The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Deceit & Misrepresentation
The Techniques of Holocaust Denial

Schindler's List
& "Revisionist Scholarship"


CLAIM: Crematory ovens burn corpses in a few minutes

The real text:

In the boiler rooms [at Schindler's Brinnlitz factory] were perfect facilities, industrial furnaces capable almost of vaporizing a body. 26

The book talks about industrial furnaces, not crematoria. And no comment on the time involved. Quote out of context coupled with distortion.


<TRUTH: actual time: 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. using gas or electricity, 4-6 hrs. using coal. The ovens must be pre-heated, and then cooled. They do not smell or emit smoke. >

Where does this come from? Just because Carlos Porter says so? More unsubstantiated assertion.


CLAIM: Corpses can be burnt in pyres by dousing them with gasoline

The real text: "On blankets and barrows and litters the dead were brought to the burning site and laid on log frames. So the pyre was built, layer by layer, and when it reached the height of a man's shoulder, was doused in fuel and lit." 27 Notice that there were logs as well - a bit of information omitted by the deniers.


<TRUTH: requirement: 200 litres of petrol or 100 kg dry wood per corpse; time: up to 24 hrs.>

More unsubstantiated assertions. 200 litres is over 50 gallons of gasoline - far greater volume than the corpse itself! And logs were used as well, as is seen above. But even if true, where in the text does it say that less wood was used? Nowhere.


CLAIM: Human ashes are so light in weight that they float through the air, like pollution

The real text:

The dust of the dead fell in hair and on the clothing hung in the back garden of the junior officers' villas. Oskar was bemused to see the way the personnel took the smoke as if the grit in the air were some sort of honest and inevitable industrial fallout. And through the fogs, Amon went riding with Majola, both of them calm in the saddle. Leo John took his twelve-year-old son off to catch tadpoles in the marshy ground in the wood. The flames and the stench did not distract them from their daily lives.28


<TRUTH: actual weight: 2-5 kg of bone fragments up to 2 inches in length, enough to fill a cigar box. >

The distortion: can be seen by anyone who has an urn containing the ashes of a cremated relative. Skin turns to bone? Muscle turns to bone?


CLAIM: Kurt Gerstein is taken seriously .

The real text: see quote above under the "claim" of Zyklon-B becoming instantly gaseous.


<TRUTH: Gerstein was tortured into signing Document PS 1553, typewritten in French, after which his body mysteriously disappeared. There are 6 different versions of the document, one of them a forgery. He claims that 700-900 people could be crushed into a chamber "25, 45 m2", survive almost 3 hrs, and be gassed with Diesel exhaust. Diesel exhaust contains almost no carbon monoxide at idle. >

More unsubstantiated assertion about Gerstein. The honest historian should certainly willing to listen to any evidence that any particular document is a forgery, but without such evidence there is no reason to take the unsubstantiated word of Mr. Porter, who (it becomes increasingly clear) is no honest historian.

The whole truth: While the numbers Gerstein gave are improbable, and much higher than any other witness (they center on a figure between 200-250), other witnesses such as SS hygienist Dr. Wilhelm Pfannenstiel and Unterscharführer Erich Fuchs substantiate the gassing story. <6>

And Gerstein told the same story during the war, before there was any possibility of torture. He told his friends Otto Völckers and Alexandra Balz. 29 He told Pastor Mochalski and a member of the Swedish Embassy. 30

The whole truth: Who said anything about idle? And that's with a well tuned engine which has not been tampered with to produce more carbon monoxide. Even Holocaust denier Friedrich Paul Berg, an engineer, admits that it is possible to increase the fuel-air mixture, and thus the carbon monoxide emission. His only objection is that it is a) unsafe (though he does not say whether this means risk of bodily injury, or merely reduced engine life) and b) difficult.

However, the debate over carbon monoxide is really a red herring. Testimony from multiple eyewitnesses indicates that the cause of death was not carbon monoxide, but asphyxiation due to the lack of oxygen in the exhaust, coupled with other toxic components and the victims' own oxygen consumption within a small, overcrowded, sealed chamber. (See "Friedrich Berg & the Diesel Issue" for a thorough discussion of this topic.)


[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.