Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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Material evidence found at Auschwitz
7.73 The Leuchter report, which I have mentioned already and to which I will return in greater detail when I come to summarise the evidence relied on by Irving in connection with Auschwitz, claimed that forensic analysis revealed no trace of in the surviving ruins of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Prompted by the publicity given to the Leuchter report, the director of the Auschwitz museum enlisted the expert assistance of Professor Markiewicz, Director of the Forensic Institute of Cracow, who arranged in February 1990 for further samples to be taken from Auschwitz for analysis.
7.74 Markiewicz decided that the so-called Prussian blue test was unreliable because its formation depended on the acidity of the environment which was particularly low in the alleged gas chambers. Markiewicz and his team therefore adopted microdiffusion techniques to test for cyanide samples from the crematoria, from the delousing chambers and a control sample taken from elsewhere within Auschwitz. The latter was tested because claims had been made that the cyanide traces in the gas chambers were explained by the fact that a single fumigation of the whole camp had taken place during the typhus epidemic. The control sample tested negative, refuting those claims. As to the tests on the crematoria and the delousing chambers, the conclusion arrived at by Markiewicz was that cyanide compounds are still to be found in all the facilities (that is, in both the delousing chambers and in the various supposed gas chambers) that, according to the source data, were in contact with cyanide. The concentration of cyanide compounds in the various samples varies greatly, even in the case of different samples taken from the same chamber or building. This indicated that the conditions producing the cyanide compounds varied locally. According to van Pelt, the Markiewicz report demonstrated positively that Zyklon-B had been introduced into the supposed gas chambers, albeit that the test results varied greatly. Van Pelt considered that the results for crematoria 4 and 5 were unreliable because they had been demolished at the end of the war with the result that it is difficult to know which brick came from where.