The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/nyms/dthomas/diesel-retreat-02

From: (DvdThomas)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Zyklon B / Carbon monoxide comparison
Date: 2 Jan 1997 20:48:57 GMT
Organization: AOL
Lines: 81
Message-ID: <>

Jamie wrote:

>Mr. Moran, we've been told by Fritz Berg and a handful of other
>Holocaust-deniers, in this forum, that gassing with engine exhaust
>was incredibly wasteful -- that there was a fuel shortage, that
>it took precious oil to keep the engines running.  They say why on
>earth would precious diesel fuel be used to kill people when
>German trucks were parked on the streets for lack of gas?
>Therefore, they say, the Holocaust never happened.

I'll take your word that Berg said that (and also take exception to your
description of him as a "Holocaust-denier"), but it isn't and never was a
factor in the main points he makes.  Diesel engines are an extremely
inefficient way to generate carbon monoxide. Their normal operating
characteristics just aren't conducive to its formation at lethal levels. 
A diesel engine would have to be operated at such a rich air/fuel ratio
that there would be rapid buildup of solids in the cylinders which would
ruin the engine.  It isn't a lengthy process, it would occur within hours,
or at most, days.  In addition, the engine would have to be run at 80% to
100% of full load, rather a difficult thing to do for a stationary mounted
unit.  A dynamometer type loading device would have to be installed. 
There is again no record or mention of the presence of this large,
expensive, and highly specialized item in any supply records, statements
or testimonies.  

Gasoline engines, on the other hand, are excellent sources of carbon
monoxide, as evidenced by the frequency of suicides using automobile
exhaust.  Gasoline was also in short supply in wartime Germany, a fact
that caused them to invent and build a half-million or more "producer gas
generators" which were small add-on modules that could be mounted on
vehicles to provide fuel for their modified engines.  This was done in
great numbers to solve the problem of petroleum shortages.  Producer gas
powered vans, trucks and buses were a standard mode of transportation
throughout Germany and occupied Europe and Russia.  

Wood chips were burned in a converter chamber whose output was a flammable
mix of gases that contained high levels of carbon monoxide, 25% on the
average (carbon monoxide is also flammable).  This gas mix was lethal in
its produced state and found limited use as a fumigant, probably for rats,
not insects.  The drawback of course is that it's also highly flammable,
and in quantity, explosive.  However, it is a simple matter to set such an
engine so that its exhaust emits carbon monoxide in reduced but still
deadly levels that would kill quickly without the risk of explosion.  

Given the ready availability of the producer gas vehicles and the fact
that their operation required only ordinary wood chips, they would have
been an obviously more practical choice than either of the other two types
of engines or, for that matter, Zyklon-B.  Yet, aside from stories of
field use of "killing vans" in which the alleged victims were placed in
the back of such trucks for gassing in a limited area of the Eastern Front
and one or two other locations, there is absolutely no mention of their
use in camps for this purpose in the historical record.  No mention in
German records, and no claims by purported witnesses.  (The former, by the
way, would naturally be the case if there were no gassing chambers.)  All
you have is the diesel claim, which I understand is beginning to be
revised to gasoline by some of the sanctioned historians, no doubt in
quiet reaction to the improbability of a diesel being able to do what has
been claimed.  

And, yes, I know of the report from a British medical journal in the
fifties in which several animals were killed with diesel exhaust in a
scantily documented experiment.  All that proves is that it is, as stated
earlier here and elsewhere by Berg, marginally possible to push a diesel
to its limits and achieve lethal levels of CO in its exhaust *FOR A VERY
SHORT PERIOD OF TIME*, something I do not recall the report addressing.

David Thomas

"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me."
-in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease.
"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me."
-in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease.
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.

From the Twin Verses of the Dhammapada

David Thomas

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