The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/cyanide/alternative-cbw

From Tue Mar  5 15:52:58 PST 1996
Article: 26145 of alt.revisionism
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Moran, Master of Military Minutia Screws Up...again
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 17:55:30 GMT
Organization: University of New Brunswick
Lines: 130
Summary: Moran has no idea what he is talking about.  Oh, the surprise.
Keywords: Zyklon-B, Moran, Chemical Weapons, Gassing

Recently Tom "Granite Boy" Moran posted a message about German chemical 
weapons, dumped into the ocean after the war by the Allies, being the source 
of a potential disaster.  Somewhere amidst the rambling sentences he made 
the common denier claim: why did the Germans use Zyklon-B instead of other, 
more effective chemicals that they had access to.  Using MoranLogic(tm) this 
means that since they did not use the most effective chemical to do the 
deed, they did not do the deed.

I have sitting in front of me _Military Chemical and Biological Agents, 
Chemical and Toxicological Properties_ by James A.F. Compton, published by 
The Telford Press in 1987.  It lists the known Chemical Warfare agents and 
those that have actually been used.  Let us take a look at what Compton has 
to say about the chemicals available to the Nazis during the period in 

Note that I am omitting biological agents and those designed to incapacitate 
like tear gas.  The biologicals would have been too difficult to handle (as 
the British so ably demonstrated with anthrax off the coast of Scotland) and 
the other agents would not have been very useful for killing people.

Each chemical will be listed with its STANAG (Standard Nato Agreement) code 
and its common name.

STANAG    common         developed   negatives

  HD  distilled mustard    1880s     -persisting
                                     -full protective clothing needed
                                     -heavier than air

  MD  methyldichloroarsine 1890s     -heavier than air
                                     -persistant in buildings

  PD  phenyldichloroarsine 1917      -not as lethal as regular mustard
                                     -heavier than air
                                     -highly persistant

  ED  ethyldichloroarsine  1917      -heavier than air
                                     -full protective clothing needed
                                     -very destructive to rubber and plastic

  L   Lewisite             1918      -heavier than air
                                     -very persistant in cold weather
                                     -full protective clothing required

  HN-1 nitrogen mustard one 1920s    -HN-1 somewhat less toxic
  HN-2     "     "     two           -heavier than air
  HN-3     "     "     three         -full protective clothing needed
                                     -HN-2 unstable in storage
  AC  hydrogen cyanide(HCN) 1800s    -burns easier than other CW gasses
                                     -unstable after a few years storage

  CK  chlorine cyanide      1800s    -not as toxic as AC
                                     -heavier than air
                                     -unstable in storage over a month

  SA  arsine                1250     -heavier than air
                                     -highly explosive
                                     -must be stored in glass container

   -  chlorine                ?      -heavier than air
                                     -low lethality

  CG  phosgene              1800s    -heavier than air
                                     -delayed lethal effects (up to 4 hours)
                                     -persistant in structures

  DP  diphosgene            1918(?)  -heavier than air
                                     -most be stored in glass

  GA  tabun (nerve gas)     1937     -heavier than air
                                     -full protective clothing required
                                     -decontamination using chlorine bleaches
                                      creates HCN

         note: 12 000 tons produced at Dyhernfurth-am-Ober, most destroyed
               in 1944-45 to avoid capture by Allies.  German codenames
               were Gelan, Stoff-83 and Trilon-83.  Existance was classified

  GB  sarin (nerve gas)     1938     -heavier than air
                                     -full protective clothing required
         note: small experimental production until 1944-45 at Dyhernfurth.
               Dedicated factory captured by Soviets before completion in 
               1945 at Falkenhagen.  Existance classified secret.

Given the regular CW agents, AC (hydrogen cyanide) is ideal for use in 
enclosed conditions because it is lighter than air and thus easier to 
ventilate.  It decomposes rapidly, no decontamination is required and the 
person standing outside inserting it into the chamber need only wear a gas 
mask.  As well it was already being commercially produced as Zyklon-B, thus 
was readily available.  The others were not being produced in commercial 
quantities in addition to their other inherent problems.

On the other hand, while tabun and sarin are a great deal deadlier they are 
harder to handle (full protective gear), harder to get rid of and were just 
developed, classified as being secret projects and not (in the case of 
sarin) present in quantity.  Zyklon-B, while not as deadly, was more 
available and was not classified.  No one would think twice about boxes of 
pest killer being shipped around.  Also, in the event of a spill the Zyklon-
B could be easily picked up by people with gas masks and gloves whereas 
there would be no way to clean up the nerve gas (transported as a liquid), 
the spill of which would be absolutely deadly to their own troops who did 
not have full protective gear.

Finally, should someone be accidently exposed to the gas, Zyklon-B can be 
recovered from as the body detoxifies it rapidly (.017 mg/kg body weight 
per minute) if the dose is not lethal with no permanent damage.  On the 
other hand the nerve gasses usually, if not lethal, create permanent 
neurological damage and are cumulative; any further exposure makes it more 
likely to be lethal.

All in all AC (hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon-B) would seem to be 
an extremely practical chemical to use in the mass murder of people 
indoors in a dedicated gas chamber.  Thus Moran demonstrates once again he 
has no idea what he is talking about.

Keith Morrison  

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