Archive/File: holocaust/usa/willenbring.01 Last-Modified: 1994/07/05 Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 8:28:52 -0500 (CDT) From: WILLENA@HBFULLER.COM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: <940701082852.60200222@HBFULLER.COM> Subject: Holocaust Denial Research Paper _Vergasungskeller_ _The Case Against the Auschwitz Gas Chambers_ by Andrew Willenbring Five and a half decades ago the first of millions of "social undesirables" were being shipped east from Germany and other occupied territories to camps in the east of Poland. By the end of the Second World War millions of them would be dead - by starvation, disease, or execution. Every history course dealing with World War Two has a section on the Holocaust, this attempted genocide of the European Jews. The Holocaust spawned organizations world wide devoted to making sure that this kind of disgusting manifestation of racial hatred never happens again. However, there is a movement in this country and others that maintains that the whole thing is a fabrication, a lie told by the "International Jewish Community" to create revenue, in the form of reparations payments from Germany, and immunity from criticism for the State of Israel. For those who believe in the reality of the Holocaust, Revisionism, as it is called, represents some of the worst atrocities committed in relation to the genocide since the event itself; not merely because it is the denial of the reality of it, although that is a part of it, but because Revisionist hate and lies are clothed in the guise of scholarly research. However, to those who support them, the Revisionists are the last best hope for truth, freedom, and peace for the future. I. The Gas Chambers in History During World War Two, the Nazi government in Germany operated concentration camps, to which were sent those persons who, for reasons of race, religion, ethnic background, or political views were deemed of lesser value than the Aryan "Master Race" in order to separate them and keep that Aryan race pure. However, for a few of those races and ethnicities, separation wasn't enough. The Nazi philosophy held such races as Gypsies and Jews so low that only extermination was acceptable. So certain of the camps, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz being the most notable, were built as or converted to Extermination Camps. The camp that has perhaps been the focus of the greatest amount of study of any of the Death Camps, as they were known, was Auschwitz. The concentration camp known as Auschwitz took its name from the small town about forty miles west of Krakow, in Eastern Poland, near which it was constructed shortly after the annexation of Poland by Germany. It held about ten thousand prisoners. In March of 1941 a second camp was constructed about one and one half miles away, known as Auschwitz II, or Birkenau (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 2). While the first camp housed mostly prisoners who were fit for work, Birkenau's residents were for the most part the very old, very young, and the ill. However, gassing did not start at Auschwitz until the fall of 1941 (McVay, "Auschwitz", introduction) while the Kommandant of the camp, Rudolf Hoess, was away on business. Hauptsturmfuehrer Fritsch, one of Hoess' subordinates, made the conclusion that if the insecticide Zyklon B killed lice it could kill people just as well, and the first experimental gassing with that gas took place with a group of condemned Russian POWs as guinea pigs (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 3). That experimental first gassing took place in the Main camp, in a building known today as Krema I ("Krema" is a contraction of the German word for "crematorium"). Later, four more Krema (II, III, IV, V) were built at Birkenau, where most of the gassings took place. Krema I was used for a very short period and then converted to an air raid shelter (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 3). The best estimates of the number of Jews, Gypsies, and other prisoners who died at Auschwitz indicate the total to be between one and one and a half million persons (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 12). The gassing of prisoners often followed a standard pattern. The victims would be led into a room were they were told to undress, hang their clothes on hooks on the wall, and remember the number of the hook. They were promised food and work to do after the "shower" they were about to receive. Then, with soap and towels, they were rushed into the gas chambers and gassed (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 8). After about a half hour, _Sonderkommandos_, groups of prisoners forced to work at the gas chambers, would go in with gas masks, carry out all the dead bodies, and take them to be cremated (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 8). Much of the evidence corroborating the existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers comes from testimony, affidavits, and documentary evidence at the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War. Many of the officers and men who worked at Auschwitz testified about the genocidal policies of the Nazi regime, and to the murderous operations at Auschwitz. The gas chambers themselves were destroyed by the Nazis when they evacuated the camp, so they were not available for examination (Krema I was reconstructed to its form as a gas chamber by the Soviets soon after the War, however). Kommandant Hoess himself provided very important information to the prosecutors during and after that trial. After almost five decades, the truth about the Holocaust of European Jews is still being sought. Exactly how many Jews, Gypsies, Russians, and others deemed undesirable by Hitler's Nazi regime were killed may never be known. However, estimates can be made, and one of those estimates is given here: Eichmann's interrogation regarding the total number of victims supports Fleming's figure of about five million killed (Request eichmann eichmann.005), while figures compiled by Yehuda Bauer, of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, are somewhat higher. Bauer's figures are in the right-most column: German Reich (boundaries of 1938) 130,000 125,000 Austria 58,000 65,000 Belgium 26,000 Belgium & Luxembourg 24,700 Bulgaria 7,000 Czechoslovakia (boundaries of 1938) 245,000 277,000 France 64,000 83,000 Greece 58,000 65,000 Hungary & Carpatho-Ukraine 300,000 402,000* Italy 8,000 7,500* Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia 200,000 Luxembourg 3,000 Netherlands 101,800 106,000 Norway 677 760 Poland (boundaries of 1939) 2,700,000 Polish-Soviet area 4,565,000 Romania (boundaries prior to 1940) 220,000 40,000 USSR (boundaries prior to 1939) 800,000 Yugoslavia 54,000 60,000* ----------------- 4,975,477 5,820,960 * May be underestimated (McVay, "Auschwitz", page 11) Other estimates also exist, some based on differences in prewar and postwar populations, or compiled from records kept by the Nazis about how many were killed where, how many were sent from where, how many were gassed right away, and how many were left when the camps were liberated. II. Revisionism and the Gas Chamber Revisionists present several bases for their arguments against the Nazi gas chambers. One is the basic disbelief that the Nazis had a genocidal policy in any way. Some believe that while Hitler's government was actively anti-Semitic, and that many Jews died in the concentration camps, the deaths were not intentional, and not very many Jews died even accidentally or from disease (this is the argument that comprises most of the beginning premise of _Hoax of the Twentieth Century_, by Arthur R. Butz); not anywhere near six million, anyway (Butz). Another argument against the use of gas chambers for extermination is that the gas chambers never existed, that the buildings and rooms so long designated as killing areas were more innocent things, such as morgues for prisoners who died of old age or disease, disinfection rooms for the delousing of new inmates, or even rooms containing fuel preparation equipment for the nearby cremation ovens. This argument is supported by Revisionists who cite that much of the Nuremberg Trial testimony was obtained under conditions that would have denied it admissibility in any American court; a very great deal was gained under duress or after promises of leniency in sentencing, promises that seldom were made good (Butz, chapter I). This testimony was extremely important to the conclusion that destroyed buildings contained gas chambers or that cryptic language in documents concerning "special treatment", "_Sonderbehandlung_", really meant genocide, so any reason to mistrust this evidence throws doubt on the whole extermination conclusion. The last of the three possible functions of the rooms called gas chambers that have been stated above, that the gas chambers were rooms full of equipment for the preparation of fuel for the crematoria, is based in the German language itself. The word _Vergasungskeller_, found in the Nuremberg Military Tribunal Document NO-4473, a memo from "the chief of the Auschwitz construction management to the head of the SS engineering group" (Butz, pg121) has been translated as "gas chamber". However, that is only one of the meanings. The root, _Vergasung_, was used in World War One to indicate the military use of poison gas against the enemy. However, in a technical context, such as that presumably present in a letter of the type in question, _Vergasung_ indicates carburetion or gasification. The type of crematoria in use at Auschwitz used coke, a form of coal, as a fuel to keep the bodies burning. This coke needed to be prepared by carburating it so that it would burn correctly. Therefore, _Vergasungskeller_ could mean "carburetion cellar" (Butz, page 120-121). Others argue that the eye witness testimony is either inaccurate or outright false, either because the buildings were not ventilated well enough for the _Sonderkommando_ to remove the corpses as quickly as witnesses have claimed, or because the gases would have exploded with all the guards smoking, another claim made fairly consistently by witnesses. The best known proponent of the lack of ventilation argument is a man named Frank Leuchter. Mr. Leuchter published a report, known as the "Leuchter Report", in which he claims to be an engineer, and proceeds to show that for various reasons the places designated as gas chambers were unfit for that use because of less than adequate ventilation, sealing, and volume of the chamber itself, as well as that the chambers did not provide for safe exhausting of the cyanide gas after gassing (McVay, "Leuchter"). The other part of the argument, related to the first, is that smoking guards would have ignited the gases used for extermination. Zyklon B, the material used by Germans to delouse buildings, and allegedly exterminate Jews, gives off the gas HCN, hydrocyanic acid, which at sufficient concentrations is extremely explosive (McCarthy). Revisionists make the argument that because the "alleged" chambers were not ventilated, or not ventilated well enough, the burning cigarettes and the gas would have come in contact and caused an explosion (McCarthy). III. Denying Revisionism Let us begin with the argument against a Nazi genocidal policy. It is hard to give credence to any assertion that the Nazi government did not have a genocidal policy. Events like the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, along with the descriptions of the treatment and living conditions of the prisoners and the extermination procedure itself given by eyewitnesses would seem to directly oppose this view. Also, the histories of the era, as well as Nazi tomes such as Hitler's own _Mein Kampf_, definitely indicate not only a systematic "dehumanization" of Jews and others, but a violent attitude, which on many occasions did manifest itself in actual physical violence on the part of men in the field, with no obvious discouragement from government officials. So, it would appear that any idea that the Nazis had no genocidal intentions toward the "social undesirables" is false at best. The argument that the rooms designated as gas chambers were technologically not able to perform that task is founded on a piece of work by Frank Leuchter, the Leuchter Report, based on "scientific" work done by Mr. Leuchter after a visit to the Auschwitz site. Mr. Leuchter has admitted that the basis of credibility on his part, his status as an engineer, is pure fabrication. He has claimed that status on several occasions, most notably in his "Report" and at the Canadian trial of a man named Ernst Zundel, at which he claims to be not only an engineer, but an expert on means of execution. At the Zundel trial, he testified that he had contracted with two prisons, San Quentin in California, and a prison in North Carolina, to sell services and equipment to both institutions. However, when contacted, officials at both places denied any contract. Also, at a later trial in which he was the defendant, he admitted that he is "not and [has] never been registered as a professional engineer". The problem with the argument that Zyklon B is too explosive is one of concentration. The minimum concentration of Zyklon B required for an explosion is around fifty-six thousand parts per million (ppm). This is almost two hundred times the concentration necessary to kill humans in just a few minutes, three hundred ppm. While this argument is sometimes continued with the stipulation that because HCN gas, the active agent in Zyklon B, is slightly lighter than air (twenty-seven grams per mole for HCN as opposed to twenty-eight and eight tenths grams per mole for air) it would form dense pockets given time, that is obviously not an accurate statement. For instance, if gases were that easily separated, the entire atmosphere, made up of about seventy percent nitrogen and thirty percent oxygen, would be entirely oxygen near the surface and entirely nitrogen at altitude, and not fairly well mixed together, as we know it is (McCarthy). VI. Conclusion For decades, historians have told us that the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews and Gypsies, Russians, homosexuals, the insane, and political prisoners. Historians have told us that the Nazis used poison gas chambers to murder most of them. They have told us that when the Jews and Gypsies weren't being killed they were being forced to live in terrible conditions in which disease was rampant, perform backbreaking labor for the benefit of German industry and the German state. And they have told us that all of this was done in the name of a "master race" which Hitler believed in to the point of attempting to exterminate the other races. But now, in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and all over the world, there are people who call themselves Revisionists saying that all those historians are wrong, that history has been consciously altered for someone's gain. And the gain is going to the very people who were supposedly so severely persecuted. It can be quite a distressing and overwhelming situation for those who have lived with the standard history for so long. The arguments used by these Revisionists seem to center around attacks on the evidence for the Holocaust. "The guards couldn't have smoked like witnesses said" and "'_Vergasung_' doesn't necessarily mean gassing someone" are two examples discussed above of this Revisionist tactic of disproving something by doubting the evidence presented. However, in this authors opinion, it is not enough to merely cast some vague suspicion on the veracity and credibility of the evidence. There must be some evidence to the contrary. If they could find a Jew who was at Auschwitz and would testify that no one was ever killed there intentionally, or if the few existing pictures of the equipment believed to have been used in the genocide of the Jews showed something that could prove beyond a doubt that people were not gassed, then that would be something concrete in favor of Revisionist arguments. But there is nothing of the kind. Pictures and plans show what must be gas chambers. Witnesses tell of atrocities and killings. Even the perpetrators of these acts, the guards and officers of the camps and the high officials of the government, have admitted, under oath and in signed affidavits, that these things that the Revisionists seek to discount did in fact happen, that they, as guards and officers did do these things, and that they, as officers of the armed forces and officials, did attempt to cover it up. One gets the feeling that perhaps Revisionists are trying redeem a racial pride, or strengthen a racial prejudice, with these arguments. Some arguments, like the assertion that because HCN is a different density than normal air it will collect in dense pockets, seem logical when first presented, but don't stand up to scrutiny. An argument like that requires blind faith, which is what Revisionists are trying to get away from in the first place. Admittedly, there are arguments that are difficult to refute. For example, without a fluency in 1940s German, this author cannot make a conclusion about the accuracy of the definitions given for the German word _Vergasung_. However, the vast preponderance of real, concrete evidence that can be found supports the unfortunate reality of the Holocaust. Works Cited McVay, Kenneth N. (1994) "HOLOCAUST FAQ: Auschwitz-Birkenau: Layman's Guide" Usenet news.answers. Available via anonymous ftp from rtfm.mit.edu in pub/usenet/news.answers/holocaust/auschwitz/ part01 (and ~/part02). 24 pages. Kotsikonas, Anastasios. (1992) "The Leuchter Report: A Laymnan's Guide: Holocaust Denial & The Big Lie. Available via E-Mail from The Old Frog's Almanac (ListServ) archive site at email@example.com, Archive Leuchter, files Leuchter.faq1 and Leuchter.faq2. 27 pages. McCarthy, Jamie R. (1992) "Gannon.gas." Available via E-Mail from The Old Frog's Almanac (ListServ) archive site at firstname.lastname@example.org, Archive B-CPU, file Gannon.gas. Butz, Arthur R. _The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry_. Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, c. 1976, 1983 printing. Hitler, Adolf. _Mein Kampf_. Boston, MA. Houghton Mifflin Co., c. 1971. _Bibliography_ Butz, Arthur R. _The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry_. Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, c. 1976, 1983 printing. Hitler, Adolf. _Mein Kampf_. Boston, MA. Houghton Mifflin Co., c. 1971. McVay, Kenneth N. (1994) "HOLOCAUST FAQ: Auschwitz-Birkenau: Layman's Guide" Usenet news.answers. Available via anonymous ftp from rtfm.mit.edu in pub/usenet/news.answers/holocaust/auschwitz/ part01 (and ~/part02). 24 pages. Oertelt, Henry. "A Holocaust Survivor's Testimony." St John's University, 17 April, 1994, 7:00 PM. Old Frog's Almanac Archive Site. A large archive of files about the Holocaust is available via E-Mail from the Old Frog's Almanac listserver. E-Mail to email@example.com with a blank subject line, and in the body, "get archive_name filename". A list of those files available at the Old Frog's Almanac that were consulted in relation to this paper follows: Archive File Archive File Auschwitz Deathcamp.03 Auschwitz Glossary B-CPU B-CPU.anti-sem B-CPU Gannon.gas B-CPU.faq Gannon.words B-CPU.files Liar B-CPU.001 Liberators Blasted.001 Lie.04 Christian.news Lie.06 Cmelon.001 Lie.07 Gannon Newyorker.net Gannon.001 Nexus.001 Gannon.002 Pfaust-bcpu Gannon.0708 Players.faq Gannon.0714 Scrolls.refute Gannon.0730 Winston.refute CODOH Arno.1 CODOH MSU.001 Arno.book MSU.002 CODOH.museum MSU.003 CODOH.oregonian NWU.001 Duke.001 Oregonian.net Harvard.001 Irving Hitlers.war Reinhard Appendix.arad Reinhard Reinhard.faq2 Prolog.arad Holocaust Hoess.intro.01 Holocaust JIN.intro /bibliography Holocaust.oed /IHR IFZ.001 Leuchter Leuchter.faq2 Netherlands Holland.003 IHR IHR.faq2 IHR IHR.intro.text Poland YVS16.01 Poland YVS16.index Vidal-Naquet, Pierre. _Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust_. New York, Columbia University Press, c. 1992.
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