The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/cyanide/dispersal

From Harry W. Mazal OBE Wed Dec 27 11:43:41 PST 1995
Article: 17605 of alt.revisionism
From:, San Antonio, Texas 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Date: 27 Dec 1995 03:23:20 GMT
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>   Jean-Francois Beaulieu  writes:

>      Here I bet that you'll say that since HCN mollecular weight is 27
>    and the air 29, the fan was able to evacuate the gas despite that
>    (accounting for the necessary time for HCN to rise up).

Dear me. Mr. Beaulieu appears not to know very much about gas 
laws and physical chemistry.   Let us offer some instruction:

"Gases when under uniform conditions diffuse at rates inversely
proportional the the square roots of their molecular weights. ...
A gas of lower molecular weight will diffuse much more rapidly
than a gas of higher molecular weight.  Simply stated, hydrogen
cyanide or hydrocyanic acid will diffuse rapidly in a closed space
Employing Avogadro's principle,  the molecules of _all_ gases 
occupy the same space and therefore the same volume irrespective
of their size or weight.  In a closed chamber, the lighter molecules 
of hydrogen cyanide will diffuse rapidly and co-mingle proportionately
with the molecules of all other gases present.  It is not terribly relevant 
whether HCN is lighter or heavier than air, the ventilators will treat
HCN exactly the same way as they treat any other gas.

>    Well, I'll just mention few things: your porous pilars had to be
>    relativelly isolated from the air flow, so the zyclon-B generator,
>    the place were we can expect the higher density of HCN mollecules
>    wasn't submit to the full power of the ventilation since it was a
>    'porous pillar'.

There is no 'zyclon-B generator.' Zyklon-B is a commercial form of
hydrogen cyanide adsorbed onto a substrate. There are three forms
of this substrate that have been commonly used:  lignin discs, diato-
maceous earth (i.e. Celite) impregnated with an organic material that
selectively adsorbs HCN, and silica gel which adsorbs HCN at a
predetermined ratio. An irritant and warning agent is usually added to
the product.   Hydrogen cyanide is released at a predetermined rate
once the cans that hold the product are opened. The velocity of diffusion
has already been discussed in this newsgroup.

The 'porous columns' referred to by Mr.  Beaulieu are no more than
wire-mesh forms. Their usefulness is not so much in their ability to
release hydrogen cyanide as it is desorbed by the substrate, but to 
facilitate the withdrawal of the Zyklon-B pellets once their deadly
function has been carried out.  Any excedent HCN in the product
can be taken out of the gas chambers allowing the ventilation system to
carry out its task with greater efficiency. 

>    Second, I think that only HCN mollecules
>    directly located between the fan and the evacuation aperture could
>    really be driven out without any problems. Those wich were not along
>    this path had the time to gradually rise up again. The gas pockets
>    between the piles of corpses were hardly submit to such air flow.

Not relevant. Any gas pockets would rapidly be dispelled when moving
the corpses.  Mr. Beaulieu must study Graham's Law of Diffusion. He
must also remember that the 'sonderkommandos' were equipped with
gas masks.

>    The mollecules wich had paste to the cold floor under the piles of
>    corpses neither. Danny, I think that if an engineer would submit
>    such an execution method, accounting with all the problems involved,
>    with a simple fan rather than a pressurised system, he has no
>    chance to get an approbation.

Mr. Beaulieu is mistaken. The HCN molecules would not bind chemically
to the walls or floors of the gas chambers. To this day HCN is employed 
to destroy pests (mainly rodents) in the holds of ships and in flour mills.
If there were any danger of the gas binding to the walls of the ships, or
God forbid, to the cereals in the flour mill, it would not be used.

> It was *impossible* in half an hour of ventilation to drive out all the gas:

It is not enough to state something. It is also necessary to prove it. Can
Mr. Beaulieu _prove_ that a relatively small enclosure cannot be 
evacuated of a high concentration of hydrogen cyanide in under half an
hour? If so, he should post his proof. 

>    I can't imagine that they were able to tolerate that so much gas could
>    reach the other rooms were SS, even civilians sometimes had to work.
>    I can't imagine that  they decided to wash the walls everywhere after
>    to avoid the residual emission problem rather than to change their method.
>    Or at least  to invert the ventilation direction, damned...

It is a matter of total indifference whether Mr. Beaulieu can 'imagine' something
or not.  It is a matter of proof.  A five to seven horsepower ventilation
system can make how many changes of air in an enclosed space the size
of the gas chamber in Auschwitz?  When he can produce the figures that
substantiate his vivid imagination, Mr. Beaulieu will have come a long way
in the matter of gas laws.

There is no residual emission if: (a) the Zyklon-B granules are physically
removed from the gas chamber by means of the wire-mesh baskets, or
(b) where the overwhelming majority of the HCN has been desorbed by the
substrate and the chamber evacuated with a large ventilator, or (c) where
the floor of the gas chamber has been hosed down with water. Which of the
three possibilities does Mr. Beaulieu wish to discuss?  If he would be so
kind as to accompany his statements with valid scientific data, it would
be very much appreciated.

Harry W. Mazal OBE


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