Inside the Auschwitz Gas Chambers
1988 was a very informative and likewise disturbing year. I was appalled
to learn that much of what I was taught in school about twentieth-century
history and World War II was a myth, if not a lie. I was first amazed;
then annoyed; then aware: the myth of the Holocaust was dead.
Like all American children born during and after World War II, I was taught
about the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jews. By the time I
had reached college, I had no reason to disbelieve any of my education,
except that I had some problems swallowing the numbers of decen-dents,
said to total better than six million persons. But there it stopped. I
believed in the Nazi genocide. I had no reason to disbelieve.
Some twenty-four years later, a very believing engineer sat at his desk
working one snowy January afternoon in 1988, when the telephone rang. This
very believing engineer was about to receive a very shocking history lesson,
one which would cause him to question that fifty-year-old Holocaust lie
and the application of that lie to generations of children. "Hello,
this is Robert Faurisson" -- and that very believing engineer would
believe no more.
I have for the past nine years worked with most, if not all of the states
in the United States having capital punishment. I design and manufacture
execution equipment of all types, including electrocution systems, lethal
injection equipment, gallows and gas-chamber hardware.
I have consulted for, or supplied equipment to, most of the applicable
states and the federal government.
Because of my association with the states in this capacity, I was recommended
to the Zündel defense as a consultant on gas chambers by Warden Bill
Armontrout of the Missouri State Penitentiary.
After answering my telephone on that cold January afternoon, I met with
Dr. Robert Faurisson twice in Boston and, as a result of these meetings,
I was summoned to Toronto to meet with Ernst Zündel, attorney Douglas
Christie and the rest of Zündel's very able staff.
Dr. Robert Faurisson had postulated thirteen years ago that a gas-chamber
specialist should be sought who could evaluate the alleged gas chambers
in Poland and report on their efficacy for execution purposes.
Valentine's Day weekend found myself and Carolyn, my wife of two weeks,
in Toronto. Two days of lengthy meetings followed, during which I was shown
photos of the alleged German gas chambers in Poland, German documents and
Allied aerial photographs. My examination of this material led me to question
whether these alleged gas chambers were, in fact, execution facilities.
I was asked if I would go to Poland and undertake a physical inspection
and forensic analysis resulting in a written evaluation of these alleged
execution gas chambers, some at places I had never even heard of.
After due consideration, I agreed and made plans to leave for Poland, awaiting
a time of minimal snow covering. I also stated that although the photos
and documents seemed to support the view that these places were, indeed,
not execution facilities, I would reserve final judgement until after my
examination and, if I determined that these facilities were, in fact, or
could have been, execution gas chambers, I would state this in my report.
The final report was to be utilized as evidence in Ernst Zündel's
defense in his pending criminal trial at Toronto, and I had to be prepared
to testify under oath.
Preparations for the trip required me to take sample bags, documentation
journals and tools. Because we were in a Communist country I would have
to be careful with the tools. Very few tourists carry hammers, chisels,
star drills and tape measures while travelling. I hid them in the lining
of my valise and hoped for the best. Further, I had maps of Poland, Czechoslovakia
and Austria, in the event that we might have to make a hasty and unscheduled
exit. And finally, the gifts with which we bribed the museum people to
supply us with copies of documents from the Museum Archives.
I was fortunate to have a competent and dependable party of professionals:
my wife Carolyn, my general assistant; Mr. Howard Miller, draftsman; Mr.
Juergen Neumann, cinematographer; Mr. Tijudar Rudolf, interpreter. All
knew that, if caught, the Polish government would take a dim view of our
activities and purpose, let alone my removal of forensic samples from national
shrines and monuments.
And the two ex officio members of our party, Mr. Ernst Zündel
and Dr. Robert Faurisson, who for obvious reasons could not accompany us
in person, but who nevertheless were with us every step of the way in spirit.
On February 25, 1988, we left for Poland. Neumann and Rudolf, the Canadian
contingent, joined me and the remainder of our team in Frankfurt.
We arrived at Cracow in the late afternoon and spent our first night at
the Hotel Orbis. We consumed the first of our three decent meals while
in Poland. The following day we drove to Auschwitz. We arrived at the Auschwitz
Hotel and were greeted by the smell of sulphur napthal disinfectant, a
smell I had not encountered for many years. The hotel is apparently the
old officers' quarters for the camp. We ate lunch at the Hotel dining room,
a cafeteria style facility. This was our first unidentifiable meal, starch
soup and sundries.
We made a reconnaissance tour of the camp, lasting into the dim light of
the Polish afternoon and several snow squalls, a common occurrence. We
ate no supper, in that we found no place to eat in Auschwitz after sundown
our first evening.
Auschwitz and Birkenau
The following day we began our work in the alleged gas chamber at the
Auschwitz facility. Unfortunately, we were unable to accomplish much due
to constant interruptions by both official and unofficial Sunday tours.
Carolyn stood guard at one entrance and Tijudar at the other, advising
myself, Jurgen and Howard of their arrival. It was too dangerous to take
forensic samples and tape, so we left for Birkenau about noon.
At Birkenau we began a four-hour walk into the damp Polish cold and through
snow squalls so dense we could not see each other at a distance of a few
feet. Unfortunately, we did not expect to spend that much time walking
through the camp and, since vehicles are not permitted within the camp,
we left Carolyn behind in the car. Since we forgot to leave her the keys,
she nearly froze in the cold Polish afternoon. We visited the barracks,
Krematorien II, III, IV and V, the sauna and the alleged burning pits.
We took samples, documented our activities on video tape and in still photos,
and made scale drawings of these facilities, carefully documenting the
removal locations of all the forensic samples. We had to break into the
sauna building, since it was locked.
At Krema II, I descended into the depths of the alleged gas chamber, a
wet, dank subter-ranean place not visited by man in almost fifty years,
since the building had been reduced to rubble, probably by a German military
demolition team. Fortunately, there were fewer guards and less pedestrian
traffic, making working conditions considerably better than they had been
earlier, at Auschwitz.
Having been instructed by our empty stomachs of the evening before, we
found and ate at the restaurant at the bus station, the only legitimate
restaurant in Auschwitz. We returned to the Auschwitz Hotel for the night.
The following day, Monday, we again began our work at Auschwitz, the Sunday
tours having subsided. We were able to get our samples, tapes and documentation.
We had, by this time, obtained blueprints of the alleged gas-chamber facility
and were able to follow the structural changes back to the dates in question.
We also verified the existence of the floor drain for the periods of alleged
gas chamber usage. Upon completion at Auschwitz, we drove again to Birkenau
to take our control sample at delousing facility 1. Unfortunately, the
building was locked and again we had to break and enter in order to access
the delousing chamber. Again we ate at the bus station, and retired early
to the Auschwitz Hotel.
Tuesday morning, while awaiting Tijudar's unsuccessful attempt to obtain
a can of Zyklon B, Jurgen and I made video tapes of locations within the
camp. We moved from the Auschwitz Hotel to a hostel nearby, obtaining newly
vacated rooms. We ate at the bus station and retired early.
On Wednesday morning we ate a very enjoyable breakfast of ham, cheese and
bread (our second decent meal in Poland) and began our trip to Lublin to
see Majdanek. After one final look in at Auschwitz, we set off by car for
Several hours later, we arrived at Majdanek, and visited the museum,
the reconstructed alleged gas chamber and crematory. We finally arrived
at disinfection 1 and 2 and examined the facilities. It was extremely difficult
to work, in that a guard made rounds every ten or fifteen minutes. The
alleged gas chambers were blocked by gates and not accessible for a detailed
inspection by the general public. It was necessary for me to trespass beyond
these gates in forbidden areas. Again Carolyn and Tijudar stood watch while
I made measurements and did a detailed examination in these areas. Once
we were caught short: I was forced to hurdle the gate, and was still in
the air and in mid-jump when the guard entered. Fortunately, he was more
interested in Jurgen and his camera to see me before I touched ground.
The camp closed in early afternoon and the guard rather nastily told
us to leave. By three o'clock we were en route to Warsaw, a trip which
would take five hours through rain and snow. Our hotel reservation had
been fouled up but fortunately, with the help of an embassy attache, we
were able to secure rooms at another hotel.
We had our third edible meal in Poland that evening and went to bed in
preparation for our trip home on Thursday. The following morning we had
breakfast and proceeded to the airport for our return trip.
We boarded the Polish airlines plane after clearing customs -- my suitcase
containing twenty pounds of the forbidden samples, fortunately none of
which were found. I did not breathe easy until we cleared the passport
checkpoint at Frankfurt. Our team split at Frankfurt, for the return trips
to the United States and Canada, respectively. After our return [on March
3], I delivered the forensic samples to the test laboratory in Massachusetts.
Upon receipt of the test results, I prepared my report, combining my knowledge
of gas execution facilities and procedures with the research I had completed
at crematories and with retort manu-facturers in the United States. With
the results of my research I believe you are all familiar.
Upon completion of my report I testified at Toronto -- but that is another
story, for another time.
- 1. Gas chambers
- The results published in the Leuchter Report are the important
thing. Categorically, none of the facilities examined at Auschwitz, Birkenau
or Lublin could have supported, or in fact did support, multiple executions
utilizing hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide or any other allegedly or factually
lethal gas. Based upon very generous maximum usage rates for all the alleged
gas chambers, totalling 1,693 persons per week, and assuming these facilities
could support gas executions, it would have required sixty-eight (68) years
to execute the alleged number of six millions of persons. This must mean
the Third Reich was in existence for some seventy-five (75) years. Promoting
these facilities as being capable of effecting mass, multiple or even singular
executions is both ludicrous and insulting to every individual on this
planet. Further, those who do promote this mistruth are negligent and irresponsible
for not investigating these facilities earlier and ascertaining the truth
before indoctrinating the world with what may have become the greatest
propaganda ploy in history.
- 2. Crematories
- Of equal importance are Exterminationist errors relating to the crematories.
If these crematories, operated at a theoretical rate of maximum output
per day, without any down time and at a constant pace (an impossible situation),
and we accept the figure of at least six millions executed, the Third Reich
lasted for at least forty-two (42) years, since it would take thirty-five
(35) years at an impossible minimum to cremate these six millions of souls.
- No one by any stretch of the imagination would allege (or even believe)
that the Third Reich ever lasted for seventy-five (75) or even forty-two
(42) years, yet they would have us believe that six millions of souls were
executed with equipment which could not possibly have functioned, in less
than one-seventh of the absolute minimum time it could possibly have taken.
- 3. Forensics
- Forensic samples were taken from the visited sites. A control sample
was removed from delous-ing facility 1 at Birkenau. It was postulated that
because of the high iron content of the building materials at these camps
the presence of hydrogen cyanide gas would result in a ferric-ferro-cyanide
compound being formed, as evidenced by the Prus-sian blue staining on the
walls in the delousing facilities.
- A detailed analysis of the thirty-two samples taken at the Auschwitz-Birkenau
complexes showed 1,050 mg/kg of cyanide and 6,170 mg/kg of iron. Higher
iron results were found at all of the alleged gas chambers but no significant
cyanide traces. This would be impossible if these sites were exposed to
hydrogen cyanide gas, because the alleged gas chambers supposedly were
exposed to much greater quantities of gas than the delousing facility.
Thus, chemical analysis supports the fact that these facilities were never
utilized as gas execution facilities.
- 4. Construction
- Construction of these facilities shows that they were never used as
gas chambers. None of these facilities were sealed or gasketed. No provision
was ever made to prevent condensation of gas on the walls, floor or ceiling.
No provision ever existed to exhaust the air-gas mixture from these buildings.
No provision ever existed to introduce or distribute the gas throughout
the chamber. No explosion-proof lighting existed and no attempt was ever
made to prevent gas from entering the crematories, even though the gas
is highly explosive. No attempt was made to protect operating personnel
from exposure to the gas or to protect other non-participating persons
from exposure. Specifically, at Auschwitz, a floor drain in the alleged
gas chamber was connected directly to the camp's storm drain system. At
Majdanek a depressed walkway around the alleged gas chambers would have
collected gas seepage and resulted in a death trap for camp personnel.
No exhaust stacks ever existed. Hydrogen cyanide gas is an extremely dangerous
and lethal gas and nowhere were there any provisions to effect any amount
of safe handling. The chambers were too small to accommodate more than
a small fraction of the alleged numbers. Plain and simple, these facilities
could not have operated as execution gas chambers.
- 5. Conclusion
- After a thorough examination of the alleged execution facilities in
Poland and their associated crematories, the only conclusion that can be
arrived at by a rational, responsible person is the absurdity of the notion
that any of these facilities were ever capable of, or were utilized as,
execution gas chambers.
About the Author
Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., is America's leading specialist on the design
and fabrication of homicidal gas chambers and other equipment used in execution
of convicted criminals. His expertise has been acknowledged by state governments
and in periodicals such as The Atlantic (Feb. 1990), The New
York Times (Oct. 13, 1990) and The New York Times Book Review (Nov. 22, 1992), as well as on the "Phil Donahue Show" (where
he appeared as a guest). After receiving his Bachelor's degree from Boston
University in 1964, he did postgraduate work at the Harvard Smithsonian
Astrophysical Observatory. Leuchter holds patents for numerous highly sophisticated
technical devices, including sextants, surveying instruments and optical
In spite of intense pressure to repudiate his findings, Leuchter defiantly
stands by his 1988 investigation of the alleged extermination gas chambers.
As a result, powerful special interest groups have made him the target
of a vicious campaign of slander, and have succeeded in all but destroying
This paper was first presented at the IHR's Ninth Revisionist
Conference, (1989), and was published in the Summer 1989 issue of The
Journal of Historical Review.
A sumptuously illustrated edition of the sensational Leuchter Report, with a hard-hitting foreword by British historian David Irving and an introduction
by French professor Robert Faurisson, is available from the IHR for $23.00,
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