The Gas Vans Did Not Exist

 

Holocaust deniers say:

There are no contemporaneous documents proving the existence of gas vans. Therefore, they did not exist.

Ingrid Weckert, a German Holocaust denier, claims that the existence of the gas vans is "hearsay" for which there is "little documentary evidence."

How did gas vans work? Where were they used?

What did a gas van look like?

Walter Burmeister, a gas van driver at the Chelmno death camp, recalled the appearance of the gas vans:
Harry Wentritt, the German workshop foreman, testified after the war about special modifications made in his shop:

The facts about the surviving documentation on gas vans

Although no credible photographs of or an actual example of a gas van was identified after the war,4 two explicit letters about the construction and use of the gas vans are extant.
It would be difficult to get too much plainer about the gas vans and what they were used for--mass murder.
The entire text of this letter is available at http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/gasvan1.htm.
However, based on "[p]revious experience" Just recommends several design changes:
The entire text of this letter and the scanned document is available at http://www.holocaust-history.org/19420605-rauff-spezialwagen/.

Conclusion

Weckert is wrong. The gas vans did exist. The surviving documentations shows that they were designed and constructed in Berlin in late 1941 and early 1942 and sent to the Chelmno death camp and Einsatzgruppen units in the East to assist in the mass murder of Jews and others.

Notes

1. Matthias Beer, "The Development of the Gas-van in the Murder of the Jews" at www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/vans.html, p. 6/21.
2. Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein, and Adalbert Rückerl, editors, Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas (Yale University Press, 1993), p. 77.
3. Shmuel Spector, "Gas Vans," Holocaust Encyclopedia (Macmillan, 1990), p. 542.
4. Although several pictures of alleged gas vans have surfaced, including one that is said to be the interior of the cargo compartment, there is no conclusive evidence that the trucks in the pictures are actually gas vans. For a detailed discussion of this matter see http://weber.ucsd.edu/~lzamosc/chelm00.htm.
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