Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
|The use of the gas vans t... >|
The origins of the use of gas by the Nazi regime
6.68 In order to pinpoint the origins of the Nazi practice of killing by the administration of poison gas, it is necessary to go back some years. There was a measure of agreement between the parties that the Nazis moved from the gassing of the disabled to the gassing of able-bodied Jews in the period from 1939 to early 1942.
6.69 As Irving accepted, the so-called "euthanasia programme" was authorised by Hitler in September 1939. It permitted specified doctors to put to death those suffering from grave mental or physical disabilities. Thousands were killed, mostly by the administration of carbon monoxide gas kept in bottles. In addition, however, many were killed using gas vans which the victims of the programme were induced to enter, whereupon the exhaust of the vans was pumped inside killing those inside within 20 minutes or so. The euthanasia programme was discontinued on Hitler's order in August 1941 because it was causing public disquiet.