almost appears to be saying that because there are not intact, functioning gas chambers in Birkenau today, there could not have been any gas chambers during World War II. He does not take into account the possibility that equipment was removed when the buildings were demolished.
Likewise, in his report Leuchter wrote about the gas chambers in Crematoria IV and V, “According to reports, Zyklon B gas pellets were allegedly thrown in through wall ports which are non-existant.” (6) They are now “non-existant” because the walls were torn down. That does not mean they were not there in the 1940s.
Leuchter made another strange claim when he wrote, “Kremas I, II, II, IV, and V are described historically and on inspection were verified to have been converted mortuaries or morgues connected and housed in the same facility as crematories.” (7)
Crematorium I in Auschwitz I is a reconstruction and the four crematoria in Birkenau or Auschwitz II are ruins. There is no way Leuchter could have looked at these piles of rubble and determined that they used to be morgues.
The danger of explosion
Leuchter claimed that hydrogen cyanide gas, which was used in the gas chambers, would cause an explosion in the nearby crematoria ovens (8). Although hydrogen cyanide is flammable, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide used for gassing was too low to cause an explosion. Jean Claude Pressac wrote in Truth Prevails,
“HCN’s flammability limits in the air are from 5.6% (minimum) to 40% (maximum) in volume (6% – 41% according to Du Pont). This signifies that upon contact with a flame there is an explosion if the concentration of hydrocyanic acid in air comprises between 67.2 g/m³ and 480g/m³. Below 67.2 g/m³ there is no risk, nor is there any at greater than 480 g/m³, because there is not enough remaining oxygen for burning to begin. The SS used doses of 5g/m³ in delousing and 12-20 g/m³ in killing, well under the 67.2 g/m³ threshold. The gas chambers were not about to explode.” (9)
Some Holocaust revisionists agree there would have been no danger of an explosion. Friedrich Berg has written,
“Another false argument Faurisson has repeatedly used is that cyanide gas is explosive and therefore, could never have been used near crematory ovens. Fred Leuchter was apparently persuaded to fall in line and use the same argument. The fact is that cyanide in air is only explosive in concentrations higher than 5.6% – in other words, the concentration of HCN in air must be at least 56 times greater than the 0.1% one is likely to use in a homicidal gas chamber – before it can even become explosive!” (10)
Berg also quoted from the Military Fumigation Manual, published in 1943, which said that hydrogen cyanide gas could be present with an open flame and not cause an explosion,
“When outdoor conditions cause the indoor temperature to fall below 65 degrees F., it is desirable to heat the building for two or three hours before the Discoids are applied and during the fumigation so the insects will be warmed and therefore more susceptible to the gas.
Furnace rooms should not be sealed but the door should be locked and barred to prevent entry….The furnace (if coal) should be stoked so that heat will be satisfactorily maintained for the short period of exposure required, if possible. If not possible, the furnace tender should wear a gas mask when tending the fire.” (11)
Likewise, another revisionist Germar Rudolf has written, “With correct application quantities and concentrations, the technical literature indicates that there is practically no danger of explosion.” (12)
In the Leuchter Report, Leuchter claimed there were design and safety problems with the Auschwitz gas chambers which were so serious that they could not have functioned as gas chambers. He claimed there were no doors on the gas chambers, no ventilation system, no means of heating the gas and that after it had expelled, it would kill “the entire camp”. (13) These claims are simply not true. They are either contradicted by the documentary evidence or the supposed problems are not as bad as Leuchter claimed and he knew it.
In 1991 Leuchter was interviewed by Stephen Trombley for his book The Execution Protocol, about the execution business in the United States. He told Trombley that American gas chambers were not safe. However, in spite of their safety flaws, they still worked and killed the prisoner without killing anyone else (14). While he had claimed in the Leuchter Report that after the gas had been ventilated, it would kill those outside, Leuchter told Trombley that in American gas chambers, “The gas that’s expelled into the air is harmless because it dissipates rapidly.” (15)
Likewise, although Leuchter claimed that the Auschwitz gas chambers would not work because there was no heating, he told Trombley that American gas chambers were not heated (16). They still worked.
Because hydrogen cyanide boils at 25 degrees Celsius, Leuchter claimed that Zyklon B would not have worked and Jews would not have been gassed if the temperature in the gas chamber had been below 25 degrees Celsius (17). He does not appear to know the difference between evaporation and boiling. Water evaporates and turns into steam below its boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. Just as water evaporates well below its boiling point, Zyklon B releases hydrogen cyanide gas its boiling point of 25 degree
During the war, the German Society for Pest Control experimented with delousing at cold temperatures. A 1943 article, “Once More: The Efficiency of Prussic Acid at Low Temperatures”, by R. Irmscher reported that at even –18 to –19 degrees Celsius 32.5% of the hydrogen cyanide had been released after one hour and at 15 degrees Celsius 77% had been released after one hour (18). The Zyklon B took longer to release gas at lower temperatures but it still produced enough hydrogen cyanide to kill people. Revisionists, who say the temperature had to be 25 degrees to kill people with Zykon B, are simply ignorant.
Furthermore, Leuchter’s claim that the Auschwitz gas chambers were not heated is not true. In 1989, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean Claude Pressac was published. Pressac reproduced wartime construction documents, such as letters, telegrams, invoices, plans and worksheets, which contained references to gas-tight doors, undressing rooms, the ventilation system and heating.
A March 6, 1943 letter from SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rudolf Jahrling to Topf, the crematorium manufacturers, show they were planning to heat the cellars in Crematoria II and III which have been identified as gas chambers,
“Subject: KL Auschwitz Krematorien II and III
In accordance with your suggestion, the service agrees that cellar I should be preheated with the air coming from the room of the 3 forced draught installations. The supply and installation of the ductwork and blowers necessary to this end are to be effected as soon as possible. As you point out in your above mentioned letter, execution should commence this week. We should ask you to send in triplicate detailed quote and supply for installation.
At the same time, we should ask you to send an additional quote for the modification of the air-extraction installation in the undressing room.” (19)
Jean Claude Pressac wrote,
“Why would anyone want to heat rooms that by definition ought to remain cool? This idea would be absurd if there had not been a change of function changing these rooms from morgues to gas chambers, where the temperature had to remain high enough for the product to vaporize rapidly.” (20)
If the Auschwitz gas chambers were heated, but the American gas chambers were not, this presumably means the Auschwitz gas chambers were better designed than the American ones.
Ernst Zundel paid Leuchter $35,000 (US) for his report and testimony. Leuchter often acted as a professional witness ($500 a day plus expenses in the 1980s) who would testify in death penalty cases that the execution equipment could malfunction. He would often testify against prisons which did not buy his execution hardware (21). Leuchter must have known from experience that the design and safety flaws described in the Leuchter Report would not stop a gas chamber from working. The laws of chemistry are the same in Poland and North America. He appears to have been telling his revisionist employees what they wanted to hear. If the prosecution, rather than the defence in the Zundel case, had approached Leuchter and paid him, he would have presumably produced a report proving the existence of the gas chambers.
Gas-tight doors for the gas chambers
Leuchter further claimed the cellars of Crematoria II and III were only morgues and they had no doors,
“….there was no ventilation, no heating system, no circulation system, no sealant inside or out and, further, no doors on the morgues in Krema II. The area has been examined by the author and no evidence of doors or door frames has been found.” (22)
However, in a letter, dated March 31, 1943, to the German Armaments Works, Karl Bischoff wrote,
“In the letter mentioned above informs you that you must make three gas-tight doors according to the order of January 1, 1943 for BW 30b and 30c, following the size and construction of those already delivered.
At this occasion we remind you of another order of March 6, 1943 for the delivery of a gas door 100 x 192 cm for morgue 1 of crematorium 3, Bw 30a, which must be equipped exactly in the form and size of the basement door of crematorium 2, located opposite, to be made with a spy-hole of double 8mm glass with a rubber seal and metal fitting. This order must be considered as very urgent.” (23)
BW 30b and 30c were Crematoria IV and V respectively. Eyewitnesses, such as Henryk Tauber (24), said there was a peephole in the gas chamber doors so the SS could tell when the Jews were dead. This 1943 letter confirms there was a peephole in the door. These eyewitnesses must have been in the crematorium to know there was a peephole, so this document makes their accounts of what happened on the other side of the peephole more credible.
An inventory, dated June 24, 1943, for Crematorium III lists a gas-tight door and 14 shower heads for Leichenkeller I (25). Pressac said there were no water pipes connected to the shower heads, so they were dummies (26). Witnesses reported that there were fake shower heads in the gas chambers to deceive the Jews into thinking they were only going to have a shower.
According to witnesses, in Crematoria IV and V, the SS threw the Zyklon B pellets into the gas chambers through hole in the outside walls. On February 12, 1943, the Auschwitz Central Construction Office ordered 12 gas-tight doors or shutters for these holes in Crematoria IV and V,
“Production of 12 gas-tight doors approximately 30 x 40 cm exactly like those already made in the inmates’ woodworking shop, with bolt and catch.” (27)
These 30 x 40 cm windows can be seen on the plans for Crematorium IV. They are on the outside walls of the rooms described as gas chambers by witnesses (28). Not all the windows in Crematoria IV and V had gas-tight shutters, only the windows to the gas chambers, suggesting that gas was intended to be used in these rooms. Some of these shutters have survived and are kept in Crematorium I (29).
Bischoff’s letter of March 31, 1943, which was quoted earlier, mentioned three gas-tight doors which had been ordered for Crematoria IV and V (30).
A work sheet for Crematorium V for April 16 and 17, 1943, includes, “fit window bars, drainage (work) and fit gas doors.” (31)
An order, dated April 9, 1943, includes “24 anchor bolts for gas-tight doors” in Crematoria IV and V (32).
In 1991 Leuchter and Zundel published the Fourth Leuchter Report which was intended to be a reply to Pressac’s book. Leuchter did not say anything like, “Well, it looks like I was wrong about the doors. That’s a point in favour of the gas chambers.” He did not acknowledge he had been wrong in any way. He simply made up new explanations to explain away the new evidence even though he was contradicting what he had written in the original Leuchter Report. He now wrote,
“First, it must be remembered that the doors in question were to be utilized in morgues (Leichenkeller) and as one might expect, the morgues are want for some kind of minimal seal on the openings. Second, Leichenkeller #1 was to contain the decomposing older bodies, which might be even more of a problem.” (33)
Leuchter did not explain how he supposedly knew that Leichenkeller 1 contained older corpses or why they would store decomposing bodies in a morgue when there fifteen crematorium ovens upstairs.
First, there were no doors. Then, there were doors, but they were doors to morgues, not gas chambers. Leuchter does not explain why, if it is so obvious morgues would have doors, he said there were none in the first place. The original Leuchter Report had gone down the Orwellian memory hole and been conveniently forgotten.
Leuchter did not concede that gas-tight doors suggested there were gas chambers. He criticised Pressac’s translation of German terms and argued that a gas-tight (gasdicht) door was not a gas-proof (gassicher) door, so the gas-tight doors, which he had earlier said were not even there, could not have been doors to gas chambers (34).
However, according to the documentary Mr Death The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. , Leuchter cannot speak German, so he would not know what the German words really mean, especially in a technical sense, and he has no business criticising anyone’s translation of them. (35)
A methane gas chamber?
Pressac reproduced another documentary reference to a gas chamber in a contractor’s daily report sheet for March 2 1943 for work in Crematorium IV. It says “filling in of the floor of the gas chamber (Gasskammer) with backfill, tamping it and laying a concrete slab over it.”(36)
In The Fourth Leuchter Report, Leuchter wrote
“It however, may be a joke. This foreman and his crew had been working here for a number of days and perhaps he or someone in his crew was flatulent during that period. I’m sure these people were no different from most construction workers and he may have put this in the daily report as a joke.” (37)
In other words, someone is supposed to have farted in that room, so they wrote “gas chamber” on the worksheet. Revisionists must think this is a very unfortunate coincidence. Out of all the places in Nazi-occupied Europe for someone to make such a joke, they did it in a building that would later be said to be a gas chamber for killing Jews and their joke would be misconstrued as evidence for those gas chambers.
It is hard to take revisionists seriously. They say there is no documentary evidence for the gas chambers, and then, they come up with explanations like this for a document mentioning a gas chamber in Crematorium IV in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Ventilation for the gas chambers
Leuchter claimed the gas chambers had no ventilation. Again, this is not true. An inspection report by Kurt Prufer, dated December 29, 1942, says about Crematorium II,
“Delivery of the ventilation and air extraction systems for the corpse cellar has been delayed by the blockage of wagons, so that it will not be possible to install them for another 10 days.” (38)
On February 11, 1943, Karl Bischoff sent a telegram to Topf, complaining about the delays of materials for Crematorium II,
“Thus, you write on 21st January 1943 that all the materials for the ventilation and air extraction installations would be sent on 22nd January 1943. When the wagon arrived, these components were missing, so that your fitter Messing was unable to continue. On the telephone, Mr Prufer told us that all the material had been sent.
Now a consignment note arrives with a consignment date of 6th February 1943. After examination of this and a conversation with your fitter, it appears that a No.450 blower with a 3.5 HP motor is still missing, and it is precisely this blower destined for the C-cellar I for which our need d the most urgent. Also, a 7.5 HP motor for the No. 550 air extraction blower for C-cellar 2.
We therefore telegraphed you once more ‘dispatch immediately blower 450 and a 3.5 HP motor for C-cellar and a 7.5 HP motor for air extraction blower No. 550 for C-cellar II, not appearing on the dispatch note of 6.2.1943, otherwise the installation cannot be brought into service. Reply by telegraph.'” (39)
Bischoff wrote that the crematorium could not be brought into service without the ventilation and air extraction system for the underground rooms. If these were ordinary crematoria, as revisionists maintain, they could have still burned bodies in the ovens upstairs without ventilation in the cellars. It is hard to imagine how the lack of ventilation in the cellars could have prevented the crematorium upstairs from operating. It does make sense if there were gas chambers in the crematoria. The gas chambers could not have operated without a ventilation system to extract the gas afterwards.
The ventilation system is also mentioned in five construction worksheets from March to April 1943 (40).
In the original Leuchter Report, Leuchter claimed that there was no ventilation system in the gas chambers of Crematoria II and III, so the gas chambers could only have been used once a week (41) and there would have been time for the cyanide to react with the iron in the bricks and form Iron Blue (42). Because there were no Iron Blue stains, Leuchter argued that they could not have been gas chambers. The fact, that there was a ventilation system, undermines Leuchter’s forensic argument.
Under cross-examination during the Zundel trial, Leuchter was shown documents referring to the ventilation system, however he still denied there was any ventilation and said,
“Most of the facility at Crematorium II is standing. Although the roof is caved in, most of the facility and all of the building material is there. There are no holes, there is no provision for duct work, ventilators, fans, et cetera.
Crematorium III is not all there, but I can speak from experience and from inspection and investigation at Crematorium II, there were no ventilation fans on the premises at all.” (43)
“I know for a fact there was no ventilation system in the Leichenkeller of any type, and there was no provision in the construction of the building for that.” (44)
The ventilation duct at the bottom of the wall of the gas chamber in Crematorium III is still visible (45). Leuchter must have been standing a few feet from it when he took his forensic samples from Crematorium III (46). Although he claims to have inspected the site and could not find any trace of the ventilation system, it looks like Leuchter could not recognize a ventilation duct when he was standing next to one.
(“Remains of a ventilation duct in the east wall of the gas chamber of Crematorium 3, 1999. Photo by Omer Arbel.”, from Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002, p 367)
He argued that it would take at least 20 hours to ventilate the gas chambers, based on the instructions for delousing ordinary buildings, not gas chambers with mechanical ventilation systems. Then, without any explanation, he increased this figure by over 700% and claimed it would take a week to ventilate the gas chambers, so they could only have been used once a week (47).
Leuchter further claimed that only 1693 people could have been gassed in all the gas chambers in a week, so it would have taken 68 years to gas six million people (48). As we have seen, Leuchter was wrong about the ventilation and the time it would have taken to ventilate the gas chambers. Furthermore, “only” one million Jews were killed in Auschwitz, not six million which is the total number of Jews killed by the Nazis.
HCN Gas Detectors in the Crematoria
On February 26, 1943, SS Untersturmer Pollock sent a telegram to Topf,
“Send immediately 10 gas detectors as discussed. Send your invoice later.” (49)
In The Fourth Leuchter Report, Leuchter said they were for measuring the carbon monoxide air mixture in the ovens and they “have nothing to do with testing for hydrogen cyanide gas and do not imply the existence of gas chambers.” (50) He did not explain how he knew this.
In 1994 it become clear that Leuchter was wrong when Pressac published Topf’s reply, dated March 2, 1943, which said the gas detectors were for detecting Prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide),
“Re:Crematorium (II). We acknowledge receipt of your telegram stating: “Immediate shipment of 10 gas detectors as agreed. Estimate to be furnished later.” Concerning this matter, we can tell you that for two weeks now we have been making inquiries of five different firms about the apparatus you want indicating the traces of prussic acid [Anziegegerate fur Blausaure-Reste]. We have received negative responses from 3 firms and we are still awaiting answers from the other 2. When we receive further information on this subject, we will let you know immediately so that we can put you in touch with the firm making the apparatus. Heil Hitler!” (51)
There were devices for detecting hydrogen cyanide gas in Crematorium II where eyewitnesses said there was one of the gas chambers which used hydrogen cyanide gas. There were no other crematoria with hydrogen cyanide gas detectors in ordinary concentration camps like Buchenwald or Bergen Belsen, only the crematoria at Birkenau which contained gas chambers which used hydrogen cyanide gas. If Holocaust revisionists were at all objective and genuinely interested in historical truth, they would admit this is a very implausible coincidence and this document would generate at least a little bit of suspicion that maybe there were gas chambers after all.
New revisionist explanations for the gas chambers
Before 1989 revisionists had argued that the Auschwitz gas chambers were really only doorless morgues. Leuchter appears to have taken most of his arguments about the supposed design flaws of the gas chambers from the French revisionist Robert Faurisson who helped with Zundel’s defence and wrote the foreword to the Leuchter Report. Even another revisionist Friedrich Berg could see this when he wrote that Leuchter got his argument that hydrogen cyanide was flammable and explosive from Faurisson (52).
John C. Zimmerman describes the Leuchter Report as “in reality, nothing but a rehash of arguments previously expressed by Faurisson” (53) and “(in reality Faurisson’s) report” (54). It looks like Faurisson, who was working with Zundel’s defence, gave his arguments to Leuchter who wrote them up as an expert report which was supposedly based on his expert opinions. Faurisson and other revisionists then claimed the Leuchter Report was a triumph for revisionists and proved the gas chambers did not exist.
Jean Claude Pressac’s Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, with its documents mentioning gas-tight doors, ventilation systems and undressing rooms in the crematoria cellars, disproved the claims of Leuchter and other revisionists that the gas chambers were only morgues. However, revisionists did not concede that they were wrong and perhaps there really were gas chambers after all. They abandoned the Leuchter Report‘s engineering and design arguments and came up with new explanations, which took into account the newly published evidence, for what the gas chambers supposedly really were.
Samuel Crowell has published several articles arguing that the gas chambers were, in fact, anti-gas air-raid shelters, intended to keep poison gas out rather than in (55). The gas chamber in Auschwitz I was converted into an air raid shelter in 1944. That is not disputed, however we should not confuse the four crematoria in Birkenau with the crematorium in Auschwitz I. The air raid shelter in Crematorium I was across the street from the SS hospital and was meant for its staff and patients. The four Birkenau crematoria were located on the other side of the camp from the SS barracks and were an impractical place for air raid shelters. By the time the SS men had run several hundreds metres across the camp, bombs presumably exploding around them, the air raid would have been over. Crematoria II and III in Birkenau had underground rooms, so they would provided some protection during an air raid, but Crematoria IV and V were above-ground and would have offered no more protection from an air raid than any other brick building.
If there had been air raid shelters in the four Birkenau crematoria, one would expect there would have been some mention of them in the documents which Crowell cites discussing air raid precautions in Auschwitz. There is none. Likewise, none of the crematoria construction documents say there was an air raid shelter in any of the Birkenau crematoria.
The biggest critic of Crowell’s hypothesis is his fellow revisionist Carlo Mattogno. He found that, “Absolutely no anti air-raid protective measures were undertaken in Auschwitz-Birkenau before the end of 1943.” (56) Therefore, the four Birkenau crematoria, which were completed between March and June 1943, could not have been intended to be air raid shelters and the gas-tight doors, undressing rooms and gassing cellar mentioned in the construction documents must have had another purpose. Mattogno has argued that there were really delousing or disinfestation chambers in the Birkenau crematoria.
An apparently relevant document, which Mattogno quoted, was an order, dated 13 April 1943, requesting, “2 Topf disinfestations heaters for Crematory II in the prisoner of war camp Auschwitz.” (57)
This does not necessarily prove there was going to a disinfestation or delousing chamber in Crematorium II. A disinfestation heater was used to heat the air so the Zyklon B would release the gas faster, which means the SS were intending to use Zyklon B in the crematorium. If they were looking for a way of heating a gas chamber, which used Zyklon B, they would presumably use a heater for a Zyklon B delousing chamber.
During the 2000 libel trial, David Irving argued that the crematoria cellars were both air raid shelters and delousing chambers for fumigating the corpses of typhus victims (58). So, according to Irving, the cellars were gas chambers where the Nazis used Zyklon B on Jews, but they were delousing gas chambers and the Jews were already dead. The documentary evidence for the Auschwitz gas chambers must be pretty conclusive if this is the best attempt Irving can come up with to explain it away.
When Irving was asked, “What is the evidence that they used the room for gassing corpses?”, he simply replied, “That is what it was built for.” (59)
Apart from the lack of any evidence to support this explanation, the obvious flaw is why would they bother to delouse corpses which were about to be cremated? Fire is a safer and more efficient way of killing lice on a corpse than messing around with poison gas. Why would they not just cremate the corpse? Instead of simply taking a typhus infested corpse into the oven room and burning it, Irving would have us believe that they took it downstairs, deloused it for about 24 hours, then took it back upstairs and cremated it.
David Irving said he came to believe hydrogen cyanide could not have been used to kill people in the Auschwitz gas chambers because of the low levels of cyanide residue found by Fred Leuchter, compared with the nearby delousing chamber. Then in 2000, he said hydrogen cyanide had been used in the cellars, but to delouse corpses. If Leuchter’s forensic findings are supposed to have proved the cellars could not have been hydrogen cyanide gas chambers, surely they also proved they could not have been hydrogen cyanide delousing chambers. If the cellars were delousing chambers, which used Zyklon B, why did they not have more cyanide residue like the “other” delousing chamber? When Irving was asked, “If that were so, why did Mr Leuchter not find similar concentrations of hydrogen cyanide residue in those room as he did in the delousing facility?”, he replied, “Frankly, I do not know the answer to that.” (60)
In his foreword to the Leuchter Report, Irving wrote, “Forensic chemistry is, I repeat, an exact science.” (61) However, it appears Irving only believes the “exact science” when it suits him. When he needed a new explanation for the new evidence, the “exact science” was ignored. Like historical evidence, revisionists will only accept scientific evidence when it supports their case and ignore it when it disproves it.
(1) Shelly Shapiro, Truth Prevails, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1990, p 18-21
(2) Ibid., p 14
(3) Ibid., p 75-81
(4) Robert Lenksi, The Holocaust on Trial, Reporter Press, Alabama, p 369
(5) Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr., Niche Pictures, 1999
(6) Fred Leuchter, The Leuchter Report, Focal Point Publications, London, 1989, p 17
(7) Ibid., p 13
(8) Ibid., p 13, 16, 17
(9) Truth Prevails, op cit., p 45
(10) Friedrich Berg, “Gas Chambers for Robert Faurisson: Answers to a Challenge”,
(12) Germar Rudolf, The Rudolf Report, Theses and Dissertations Press, Illinois, 2003, p 157
(13) The Leuchter Report, op cit., p 13, 16, 17
(14) Stephen Trombley, The Execution Protocol, Random House, 1993, p 97
(17) The Holocaust on Trial, op cit., p 389
(18) R. Irmscher, “Once More: “The Efficiency of Prussic Acid at Low Temperatures”,
(19) Jean Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1989, p 221
(20) Ibid., p 432
(21) The Execution Protocol, op cit., p 51
(22) The Leuchter Report, op cit., p 16-17
(23) Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz, Indiana University Press, 2002, p 314
(24) Ibid, p 191
(25) Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit., p 432
(26) Ibid., p 227, 231
(27) The Case for Auschwitz, op cit., p 338-9
(28) Ibid., p 200, 336-7
(29) Ibid., p 336-8
(30) Ibid., p 314
(31) Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit., p 454
(32) Ibid., p 454
(33) Fred Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Germar Rudolf, The Leuchter Reports – Critical Editions, Theses and Dissertations Press, Chicago, 2005, p 215
(34) Ibid., p 215
Death The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr., Niche Pictures, 1998
(36) Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit., p 446
(37) The Leuchter Reports – Critical Edition, op cit., p 220
(38) Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit., 212
(39) Ibid., p 360
(40) Ibid., p 373
(41) Leuchter Report, op cit., p 16-17
(42) Robert Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial, Reporter Press, Alabama, 1990, p 368
(43) Ibid., p 369
(44) Ibid., p 393
(45) The Case for Auschwitz, op cit., p 367
(46) Leuchter Report, op cit., p 29
(47) Ibid., p 16-17
(48) Fred Leuchter, “Inside the Auschwitz ‘Gas Chambers'”, http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/inside.shtml
(49) Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit., p 367
(50)The Leuchter Reports – Critical Edition, op cit., p 216
(51) Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum (editors), Anatomy of the
Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, 1994, p 210
(52) Friedrich Berg, “Gas Chambers for Robert Faurisson: Answers to a Challenge”,
(53) John C. Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial, University of America Press, Lanham, 2000, p 181
(54) Ibid., p 183
(55) Samuel Crowell, “Technique and Operation of German Anti-Gas Shelters in World War II”, http://www.codoh.com/incon/inconpressac.html
“Bomb Shelters in Birkenau: A Reappraisal”, http://www.codoh.com/incon/inconbsinbirk.html
“Comments on Mattogno’s Critique of The Bomb Shelter Thesis”, http://codoh.com/incon/inconscrmtgno.html
(56)Carlo Mattogno, “Morgue Cellars of Birkenau: Gas Shelters or Disinfesting Chambers?”, http://www.vho.org/GB/c/CM/leichen.html
(58) Irving v. Penguin, Ltd. and Lipstadt, (January 24, 2000) Day 8, p 85-88
(59) Ibid., p 86
(60) Ibid., p 102
(61) Leuchter Report, op cit., p 6