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From Mon Aug 12 08:48:17 PDT 1996
Article: 56775 of alt.revisionism
From: (Rich quoting Arthur Butz)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Revisionist Breakthrough on "Vergasungskeller" from Arthur Butz
Date: 11 Aug 1996 20:24:55 -0700
Organization: Uncensored Internet,
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Sender: llurch@Networking.Stanford.EDU
Message-ID: <4um867$ll7@Networking.Stanford.EDU>

He's joking, right?

Summary: the gas chambers were really shelters to protect the Germans from
poison gas attacks. That's why they were sealed so carefully (confidential
to Leuchter and others: better change your story about their not being
sealed). Butz doesn't attempt to explain why the only place you find these
gas shelters is in concentration camps.


                             by Arthur R. Butz
   Veteran revisionists recognize that an outstanding small problem has
   been the "Vergasungskeller" that was evidently in or near Crematorium
   II at Auschwitz.
   Crematorium II (and its mirror image Crematorium III) had two huge
   underground morgues, Leichenkeller 1 (LK 1) and LK 2, and a smaller
   morgue LK 3. LK 1 and LK 2 were simple concrete morgues in which
   bodies were simply laid on the floor. A letter from the Auschwitz
   construction department dated 29 January 1943, when the construction
   of Crematorium II was nearing completion, reports that frost prohibits
   removal of the formwork for the ceiling of the "Leichenkeller"
   (without specifying which of the three is meant) but that this is
   unimportant, since the "Vergasungskeller" can be used for that
   purpose, i.e. as a morgue. The document had the number NO-4473 at the
   Nuremberg trials.
   When NO-4473 is interpreted with the help of some documents reproduced
   by Pressac [1], it is shown that the "Leichenkeller" is LK 2. Pressac
   believes that the Vergasungskeller is LK 1 and that a "slip", indeed
   "enormous gaff" (sic), caused the author of the document to betray the
   true purpose of LK 1, referring to it as a "gassing cellar" (although
   the usual German word for such a concept is "Gaskammer"). On no known
   set of engineering drawings is a "Vergasungskeller" indicated [2].
   Many of those who would have us believe that there were homicidal gas
   chambers at Auschwitz insist on this interpretation.
   In my 1976 book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century I offered that this
   was a part of the crematorium building devoted to generating a
   combustible gas for the ovens [3]. This interpretation was
   linguistically correct and could be technically correct, depending on
   the design of the ovens. The primary meaning of "Vergasung" is gas
   generation or carburetion, i.e. turning something into a gas. A
   secondary meaning is application of a gas as in fumigation or in gas
   warfare. It is also the word Germans use to refer to the alleged
   gassing of Jews; however, they use "Gaskammer" rather than
   "Vergasungskammer" or "Vergasungskeller" for the facility imagined to
   have accomplished this. Such usage also applies in the literature on
   fumigation [4].
   By 1989 Robert Faurisson realized that my original interpretation was
   wrong and later in 1989 Pressac [5] conclusively showed that it was
   wrong, based on the design of the cremation ovens. In 1991 Faurisson
   offered a theory [6] that the Vergasungskeller was a storage area, for
   fumigation supplies, within LK 3.
   In 1992 I showed that there were many ways "Vergasung" can come up in
   sewage treatment technology, and offered that the Vergasungskeller
   might be found in the sewage treatment plant next to the crematorium.
   However I favored the interpretation that the Vergasungskeller was
   simply a facility for generating fuel gas for the camp [7]. NO-4473
   suggests, but does not require, that the Vergasungskeller was located
   within the crematorium building.
   The purpose of this note is to offer another interpretation which I
   now believe is more plausible than any earlier offered by me or
   anybody else. Before I do that I should remark that the problem here
   is what the Vergasungskeller was, not whether it was a homicidal gas
   chamber. Those who claim it was a homicidal gas chamber focus their
   attention entirely on that one word in the document. If they would
   instead focus on what the document says, they would realize that it is
   impossible to make that interpretation work. The document shows that
   in January 1943 the Germans were in a great rush to use the building
   as an ordinary crematorium.
   As Faurisson discussed earlier [8], during World War II the combatants
   paid great heed that new structures be considered, if possible, as air
   raid shelters. There were two principal dangers that such shelters
   were to provide protection against: bombs and gas attacks. On account
   of World War I experiences, the possibilities of the latter were taken
   very seriously. Indeed many simply assumed that gas would be used,
   despite treaties outlawing its use. Typically, a gas shelter was
   conceived of as a bomb shelter, preferably underground and very strong
   structurally, with some features added to make it secure against gas;
   a gas shelter had to be gas tight but allow people to breathe [9].
   Since in many cases it was not economic to provide such structures for
   at most only occasional use, it was recognized that such shelters
   could exist in the form of embellishments to structures that exist for
   other purposes. However the number of suitable such structures was
   limited. For example, the typical underground cellar belongs to a
   building with several stories; the collapse of these in an air raid
   could prevent people from leaving the cellar.
   My hypothesis is that the Vergasungskeller was a gas shelter. It need
   not have been located within Crematorium II but I believe it most
   likely was, on account of the fact that Crematoria II and III, with
   their large concrete cellars, were obviously ideal for adaptation as
   air raid shelters. Indeed when this problem is looked at from the
   point of view of defense against air raids it seems there was no
   better choice at Auschwitz. The German authorities responsible for
   providing air raid shelters would have insisted that the necessary
   embellishments be made to these structures. My reading of some of the
   relevant chemical warfare literature convinces me that Crematoria II
   and III were conceived of by the Germans as having this additional
   I have never seen the word "Vergasungskeller" in a lexicon; indeed I
   have seen it only in discussions of NO-4473! However I have seen a
   German-Russian military dictionary that says "Gaskeller" means the
   same thing as "Gasschutzraum" (gas shelter) [10]. However we should
   not consider ourselves bound to dictionaries on this. If one asks the
   question, "In a World War II military context, what might
   "Vergasungskeller" and/or "Gaskeller" mean?", I think that "gas
   shelter" is the answer that comes naturally to mind, and that other
   meanings are somewhat strained.
   As a personal example, I can report that I have been unable to find
   the term "control lab" (or "control laboratory", "controls lab",
   "controls laboratory") in my IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical
   and Electronics Terms (edition of 1972), although every university
   Dept. of Electrical Engineering in the USA has a "control lab" and
   that is how we normally refer to such a place. I have also been unable
   to find the term in an unabridged Webster's, in an on-line version of
   the Oxford English Dictionary, and in several other dictionaries I
   If this theory is correct then we should view all three cellars in
   Crematorium II as air raid shelters, with only one being provided with
   the additional measures to make it effective as a gas shelter. That
   could only be LK 1, since NO-4473 implies it is not LK 2, LK 3 was
   very small and, conclusively, because LK 1 was the only one of the
   three provided with a gas-tight door [11]. Moreover while all parts of
   the building had motor driven air extraction systems, it appears that
   only LK 1 had a motor driven air intake system [12].
   Pressac also believes the Vergasungskeller was LK 1; under my
   hypothesis he is then right on location but wrong on function. LK 1
   had the basic features of a gas shelter. Pressac admits that the air
   exhaust (at the bottom) and air intake (near the top) systems of LK 1
   were misplaced for a gas chamber employing HCN [13]. Although HCN is
   only slightly lighter than air, there are various practical reasons
   why gas chambers employing it normally expel the gas from the top when
   the gassing process is completed [14]. Carbon dioxide, by contrast, is
   much heavier than air and is most naturally expelled from the bottom
   of the relevant space.
   Why would the author of NO-4473 not refer to a Leichenkeller as a
   Leichenkeller? I don't think a slip is involved. We normally do not
   consider ourselves bound to use only formal designations. More
   commonly, we refer to things according to their function or in any
   case the function that happens to be in mind at the time. The gas
   shelter features of LK 1 were its principal structural distinction
   from LK 2 and those features were being taken into account in the
   construction at the time. It was natural that LK 1 might be referred
   to as the gas shelter.
   As another example of a use of terminology suggested by function, the
   engineer Messing referred to LK 2 of Crematorium II, during
   construction, as an "Auskleidekeller" (undressing cellar), another one
   of what Pressac considers "slips" [15]. This has been another point
   raised by those who would put a homicidal interpretation on
   Crematorium II; the victims would according to this theory undress
   themselves in LK 2 and then be gassed in LK 1.
   It is much more prosaic. Pressac believes that, when the Germans
   viewed Crematorium II as an ordinary crematorium, then the sequence of
   processing bodies was originally contemplated to be LK 3 to LK 2 to LK
   1, but that LK 3 was eventually eliminated from the regular sequence
   [16]. However that may be, if the dead bodies were contemplated to
   start in LK 2 they would then be undressed there. They would be stored
   in LK 1 while awaiting cremation. Presumably LK 3 was only used when a
   body needed some sort of special processing, e.g. dissection or the
   famous extraction of gold fillings from teeth.
   I am struck by the humorous simplicity of the theory offered here.
    1. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas
       Chambers, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p 548. The reader
       should understand that the title of this book is misleading, as
       the only real "gas chambers" whose "technique and operation" are
       discussed are fumigation gas chambers. The homicidal gas chambers
       are only imagined, based on alleged "criminal traces", two of
       which are dealt with here. It is common to refer to this book in
       discussion of Auschwitz because it is the greatest single
       published source of reproductions of original documents and
       photographs for the camp.
    2. Pressac (1989) pp. 211,217,432,548.
    3. A.R. Butz, [1]The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 1976, pp.
    4. F. Puntigam et. al., Blausäuregaskammern zur Fleckfieberabwehr,
       Berlin, 1943.
    5. Pressac (1989) pp. 106-113,222-225,548.
    6. R. Faurisson, [2]Journal of Historical Review, vol. 11, no. 1,
       Spring 1991, pp. 55ff.
    7. A.R. Butz, Journal of Historical Review, vol. 13, no. 3, May/June
       1993, pp. 27-31.
    8. Faurisson, op. cit., pp. 52f.
    9. A.M. Prentiss, Chemicals in War, Mc-Graw-Hill, NY, 1937. G. Woker,
       Der kommende Gift- und Brandkrieg, Oldenburg, Leipzig, 1932.
   10. L.F. Parparov, ed., Nemetsko-Russkii Voennyi Slovar, Moscow, 1964.
   11. Pressac (1989), 223,231.
   12. Pressac (1989), 284ff,355-374.
   13. Pressac (1989), 224,274.
   14. Puntigam, op. cit..
   15. Pressac (1989), pp. 223,373.
   16. Pressac (1989) 284ff.
   created: 6 August 1996.
   last modified: 7 August 1996.
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