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Subject: HOLOCAUST FAQ: The "Leuchter Report" (1/2)

This article was archived around: NNTP-Posting-Sat, 14 Mar 2009 23:15:02 -0500

All FAQs in Directory: holocaust/usa/leuchter
All FAQs posted in: alt.revisionism, soc.history
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: holocaust/usa/leuchter/part01 Last-modified: 2002/03/21
This FAQ may be cited as: McVay, Kenneth N. (1998) "HOLOCAUST FAQ: The Leuchter Report" Usenet news.answers. Available via anonymous ftp from ftp.nizkor.org in the directory pub/people/l/leuchter.fred as leuchter.faq1 (and ~.faq2), ~27 pages. The most current version of this FAQ is posted every 30 days in the Usenet newsgroups alt.revisionism, soc.history, soc.answers, alt.answers and news.answers, and archived as pub/usenet/news.answers/holocaust/leuchter/part01 (and ~/part02) in the anonymous ftp archive on rtfm.mit.edu. [Leuchter] [Page i] The Leuchter Report: A Layman's Guide Holocaust Denial & The Big Lie 1.00 Introduction & Editorial Notes......................... 1 1.10 Copyright Notice..................................... 2 1.20 Overview............................................. 2 2.00 Point, Counterpoint - Denial Claims Addressed.......... 3 2.01 Disparities in Hydrocyanic Compound Levels........... 3 2.02 Explosive Property of Zyklon B & Furnace Proximity... 6 2.03 Gas Chambers Could Not Have Been Opened Safely....... 7 2.04 The Extermination Chambers Were Actually Morgues..... 8 2.05 Impossible to Kill 6 Million People at Auschwitz..... 9 Part Two: 2.06 Doors of Gas Chambers Too Weak to Prevent Escape.....11 2.07 They Would Not Have Used Zyklon-B for Gassing........11 2.08 The gas chambers were never sealed, or...............12 2.09 The gas would have killed everyone outside when ventilated...........................................14 2.10 Where did all the ashes from the cremations go.......14 [Leuchter] [Page ii] 2.11 People who dropped the gas into the gas chamber would have been killed by it...............................15 2.12 The Auschwitz death list doesn't show all those people were killed...................................15 2.13 Why would there be a swimming pool at a death camp...15 2.14 The high water table made it impossible to burn bodies in ditches....................................15 2.15 How did witnesses to the gassings survive............16 2.16 Toxicity of fumes from a diesel engine...............18 2.17 There were not enough Jews in Europe to account for six million victims..................................18 2.18 The "myth" of the Holocaust was created solely for the financial benefit of Israel......................20 3.00 Leuchter's credibility.................................21 3.10 Leuchter's perjury in Canadian court...................21 3.20 Leuchter's credibility among American prison admins....24 4.00 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.............24 4.10 Recommended Reading..................................25 4.20 Abbreviations Used in Citations......................25 4.30 Glossary.............................................25 4.40 Works Cited..........................................25 [Leuchter] [Page 1] "The attempt to justify an evil deed has perhaps more pernicious consequences than the evil deed itself. The justification of a past crime is the planting and cultivation of future crimes. Indeed, the repitition of a crime is sometimes part of a device of justification; we do it again and again to convince ourselves and others that it is a common thing and not an enormity. (Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954.) "The group spent three days in Auschwitz/Birkenau and one in Majdanek surreptitiously and illegally collecting bricks and cement fragments - Leuchter called them 'forensic samples' - from a number of buildings, including those associated with the killing process." (Lipstadt, Deborah. Denying the Holocaust. pp 162-3) des-e-crate 1: to violate the sanctity of: PROFANE 2: to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) 1.00 Introduction & Editorial Notes This document provides a counterpoint to assertions commonly made by those who deny that anyone was gassed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka death camps during World War II; who, in fact, deny that the gas chambers even existed. (At least a million people were ruthlessly exterminated at Auschwitz, and seven-hundred-thousand more at Treblinka - the worst of the Nazi extermination camps in terms of victims slaughtered.) The most prestigious source in Germany regarding the crimes of the Nazis during WW2, the "Institute for Contemporary History" in Munich, sums up the facts in a recent publication. (For the full document, see http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/german/ifz/ifz.report) Treblinka (district Warschau, general government) from the end of July 1942 on had three gas chambers and received at the start of September 1942 furthermore ten larger gas chambers. Up to the dissolution of the camp in November 1943 altogether 700,000 Jews were killed here by carbon monoxide. Auschwitz-Birkenau (in the formerly Polish, in 1939 adjoined to the "Reich" upper eastern Silesian area, south eastern of Kattowitz): The extermination camp in Birkenau, established in the second half of 1941, was joined to the concentration camp Auschwitz, existing since May 1940. From January 1942 on in five gas chambers and from the end of June 1943 in four additional large gassing-rooms gassings with Zyklon B have been undertaken. Up until November 1944 more than one million Jews and at least 4000 gypsies have been murdered by gas. (See http://www.nizkor.org/faqs/auschwitz) (Note that these numbers include only people gassed - many were murdered using more "conventional" means) This is by no means a replacement for serious research - just an expose of common frauds like the "Leuchter report", and a guide to scholarly sources. This document was prepared by Danny Keren and Jamie McCarthy, and edited to its present form by Ken McVay. Comments, corrections, and additions are welcome. Documents cited in this work which are available from our server are noted in the form (Get path/filename). The site ftp.nizkor.org accepts anonymous ftp logins. [Leuchter] [Page 2] 1.10 Copyright This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1993-1998 by Ken McVay and Danny Keren as a work of literature. Non-commercial distribution by any electronic means is granted with the understanding that the article not be altered in any way. Permission to distribute in printed form must be obtained in writing. The removal of this copyright notice is forbidden. 1.20 Overview "His opinion on this report is that there were never any gassings or there was never any exterminations carried on in this facility. As far as I am concerned, from what I've heard, he is not capable of giving that opinion... He is not in a position to say, as he said so sweepingly in this report, what could not have been carried on in these facilities." Thus did the presiding judge dismiss Fred Leuchter's report as "ridiculous" and "preposterous" during the Canadian trial of Ernst Zuendel. Lest there be any misunderstanding about the Court's finding: "On the question of the functioning of the crematoria ... the judge's decision was unequivocal. He could not testify on this topic for a simple reason: He hasn't any expertise." (Lipstadt, 166) Fred Leuchter is a man with no formal training in either chemistry or toxicology (he obtained a BA in history in 1964), and yet he claims to be a professional engineer - an assertion that has landed him in hot water in his home state. In 1988, at the request of Canada's Ernst Zundel, Mr. Leuchter went to Poland and visited the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp; (Mr. Zundel financed Leuchter's trip to Poland.) The result of this journey was the "Leuchter Report." Here's what Mr. Leuchter had to say about his "investigation:" The purpose [of the investigation and subsequent report] does not include a determination of any numbers of persons who died or were killed by means other than gassing or as to whether an actual Holocaust occurred. It, further, is not the intent of this author to redefine Holocaust in historical terms, but simply to supply scientific evidence and information obtained at the actual sites and to render an opinion based on all available scientific, engineering and quantitative data as to the purpose and usages of the alleged execution gas chambers and crematory facilities at the investigated locations. (Foner) You will note, as we will demonstrate using Leuchter's own sworn testimony, that Mr. Leuchter failed to demonstrate any concern for the truth, even while under oath. In fact, perhaps the most significant evidence of Leuchter's lack of concern for scientific objectivity or accuracy is that he did not advise the chemist who analyzed the material looted from Auschwitz as to where it originated, or how it was collected. As Dr. Jim Roth (Cornell) points out in the movie "Dr. Death," this meant that accurate data could not possibly be obtained, since "...cyanide gas would only penetrate to a few microns' depth in stone or plaster surfaces ... Leuchter took big chunks out of walls and floors, without telling the lab man that he wanted the outside surface analyzed, resulted in analysis of samples which, when pulverized, diluted upward of 10,000 times any cyanide that might have been found on the surface of the walls -- even assuming Mr. Leuchter had the right surfaces in the first place." ("Errol Morris and the Tricky Art of Refuting Holocaust Denial," by Ron Rosenbaum. The New York Observer, Sept. 13, 1999, p. 27) See http://www.observer.com/cgi-win/homepage.exe?nyo1/F4091399. While testifying at Mr. Zundel's trial in Canada, Leuchter gave false evidence concerning his professional relationship with the administration of two American prisons regarding gas chambers, and proved himself to be unfamiliar with the most basic facts about the lethal gas Hydrogen Cyanide, including its flammability and the concentrations required for delousing purposes. The "Leuchter Report" purports to "scientifically demonstrate" that people were not killed by Zyklon-B at Auschwitz. It is composed of old claims made by the French Holocaust denier Faurisson, as well as some new ones. Many of the claims appear in the Institute for Historical Review's "66 Q&A on the Holocaust" pamphlet, and also in arguments offered by others who deny the Holocaust. (See http://www.nizkor.org/features/qar for Nizkor's response.) [Leuchter] [Page 3] Zyklon-B Zyklon-B is a powerful insecticide. It releases HCN, Hydrocyanic acid, a gas - Zyklon-B is the carrier, a material soaked with the gas; usually it comes in the shape of small pellets or disks. HCN is what causes death. While interacting with iron and concrete, it creates compounds ("Hydrocyanic compounds"). Leuchter concedes that these compounds were found in the ruins of the gas chambers in Auschwitz (as reaffirmed by the findings of the Polish government institute, which completely rejects Leuchter's conclusions - see Section 2.01). HCN is extremely poisonous to humans. It is used in execution gas chambers in the US; the first such was built in Arizona in 1920. It is absurd to claim (as the deniers do), that Germany in the 1940's could not handle "technical difficulties" in using HCN for execution - "difficulties" that were easily solved in 1920. Moreover, the Germans had a lot of experience with HCN, as it was extensively used for delousing. (For an extensive discussion of Zyklon B, get pub/camps/auschwitz/auschwitz.faq1) There were two types of gas chambers in Auschwitz: those used for delousing clothes ("delousing gas chambers") and those used for killing people on a massive scale ("extermination gas chambers"). The delousing gas chambers were a standard feature, and were left intact by the SS (as opposed to the extermination gas chambers, which were dynamited in an effort to conceal criminal activity from the rapidly approaching Soviet Army). The deniers try to confuse the issue by mixing the two types of chambers. For instance, they show pictures of the doors for the delousing chambers, and note that they are too weak to withstand the pressure of people trying to escape. Of course, the doors for the extermination chambers are completely different, but that fact is quietly overlooked (see 2.06). 2.00 Point, Counterpoint Holocaust denial often involves the same assertions, repeated endlessly, regardless of response. We present many of them for consideration here, along with our response. The photographs we refer to can be found in Pressac, and many are available from our archives in GIF format. 2.01 Disparities in Hydrocyanic Compound Levels Holocaust deniers often claim that since more hydrocyanic compounds were found in the delousing chambers than in the ruins of the so-called "extermination" chambers at Auschwitz, and the reverse would be true if people were actually gassed there, it is clear that no gassings occurred. But - HCN is far more effective on warm-blooded animals (including humans) than on insects, so the period of exposure to HCN is far longer for delousing clothes than that required for homicidal gassings, and a much lower concentration is necessary to kill people instead of insects. [Leuchter] [Page 4] A concentration of up to 16,000 ppm (parts per million) is sometimes used, with exposure times of up to 72 hours, to kill insects, but as little as 300 ppm will cause death in humans within fifteen minutes or so. Breitman offers background information about the development of Zyklon B as a killing device, and provides clear evidence that the Nazis determined the effective Zyklon B concentration through a process of trial and error. (Get pub/camps/auschwitz/auschwitz.faq1) When the difference in the concentration of gas required to kill insects and humans was mentioned in Leuchter's cross-examination in the Zundel trial, Leuchter responded: "I've never killed beetles. I, you know, I don't know. I haven't made computations for killing beetles" - Hardly the response one would expect from an "expert" on the subject... Because of the relatively small concentrations required to exterminate humans as opposed to lice, and because of the far shorter exposure time required, the HCN in the gas chambers used to kill humans hardly had time to form chemical compounds on the walls. The gas chambers were not very large (those in Kremas II and III were about 210 square meters), and the Zyklon B was dropped through four openings in the roof, spreading the gas very quickly. These openings are still visible in the ruins of the gas chambers, and rare photographs of them, taken while the camp was in operation, exist, and copies are readily available (Brugioni et al) from the sources noted in Section 6.1, below. Since the concentration used was higher than the lethal one, death was swift. (Get pub/holocaust/gifs/krema4.gif - Krema IV was above-ground, and the Zyklon B was introduced through clearly visible slits in the walls. See also ~/gifs/c_krema4.gif, which provides a closeup of the wall openings. Leuchter's data is further suspect because the delousing chambers where he obtained his samples were left intact by the SS, while the extermination chambers were destroyed. Clearly, their walls were exposed to the elements for forty-five years, which would certainly effect the validity of the samples taken. (The ruins of Krema II are covered with about three feet of water during certain periods of the year, and HCN compounds would eventually dissolve under such conditions. Nonetheless, so many gassings occurred there that some of the compound did remain). As Eugene Holman points out: Leuchter's technique was faulty theoretically, methodologically, and analytically: a. theoretically, because he was testing for Prussian B, a compound only formed in conjunction with exposure to cyanide under specific conditions, rather than for residual cyanide ions, something always present when something has been exposed to cyanide log enough for cyanates to form; b. methodologically, because he took random-sized bulk samples rather than scrapings, did not inform the lab that only one surface of the sample had been exposed to cyanide, and allowed the exposed surface to be pulverized with the rest of the sample, with the entire sample rather than the exposed surface being tested for mg of Prussian Blue (molecular weight 859.3) per kilogram of sample; c. analytically, because he did not take into consideration the role in Prussian Blue formation and retention played by different intitial conditions, different structural materials, or the different subsequent histories of the two environments. (Holman, Eugene. UseNet "alt.revisionism," Message-ID 200320021941535565%holman@elo.helsinki.fi, March 20, 2002) Summarizing, the walls of the extermination gas chambers were in contact with HCN for a much shorter time then those of the delousing chambers, and for the last 45 years were exposed to surroundings which dissolve the compounds, while the delousing rooms were not. Therefore it is obvious that less traces of compounds would remain in them. This debunks the major "amazing discovery" in Leuchter's report, which, in retrospect, wasn't 'amazing' at all. This fact - that all, or most, of the compounds would vanish during 45 years of exposure - is quite clearly stated in the report written by the experts at the Cracow Institute of Forensic Research: [Leuchter] [Page 5] -------------------------------------------------------------- INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC RESEARCH In the name of Prof. Dr. Jan Sehn, Krakow Division of Forensic Toxicology Krakow, 24 Sept. 1990 Westerplatte 9 / Code 31-033 Tel. 505-44, 592-24, 287-50 Telex 0325213 eksad ... The hydrocyanic acid (HCN) that is released from the Zyklon B preparation is a liquid with a boiling point of about 27 degrees Celsius. It has an acidic character, and therefore forms compounds with metallic salts, which are known as cyanides. The salts of alkaline metals (such as sodium and potassium) are water soluble. Hydrocyanic acid is a very weak acid, and accordingly its salts dissolve easily in stronger acids. Even carbonic acid, which is formed as a reaction of carbon dioxide with water, will dissolve ferro-cyanide. Stronger acids, such as sulfuric acids, easily dissolve the cyanides. The compounds of cyanide ions with heavy metals are longer lasting. This includes the already mentioned Prussian blue, although this will also slowly dissolve in an acidic environment. Therefore, one can hardly assume that traces of cyanic compounds could still be detected in construction materials (plaster, brick) after 45 years, after being subjected to the weather and the elements (rain, acid oxides, especially sulfuric and nitrogen oxides). More reliable would be the analysis of wall plaster [samples] from closed rooms which were not subject to weather and the elements (including acid rain). The discovery of hydrocyanic acid compounds in samples of material which had been subject to the elements can only be accidental. -------------------------------------------------------------- See http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/polish/institute-for-forensic-research/ for the Institute's 1994 report. The deniers often claim that the gas chamber in Krema I was left intact, and therefore its walls were not exposed to the elements. Curiously, they also make great issue of the fact that Krema I was converted into an air-raid shelter, and then rebuilt by the Soviet Army, after the liberation of the camp, to reproduce its original shape, saying that it has been used to mislead the public, who were told that people were gassed in the building. (The logic of their holding both views when it seems advantageous to do so will perhaps escape you, but then logic has not been a demonstrated asset when it comes to Holocaust denial. See Section 3.0.) The modification consisted of essentially removing some partitioning walls inside the gas chamber, which were added as a common feature of bomb shelters. Nontheless, this is the room in which people were gassed; there are still traces of cyanide on its walls, as Leuchter admits (he found traces in 6 of 7 samples). [Leuchter] [Page 6] But - the gas chamber of Krema I was used only for a short time, before the conversion. This, and the fact that "only" about ten thousand people were murdered within it, compared to three-hundred-fifty-thousand and four-hundred-thousand in Kremas II and III, explains why relatively small amounts of cyanide compounds remain. The other Kremas were destroyed by the SS prior to the Soviet liberation. Finally, cyanide compounds were found on the ventilation grills of the extermination chambers, proving beyond doubt that gassing did take place within. 2.02 The Explosive Property of Zyklon B & Furnace Proximity Holocaust denial often asserts that Zyklon B could not have been used for killing in the gas chambers, because it is explosive, and the furnaces were nearby. They overlook, however the fact that the concentration of HCN necessary to cause death is nearly 200 times lower than that necessary to cause an explosion. Although the SS used a concentration higher than the lethal one, it was far less than what would be required to cause an explosion. As a reference, one can look at "The Merck Index" and the "CRC handbook of Chemistry and Physics", or consult any manual dealing with toxicity and flammability of chemicals. For HCN, a concentration of 300 ppm (parts per million) kills humans within a few minutes (Merck, 632, entry 4688), while the minimal concentration that can result in an explosion is 56,000 ppm. Frank Deis provides the following information from Merck, with editorial comments in [] brackets: -Hydrocyanic acid;- "Blausaeure" (German). CHN; mol wt 27.03 ... HCN. Prepd on a large scale by the catalytic oxidation of ammonia-methane mixtures [refs omitted]. May also be prepd by the catalytic decompn of formamide. Conveniently prepd in the laboratory by acidifying NaCN or K4[Fe(CN)6]. <[Editor's note: this last formula is quite similar to, but different from Prussian Blue, also a major topic in the Leuchter Report. Prussian Blue is Ferric Ferrocyanide, or Ferric hexacyanoferrate (II). The formula is Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3. The =ferric= salt of ferrocyanide is insoluble in water. Other salts, such as the =potassium= salt of ferrocyanide, are quite soluble in water]> [more refs omitted] Colorless gas or liquid; characteristic odor; very weakly acid (does not redden litmus); burns in air with a blue flame; =intensely poisonous= even when mixed with air. d(gas) 0.941 (air = 1) <[Editor's note: notice, the gas is LIGHTER than air]>; d(liq) 0.687. mp -13.4. bp 25.6 <[ latest defense of Leuchter made a big deal out of how the gas would condense out on the cold walls. This would clearly happen to some extent in a cold room. If the room were filled with people, the gas would stay warm]> Miscible with water, alc; slightly sol in ether. LC50 <[lethal [Leuchter] [Page 7] concentration that kills 50% of test animals, NOTICE that this is dependent BOTH on time and on concentration!]> in rats, mice, dogs: 544 ppm (5 min), 169 ppm (30 min), 300 ppm (15 min), [ref omitted]. Human toxicity: High concn produces tachypnea (causing increased intake of cyanide) <[tachy = rapid, pnea = breathing]> then dyspnea <[dys = difficult, pnea = breathing]> paralysis, unconsciousness, convulsions, and respiratory arrest. Headache, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting may occur with lesser concentrations. Chronic exposure over long periods may cause fatigue, weakness. Exposure to 150 ppm for 1/2 to 1 hr may endanger life. Death may result from a few min exposure to 300 ppm. Average fatal dose <[ingested]> 50 to 60 mg. =Antidote= Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate. Use: The compressed gas is used for exterminating rodents and insects and for killing insects on trees, etc. =Must be handled by specially trained experts.= <[end of article]> (Merck, 632) Cyanide is a small molecule. Basically it is toxic because it resembles the oxygen molecule, O2 or OO looks like HCN to the binding sites in the mitochondria and also probably to the heme groups in hemoglobin and myoglobin. If Cyanide "sits down" on the cytochrome a/a3 complex at the end of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, then the oxygen you breathe no longer does you any good. You can't use it as an acceptor for high energy electrons, and you can't make ATP by the usual method of oxidative phosphorylation. Your body makes you breathe faster at first, in an attempt to overcome it, and then cells start dying from lack of oxygen and lack of ATP energy. In general, the statements about chemistry in Paul Grubach's defense of the Leuchter report seem valid. (JHR, V12, #4) The =premises= are of course open to question, or wrong. Yes, high concentrations of cyanide will cause formation of prussian blue on cold wet bricks that contain high levels of iron ions. But were the bricks really cold and wet? Was the air cold enough for the HCN to condense? Did "high concentrations" exist, given the relatively low concentrations required for killing human subjects, as opposed to insects? Anyway, I hope this information proves useful. I teach Biochemistry at Rutgers University, and that's where my information about cyanide toxicity comes from. The Merck Index is a standard reference book that probably every library has. Frank Deis (DEIS@PISCES.RUTGERS.EDU) 2.03 Gas Chambers Could Not Have Been Opened Safely in 20-30 Minutes The claim is often heard that it takes 20 hours to air a room which was disinfected with Zyklon-B, and therefore the eyewitness accounts giving a time of 20-30 minutes from when the gassing started to when the bodies where carried out is impossible, because the people carrying out the bodies would perish. [Leuchter] [Page 8] It is true that if one disinfects a building in ordinary commercial use, it should not be reentered within 20 hours. That figure, however, has no meaning relative to the extermination chambers, which were forcibly ventilated. Fifteen minutes was ample time to replace the air after a gassing. When ventilation was not used, the Sonderkommando (prisoners used as forced labor) who removed the bodies wore gas masks. The Germans had plenty of experience with gas, especially HCN, which was widely used for delousing. They knew how to work with it safely. It is absurd to use the 20 hour figure in this context, as it does not assume forced ventilation and takes a huge safety factor into account. The SS didn't care much for the safety of the Sonderkommando who had to enter the gas chambers to take the corpses out in any event. In some cases, these people did suffer from the remaining gas (see, for instance, Pressac, p. 473) Furthermore, what makes ventilation difficult and lengthy is the presence of rugs, furniture, curtains, etc. Needless to say, these were not present in the gas chambers - there was just bare concrete, making ventilation very fast and efficient. If the "20 hours ventilation period" above was true, this would mean that the corpses of people executed using cyanide gas in US prisons would remain tied to the chair 20 hours after they were killed...clearly nonsense, as Fred Leuchter, who claims expertise in gas chamber operation, knows full well. 2.04 The "Extermination" Chambers Were Actually Morgues Holocaust denial often claims that the "alleged" extermination chambers were actually morgues, and that Zyklon-B was used in them as a disinfectant. This claim stems from the fact that Hydrocyanic compounds were found on the ventilation grills of the gas chambers in Krema II and III (the chemical analysis was carried out by Dr. Jan Robel of the Cracow Forensic Institute in December 1945, and was part of the evidence in the trial of Auschwitz commander Ho"ss). This proves that gassing did take place in that chamber - but since this runs contrary to the deniers claims that it was an underground morgue, they claimed "a morgue is disinfected with Zyklon-B." Unfortunately for the people offering this assertion as truth, Zyklon-B is useless for disinfecting corpses, as it does not kill anaerobic bacteria - it kills only aerobic organisms. Finally, the "morgue" is specifically referred to as a "gassing cellar" in a letter from the Auschwitz construction department to SS General Kammler, January 29, 1943. Why call a morgue "gassing cellar?" And why is the other underground room called "undressing cellar?" (see Pressac, p. 221; also The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 - G. Reitlinger, South Brunswick, T. Yosellof, 1968, p. 158. These documents are [Leuchter] [Page 9] reproduced in the "AUSCHWITZ" section of the file "Original Nazi Documents", together with other documents about the process of gassing in Auschwitz). The following correspondence between an SS officer and the firm which manufactured the crematoriums shows that the underground cellars in Kremas II and III were to be preheated. Needless to say, this proves that they were not designed to serve as morgues; it does not make much sense to heat a morgue. It does make sense to heat a homicidal gas chamber, to facilitate the evaporation of the Zyklon-B. "Letter from SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Jahrling to Topf & Sons, March 6 1943 Subject: KL Auschwitz Krematorien II and III In accordance with your suggestion, the service agrees that cellar 1 should be preheated with the air coming from the rooms of the 3 forced draught installations. The supply and installation of the ductwork and blowers necessary to this end are to be effected as soon as possible. As you point out in your above-mentioned letter, execution should commence this week. We would ask you to send in triplicate detailed quote for supply and installation. At the same time, we would ask you to send an additional quotation for the modification of the air-extraction installation in the undressing room." (Pressac, 221) 2.05 It Was Impossible to Kill 6 Million People at Auschwitz "Judging by the amount and area of the gas chambers, and the number of the Kremas, it was impossible to kill 6 million people in the time interval in which the concentration camps existed." No-one claims that 6 million people died at Auschwitz. Many died in other death camps, in the ghettos and in occupied Soviet territory. Estimates of the number of people who were gassed to death in Auschwitz vary, but the lowest is 900,000, and the highest about 1,600,000. It is obvious that the extermination and cremation facilities in Auschwitz could take care of such a number. Just look at the photographs of the furnaces of Krema II (Pressac, 367; Get ~/gifs/furnaces.gif to view these installations). There were five Kremas in Auschwitz. Number II, for instance, had 15 huge furnaces, especially designed to burn efficiently and quickly. Each could consume 3 to 4 bodies at once (remember that many children were present, and many of the people were emaciated), and do so in a maximum of 45 minutes. The SS experimented with different combinations of corpse types and coke to determine which would provide the most cost-efficient results! (Mu"ller, 60-61; Klarsfeld, 99-100; Get pub/camps/auschwitz/Krema-I.001) [Leuchter] [Page 10] The figure Leuchter gives as the maximum number of people that could be executed in a week - 1693 - is absurd, as is demonstrated by the following calculation for a single Krema, number II: One gas chamber, about 210 square meters (2220 square feet) in area, easily accommodated a few hundred people, who were crammed into it. (See Section 2.16) Fifteen furnaces, each capable of incinerating at least 3 bodies in 45 minutes, could dispose of at least 720 bodies in a 12-hour day. In a single year, Krema II could incinerate over a quarter-million bodies. Add that to the capabilities of Kremas III, IV, and V, and you begin to get the picture. In addition, bodies were also burned in massive pits. Two gruesome photographs of these "burning pits", taken in secrecy in Auschwitz-Birkenau, have survived. They are of reasonable quality, and show men standing inside a pile of naked bodies, with the smoking pit in front of them. Some bodies are being dragged into the pit. The photographs are reproduced in Pressac, (422) and are also available as GIF files. (Get ~/gifs/aupit001.gif) As a reference, one can look at a letter dated June 20 1943, sent to SS General Kammler in Berlin, citing the number of bodies that can be disposed of in 24 working hours as 4,756. A photograph of the letter and its serial number in German archives appears in Pressac (247). (This is lower than 5 x 1440 = 7,200 because some of the Kremas had fewer furnaces than II and III. The exact breakdown, specified in the letter from Jahrling to Kammler, is 340 corpses for Krema I, 768 for IV and V, 1440 for II and III. This letter is available in GIF format. (Get ~/gifs/au-doc.001) It is naive at best, and contemptuously dishonest, to claim that such a number of crematoriums were provided for anything other than the disposal of bodies created by the mass murder of helpless victims. Leuchter arrives at his figures assuming that the people could occupy the gas chambers at a density of maximum 1 person per 9 square feet (!!) and that it would take a week (!!) to ventilate the gas chambers before they could be used for another mass execution. These assumptions are absurd. Lastly, two other gassing installation existed in Auschwitz - the so-called "Bunker I" and "Bunker II". They were also demolished by the fleeing SS. (Continued in Part Two) -- The Nizkor Project - An electronic Holocaust educational resource http://www.nizkor.org/faqs -- The Nizkor Project - An electronic Holocaust educational resource David Irving vrs. Deborah Lipstadt & Penguin Books Ltd: Judgment http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/i/irving-david/judgment-00-00.html http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/i/irving.david/libel.suit