The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Deceit & Misrepresentation
The Techniques of Holocaust Denial

Appendix 3
Friedrich Berg's Paper, with Commentary
Part 2 of 6


From Figure 6 we see that to reduce the oxygen concentration in the exhaust to just 9%, any Diesel would have to operate at a fuel/air ratio of about 0.040, which corresponds to about 3/4 of full load.

To reduce the oxygen concentration to as low as 6%, which would be the fourth stage according to Henderson and Haggard and would almost certainly be the condition needed to kill "all" members of any intended group of victims, any Diesel would have to operate at a fuel/air ratio of about 0.048, which is close to full load.

In other words, any Diesel gas chamber relying on the reduction of oxygen as a killing method would have to operate at more than 3/4 of full load, but probably closer to full load.

[This depends on exactly how Berg is defining "full load." See below.]

From the above it should be obvious that over most of their operating ranges, Diesels discharge sufficient oxygen so that one can literally inhale pure Diesel exhaust and survive on the oxygen in the exhaust. From idle to at least 3/4 of full load, Diesel exhaust contains sufficient oxygen to sustain human life for at least half an hour.

[Berg's notes:]

22. Edward F. Obert, Internal Combustion Engines and Air Pollution (New York and London: Intext Educational Publishers, 1973), p. 361.

23. Y. Henderson & H.W. Haggard, Noxious Gases (New York: Reinhold Publishing, 1943), pp. 144-45.

24. J.S. Haldane & J.G. Priestly, Respiration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1935), pp. 223-24.

Berg pays lip service to the idea of dealing with the possibility of looking at combined effects:

An analysis of the combined effects of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and reduced oxygen might be possible on the basis of the research of Haldane and Henderson, but it would not give any significantly different results than what has already been concluded on the basis of reduced oxygen acting alone. The reason is that the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels are just too low to make any difference.

First, one can never make blithe assumptions about the combined effects of substances. If two different chemicals both have a lethal dose of one gram, that does not necessarily mean that half a gram of each will be equally lethal. The two substances may work together such that a quarter gram of each is lethal - or one may be an antidote for the other! And indeed, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are synergistic in effect.

Second, there are additional effects that Berg did not look at. The eyewitness reports (as well as some reports, dismissed as forgeries by the Holocaust deniers) point out the fact that people were packed as tightly in the chambers as possible. Thus once the chambers were sealed, the people's own consumption of oxygen would be a significant factor. Berg also completely failed to look at other toxic effects, such as nitrogen oxides, soot, and heat.

The most significant is nitrogen oxides. According to p. 189 of Clinical Toxicology by Clinton Thienes and Thomas Haley, NO2 or N2O4 concentrations of 250-500 ppm are "rapidly fatal." And the Holtz-Elliot paper shows NOx concentrations as high as 690 ppm - interestingly, at a fuel-air ratio of less than 0.03 and an engine speed of 600 RPM. Unfortunately, the paper does not break down the NOx emissions by specific compound.

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