The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Do Allied wartime photos of Auschwitz (during the period when the "gas chambers" and crematoria were supposed to be in full operation) reveal gas chambers?

48. Do Allied wartime photos of Auschwitz (during the period when the "gas chambers" and crematoria were supposed to be in full operation) reveal gas chambers?

The IHR says:

No. In fact, these photographs do not even reveal a trace of the enormous amounts of smoke which were supposedly constantly over the camp. Nor do they evidence the "open pits" in which bodies were allegedly burned.

Nizkor replies:

First of all, realize that overflights of Auschwitz were very few and far-between. In late 1943 and early 1944, the Allies began bombing oil-production facilities, including the small-to-middling-size petrochemical plant at Auschwitz III. Auschwitz III, or Monowitz, was a satellite camp about four kilometers from the gas chambers at Auschwitz II, or Birkenau.

Allied bombers and their fighter coverage did not have sufficient range to reach Monowitz until April 1944 (see Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies, 1981, p. 191). Photo reconnaissance of the area on April 4th accidentally included Birkenau; twenty snapshots were taken, and three included Auschwitz-Birkenau. After that date, there were only four more overflights before the crematoria were torn down: May 31, June 26, August 25, and September 13, 1944. In total, very few photographs of Birkenau were ever taken, some of which show insufficient detail to be of value.

Whether or not the pictures happened to capture gassing operations in progress was a matter of chance. One photo, taken on August 25th, reveals a line of about a hundred people walking from the train in the direction of Krema II and III. The gate to Krema II is open for them. Do the deniers claim that they were going to take a tour of the "morgue"?

That same photo reveals the gas chambers, including very obvious roof vents used to insert Zyklon-B. How do deniers explain these? Remember, a morgue cannot be disinfected with Zyklon-B, as that poison has no effect on bacteria. (See Gilbert, op. cit., photo 28, between pp. 192-193.)

And the vents are visible on the gas chambers of Krema II and III, but not the undressing rooms. How do the deniers explain the difference, since they claim that both the gas chamber and the undressing room were morgues? Why vents on one but not the other, and is it just coincidence that the room with the vents is the one pointed to as the gas chamber since the 1940s? Remember, these photos were not declassified until the 1970s.

Another photo reveals a pit dug behind Krema III, exactly where eyewitnesses had placed the pit-burning in testimony given many years before. The photos were not declassified until the 1970s, so the fact that they match the testimony is strong collaboration of that testimony. The last sentence in the IHR's answer, in any case, is a baldfaced lie.

Holocaust-deniers admit this, by the way, so it qualifies as yet another internal contradiction. The "revisionist" Carlo Mattogno writes in a response to Pressac that:

Aerial reconnaissance photographs show that a cremation is taking place in one of the three pits measuring 3.5 by 15 meters in the Crematory V courtyard.

Again, they've failed to keep their stories straight.

Now, it may be true that the pictures do not reveal smoke emanating from the crematoria. At the moment, we're researching this matter further. But if true, all this means is that corpses were not being burned on those particular days. There are only five days' worth of photographs of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the entire year of 1944, some of which do not show the crematoria, so this does not prove anything.

And what the photographs do reveal is extremely damaging to the Holocaust-deniers' position -- so, of course, they lie about it.

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