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Scientific tests prove the "Gas Chambers" never existed


Holocaust Deniers Say:

Scientific tests prove conclusively that there were never any gas chambers in Auschwitz.

Holocaust Deniers Argue
The claim that objective science proves the non-existence of the Holocaust began with the Leuchter Report. In his introduction to that report, David Irving writes: "Unlike the writing of history, chemistry is an exact science. . . . The truly astounding results are as set out in this report: while significant quantities of cyanide compounds were found in the small de-lousing facilities of the camp . . . no significant trace whatsoever was found in the buildings which international opinion--for it is not more than that--has always labeled the camp's infamous gas chambers . . . Forensic chemistry is, I repeat, an exact science." 1
The Leuchter Report
First published in 1989 and submitted as evidence during the trial of German-Canadian Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi, Ernst Zündel, the Leuchter Report is one of the cornerstones of Holocaust denial. For his trial, Zündel commissioned self-proclaimed execution-chamber specialist Fred Leuchter to conduct a forensic examination of the gas chambers in Auschwitz. Leuchter went to Auschwitz, where without any official permission, he chipped away samples of brick and stone, which he then sent to a forensics laboratory for investigation.
His report concluded that, "There were no execution chambers at any of these locations." He continued by saying that, in his opinion, "the alleged gas chambers at the inspected sites could not have then been, or now, be utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers." 2
Zündel submitted the Leuchter Report as evidence in his trial and wanted Fred Leuchter to be a witness for his defense. However, when Leuchter was questioned by the court about his credentials as an expert witness it was discovered that he wasn't licensed as an engineer, his degree was in the humanities, and he had no expertise in chemistry, toxicology or incineration--all subjects he had weighed in on in the Report. The court, therefore, did not let the report be entered as the work of an expert.
The Major Falsifications Of The Leuchter Report
  • "The exposed porous brick and mortar would accumulate the HCN [hydrogen cyanide] and makes these facilities dangerous to humans for several years." 3
    Zyklon-B was the product name for the blue-green chalk pellets soaked in hydrogen cyanide (HCN). In addition to its uses as a powerful pesticide and in other industrial applications, the Nazis used it to administer death in death camp gas chambers.
    The walls and ceilings of the gas chambers were plastered and whitewashed as numerous eyewitnesses have testified. By the time Leuchter arrived at the camp to take his samples, the plaster was gone and the exposed brick had been exposed to 40 years of rain, sun and snow. As HCN leaves only a thin blue chemical residue on surfaces, any "Prussian Blue" residue from the HCN would have collected on the surface of the plaster and would not have left a substantial presence on the bricks and mortar or concrete underneath.
    Leuchter's Sample Collection Process, Although Touted As "Scientific," Was Deeply Flawed
    Leuchter collected 31 handful-sized samples of bricks and mortar from the cremas and one control sample from the delousing chamber in Birkenau. By the time he crawled into the ruins of Crema 2, the plaster was long gone and only the bricks and mortar and concrete remained. Cremas 4 and 5 were constructed entirely of brick. They were totally destroyed before the end of the war. Only the concrete foundations remain and bricks have been gathered from around the area and loosely stacked up to show the general outline of the floor plan of the buildings. The bricks that Leuchter sampled did not necessarily come from anywhere near the gas chamber rooms.
    The Testing Of The Samples Was Also Flawed
    In the laboratory the individual samples were ground up into powder. Any trace of the HCN residue that might have been there became a miniscule part of the entire sample. A more appropriate method would have tested only the surfaces of the sample.
    Testing the total amount of the ground up powder was like trying to analyze the color and chemical structure of paint on the inside of a wall by looking for it in the boards and masonry behind the drywall. In the case of Cremas 4 and 5, it would like analyzing the materials from another room entirely.
    The Leuchter Report Announced That the Results of the Tests Showed an "absence of any consequential readings" Of Hydrogen Cyanide [HCN].4
    Leuchter concluded that the small amounts of HCN residue that did show up in the samples could be accounted for by an occasional delousing of the buildings using Zyklon-B, a common procedure to kill the lice that contributed to typhus epidemics in the camp. Given Leuchter's unscientific collection and testing processes, it is remarkable that even "inconsequential traces" of HCN were found. 5
    The Tests On The Samples From The Delousing Chamber Showed Significantly Higher Amounts Of HCN Residue.6
    This is not surprising. Although, Leuchter calculated that it required 3,200 parts per million (ppm) to kill a human being,7 In reality, it requires a maximum of only 300 ppm 8 whereas, to kill lice, beetles, etc. requires at least 16,600 ppm of HCN. It is understandable, therefore that the walls of the delousing chamber are heavily stained with "Prussian Blue" because of the much higher concentration of HCN that was needed and by the much longer periods of time it took to kill insects.
    The gas chambers used much lower concentrations of HCN, were quickly aired out and were not always in continuous use. After each gassing, the walls and floors were washed down with water. Furthermore, Cremas 2, 3, 4 and 5 are in ruins and had been exposed to the elements of sun, rain, ice and snow for 43 years when Leuchter took his samples. The delousing building, on the other hand, is still standing so the walls with the "Prussian Blue" residue are protected from the elements.
    A properly authorized and meticulously conducted, rigorously scientific study done by Polish authorities in 1994 found that "in spite of the passage of a considerable period of time (over 45 years) in the walls of the facilities which once were in contact with hydrogen cyanide the vestigial amounts of the combinations of this constituent of Zyklon B had been preserved. This is also true of the ruins of the former gas chambers." 9
  • "There is no provision for gasketed doors, windows or vents . . . no evidence of doors or door frames has been found." 10
    The Auschwitz Museum archives, which Leuchter did not visit, contain proof to the contrary. A letter from Karl Bischoff, the head architect at Auschwitz, to the German Armament Works dated March 31, 1943 orders "three gas tight doors" for Crema 3 following "exactly the size and construction of those already delivered" for Crema 2. Bischoff reminded the manufacturer that the doors had to have a spy-hole of double 8-mm glass "with a rubber seal and metal fitting." The order was characterized as "very urgent." 11
    In the archives there is also a request for a "handle for the gastight door" (Order No. 162, 6 March 1943) and a request for "twenty-four-gastight anchoring screws for gas tight doors" for Cremas 4 and 5 (Order No. 280, 6 April 1943).12
    Finally, there are also many photographs of actual gas-tight doors that were found all over Auschwitz immediately after the war. One, which had been used in either Crema 4 or 5, had a peep-hole covered with a heavy mesh screen and still had a gas-tight seal still around the edge, just as Bischoff's letter requested.13
  • "There were no exhaust systems to vent the gas after usage . . ." 14
    The blueprints for Crema 2 show ventilation ducts in the walls (labeled 'Entlüftung') and the remains of the ducts can still be seen in the ruins.15 Henryk Tauber, a member of the Sonderkommando in Crema 2, testified after the war that "ventilation was installed in the walls of the gas chamber. . . . This ventilation system . . . was driven by electric motors in the roof space of the crematorium." 16
  • ". . . those throwing Zyklon B in the roof vents and verifying the death of the occupants would themselves die from exposure to HCN." 17
    Researchers have determined that rooms the size of the gas chambers in Crema 2 and 3 (both of which had a ventilation system) would have been able to have been entered after only 30 minutes without any adverse symptoms. Therefore, the Sonderkommando wouldn't have needed masks in these facilities unless the room was opened very soon afterward.18
    In Cremas 1 (in the Main Camp) and 4 and 5 and the two peasant cottages in Birkenau, the Sonderkommando did wear gas masks when removing bodies from the rooms because they had no ventilation system. Shlomo Dragon, a member of the Sonderkommando for Bunker 2 (one of the peasant cottages at the back of the camp) reported after the war about his work clearing the bodies from the gas chambers: "We were all given masks, and were led through the door into the cottage." 19
Survivors Explain
Henryk Tauber arrived in Auschwitz on January 19, 1943. He was assigned to a Sonderkommando which burned the bodies and assisted in the gas chamber operations in Cremas 1, 2, and 4. Tauber recalled the gas chambers in Crema 4 after the war: "The gas chambers were about two meters high and had an electric lighting installation on the walls but they had no ventilation system, which obliged the Sonderkommando who were removing the bodies to wear gasmasks." 20 The SS guards regularly wore gas masks when pouring the Zyklon-B pellets into the gas chambers.
Filip Müller, a Slovak Jew who arrived in Auschwitz in April 1942, was put to work as an oven stoker in Crema 1. Müller's job was to drag the corpses from the morgue-turned-gas chamber to the ovens and sort and remove valuables from the abandoned clothing. Later, he was transferred to Birkenau to work in the crematoria and burning pits there.
Müller gave a detailed description of the process of murder in both the Main Camp and Birkenau. He recalled one such gassing in Crema 1: "When the last one had crossed the threshold, two SS leaders slammed shut the heavy iron-studded door which was fitted with a rubber seal, and bolted it . . . the Unterführers on duty had gone onto the crematorium roof . . . They removed the covers from the six camouflaged openings. There, protected by gas-masks, they poured the green-blue crystals of the deadly gas into the gas chamber." 21
The Leuchter Report is junk science. Furthermore, the small traces of HCN found in Leuchter's samples from Cremas 1 through 5 actually demonstrate the opposite of what Leuchter supposedly "proved"--that is, the traces of HCN proves that the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau did exist.


1. The Leuchter Report: The End of the Line? The First Forensic Examination of Auschwitz, with a foreword by David Irving (Focal Point Publications, 1989): p. 6.
2. Leuchter Report: p. 19.
3. Ibid., p. 13.
4. Leuchter Report: p. 15.
5. Ibid., p. 21. See "Compiled Data from Certificates of Analysis," Alpha Analytical Laboratories, Ashland, Massachusetts
6. Ibid. The de-lousing chamber sample was 880386.32 and showed a trace amount of 1,050. The rest are nominal or non-detectable in comparison.
7. Ibid., p. 11.
8. Ibid., p. 12; also p. 37, citing p. 7 of the pamphlet "Sodium Cyanide: Properties, Uses, Storage and Handling," in Appendix VII.
9. van Pelt, Case for Auschwitz: pp. 394-398. 10 Leuchter Report: pp. 13, 17.
10. Leuchter Report: pp. 13, 17.
11. Letter from Karl Bischoff to the German Armament Works, March 31, 1943 from the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oswiecim as cited in van Pelt, Case for Auschwitz, pp. 314, 315.
12. Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langein, and Adalbert Rückerl, editors. Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas (Yale University Press, 1994): p. 158.
13. van Pelt, Case for Auschwitz: pp. 192, 193.
14. Ibid., p. 13.
15. Robert Jan van Pelt, Expert Witness Report for 2000 libel trial: p. 511 (www.hdot.org, "Evidence.")
16. Ibid.
17. Leuchter Report: p. 14.
18. van Pelt, Case for Auschwitz: p. 366 citing Richard Green and Jamie McCarthy, "Chemistry is Not the Science: Rudolf, Rhetoric & Reduction" at www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/not-the-science/
19. van Pelt, Expert Witness Report: p. 175.
20. van Pelt, Case for Auschwitz: pp. 202, 338.
21. Filip Müller, Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chamber (Ivan R. Dee, 1979): p. 38.
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