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Archive/File: holocaust/usa/leuchter wpost.061891
Last-Modified: 1994/05/11

Holocaust Revisionist Admits He Is Not Engineer.
The Washington Post, June 18, 1991, FINAL Edition
By: Christopher B. Daly, Special to The Washington Post
Section: A SECTION, p. a06
Story Type: News National
Line Count: 73    Word Count: 802

BOSTON,  June  17  -   Fred A. Leuchter Jr., a self-styled 
expert in the machinery of death who parlayed his reputation as 
a builder of killing equipment into a second career as a proponent 
of "Holocaust revisionism," has admitted that he is not an engineer.

Made in a consent decree filed with a Massachusetts court last 
week, his admission should deal a blow to the movement holding  
that the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews and others during 
World War II was a hoax or an exaggeration, according to experts 
in the field.

Leuchter, 48, of suburban Malden, was to face trial later this 
month on charges of practicing engineering without a license,
a violation of Massachusetts law. But on June 11, he signed a 
consent agreement with the board that licenses engineers.

In it, Leuchter acknowledged that, "I am not and have never 
been registered as a professional engineer" and that he 
nevertheless had represented himself as an engineer in dealings 
with various states that use the death penalty and to which he 
supplied equipment or advice.

The  agreement  also  requires Leuchter to stop disseminating 
reports in which he purports to be an engineer, most significantly 
a document known as the "Leuchter Report."

That report, widely circulated by revisionists, asserts that gas
chambers at Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, Birkenau and 
Majdanek could not have been used for mass killings because they 
were not big enough nor well ventilated or sealed. The assertion 
is based largely on chemical analysis of materials scraped 
surreptitiously from walls of those chambers by Leuchter during a 
visit to Poland in February 1988.

Sally Greenberg, an attorney with the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith in Boston, which was instrumental in bringing Leuchter to the
attention of Massachusetts authorities, welcomed the settlement.

"It's a blow to Holocaust revisionism because he has been the 
guru of the revisionists," she said. "Now, he has as much as admitted 
that he is not qualified as an engineer to comment on the 'myth' 
of the Holocaust. It's essentially an admission that he's the 
charlatan and phony that we always knew he was."

Leuchter, a slight, bespectacled man whose father was a prison 
guard, has made a specialty of devising, selling and installing 
equipment for carrying out executions, including an injection 
device. As a result, he has been the subject of many profiles 
in the national news media, none of which delved into his 
involvement with groups that deny the Holocaust.

After signing the consent agreement, Leuchter issued a 
one-page statement. "There is no finding nor has there been 
any admission of guilt on the part of Leuchter," it said,  
adding that he plans to prepare immediately to seek an 
engineering license.

"Mr. Leuchter and his defense counsel will not make any further
statements  regarding  the legal resolution of the case," it 
said. Leuchter did not return telephone calls.  Nor did his 
attorney, Kirk Lyons of Houston, whose practice includes 
defending white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members.

David Wyman, a historian who wrote a 1984 study of American 
reaction to the Holocaust, said stripping Leuchter's 
"engineering" credentials could be important because the 
scientific  aura surrounding his report could have lent  
credibility to the revisionist movement, which he called a 
mask for antisemitism.

"American society has advanced to the point that we don't 
accept bigotry openly," said Wyman, a professor at the 
University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  "That  means 
antisemites have had to retreat, to dress it up in a
more palatable fashion, pretend it's scholarship."

Michael Bernbaum, project director of the U.S. Holocaust 
Memorial Museum in Washington, said discrediting Leuchter's 
expertise was important, but that to a "fringe  group" of  
virulent antisemites it would make no difference whether 
Leuchter had an engineering license.

"The revisionists are the equivalent of a flat-Earth society," 
he said. "The Holocaust is one of the most thoroughly documented 
events in history.  The perpetrators have never denied it."

Deborah Lipstadt, a Los Angeles author who is writing a book on 
the Holocaust revision movement in the United States, said 
Leuchter was being cited increasingly in revisionist circles as 
a scientific authority whose report "proved" that Nazi death  
camps never operated as survivors have said.

"The fact that he claimed to be an engineer was central to the 
whole issue,"  Lipstadt  said. "He's not just your local  kook. 
He was their scientific cover. In that sense, he is a 
substantial figure."

The revisionist movement is a loose grouping of people who 
question the Holocaust for a variety of reasons,  from  admiration 
for Nazis to antisemitism and opposition to Israel. An influential 
hub of revisionist thinking is the Institute for Historical 
Review in Torrance, Calif., which has publicized Leuchter's 

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