Diesel Exhaust Contains Too Much Oxygen to Kill via Asphyxiation


Holocaust deniers say:

Diesel engine exhaust contains 18% oxygen so that a human being cannot die from asphyxiation from exposure to the fumes.

Friedrich Berg, an American Holocaust denier, correctly identifies this important issue: "The principal danger to life from Diesel exhaust arises . . . from the combined effects of CO and reduced oxygen." 1 However, he introduces the theory only to dismiss it as impossible a short time later.2

What happens when a human being is deprived of oxygen?

The atmosphere at sea level contains about 21% oxygen. When the oxygen in the atmosphere drops to:

How much oxygen does diesel engine exhaust contain?

A 1941 study was conducted by Holtz and Elliott who ran a diesel engine in several different fuel-air ratios and studied the composition of the exhaust.


The key to the ability to kill a person with diesel engine exhaust is that, in addition to flooding the atmosphere with a soup of toxic gases including carbon monoxide, it robs the atmosphere of oxygen. One way or the other the person:
Berg’s claim that there is always too much oxygen in diesel engine exhaust is false. The very study Berg cites as proof that diesel engine exhaust always contains 18% oxygen, shows the exact opposite is possible if the engine is run just slightly outside the manufacturer’s specifications. Berg distorts, manipulates and omits evidence to arrive at his foregone conclusion that diesel engine exhaust cannot kill people. His study only shows how important it is to approach critically even data that is presented "scientifically."
In addition to high levels of carbon monoxide and low levels of oxygen, the heat, smoke and soot in diesel engine exhaust can also kill, as we will see in Part 4.


1. Friedrich Berg, "The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth within a Myth," p. 13/19 at http://vho.org/GB/journals/JHR/5/1/Berg15-46.html.
2. Friedrich Berg, "Pat Buchanan and the Diesel Exhaust Controversy," p. 3/6 at http://www.nazigassings.com/PatBuchanan.htm.
3. Y. Haldane and H.W. Haggard, Noxious Gases (Reinhold Publishing, 1943), p. 144-45 and J.S. Haldane and J.G. Priestly, Respiration (Yale University Press), p. 223-24 as cited in Friedrich Berg, "The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth within a Myth," p. 11/19 at http://vho.org/GB/journals/JHR/5/1/Berg15-46.html.
4. John C. Holtz and M.A. Elliott, "The Significance of Diesel-Exhaust-Gas Analysis," Transactions of the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), 1941 at http://www.vho.org/G|B/c/FPB|/DieselExhaust.html. See charts on page 2 of the web article, page 98 of the original article.
5. Friedrich Berg, "Diesel Gas Chambers: Ideal for Torture-Absurd for Murder," Part 1, p. 13/17 at http://www.nazigassings.com/dieselgaschambera.html.
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accessed 11 March 2013