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[The Van Pelt Report]: Electronic Edition, by Robert Jan van Pelt

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IX The Leuchter Report


"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.
"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too." Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.748

According to his own account, Fred Leuchter had never heard of Ernst Zündel, Robert Faurisson, or Holocaust denial until one morning in early 1988.
Like all American children born during and after World War II, I was taught about the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jews. By the time I had reached college, I had no reason to disbelieve any of my education, except that I had some problems swallowing the numbers of decedents, said to total better than six million persons. But there it stopped. I believed in the Nazi genocide. I had no reason to disbelieve.
Some twenty-four years later, a very believing engineer sat at his desk working one snowy January afternoon in 1988, when the telephone rang. This very believing engineer was about to receive a very shocking history lesson which would cause him to question that fifty-year-old Holocaust lie and the application of that lie to generations of children. "Hello, this is Robert Faurisson"--and that very believing engineer would believe no more.749

The idea to engage an engineer to "prove" the Auschwitz gas chambers to be a hoax was not new. As we have seen, Arthur R. Butz had done his best more than ten years   earlier by studying the material then available to him in Evanston, and Robert Faurisson had made a big issue of it in his writings from 1978 onwards, when he had become convinced that a comparison between the "alleged" gas chambers of Auschwitz and gas chambers used for the execution of those condemned to death in various American states would yield great results. When he began to prepare for the Second Zündel Trial, Faurisson suggested that Zündel approach Bill Armontraut, Warden of the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri. Armontraut's prison included a gas chamber operated by cyanide gas. Constructed in 1939, it had been used 39 times. Zündel's legal aide Barbara Kulaszka wrote Armontrout, and the latter responded in a letter of January 13, 1988.
I received your letter regarding Queen vs. Zündel and the testimony of an expert witness dealing with execution by "gas chambers". I have considerable knowledge in that area, however,I suggest you contact Mr. Fred Leuchter, 108 Bunker Hill Street, Boston, MA 02192, home telephone number 617-322-0104. Mr. Leuchter is an engineer specializing in gas chambers and executions. He is well versed in all areas and is the only consultant in the United States that I know of.750

Faurisson had found the man he had been looking for. After a few initial telephone conversations, and two trips of Faurisson to Boston, Leuchter left with Carolyn, his wife of two weeks, to Toronto to meet Zündel and his defence team.
Two days of lengthy meetings followed, during which I was shown photos of the alleged German gas chambers in Poland, German documents and Allied aerial photographs. My examination of this material led me to question whether these alleged gas chambers were, in fact, execution facilities. I was asked if I would go to Poland and undertake a physical inspection and forensic analysis resulting in a written evaluation of these alleged execution gas chambers, some at places I had   never even heard of.751

Leuchter agreed, and left for Poland on February 25, accompanied by his wife, a draughtsman, a video-cameraman, an interpreter, and, "in spirit," Zündel and Faurisson, "who for obvious reasons could not accompany us in person, but who nevertheless were with us every step of the way."752 The party returned on March 3, having spent three days in Auschwitz and half a day in Majdenek. In those camps Leuchter studied the lay-out of the crematoria--or better of what remained of them--and illegally took various samples of the brickwork and plaster, which he brought back to the United States to be analyzed by the Alpha Analytical Laboratories in Ashsland, Massachusetts on residual cyanide content.
Back home, Leuchter wrote a report entitled An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek Poland, which Christie submitted to the court. The crown successfully challenged, however, Leuchter's credentials. Leuchter admitted that his formal education was in the humanities, that he had no engineering license, and that he had no expertise regarding chemistry, toxology or incineration. As a result, Judge Thomas ruled that the Leuchter report could not be admitted as evidence. Leuchter, however, was allowed to testify on a very narrow range of issues: his observations of the camps, his taking of the samples, and the issue of the gas chambers. Yet while the jury never saw the report, Irving did, and as he testified, it led to his conversion to negationism. In fact, he was so enthusiastic that he became its English publisher. And so we will consider it in some detail.
Let us first of all allow Leuchter to present his methodology and conclusion. He used, as he wrote, a seven-step approach:
  • 1. A general background study of the available material.
  • 2. An on-site inspection and forensic examination of the facilities in question which included the taking of physical data (measurements and construction   information) and a considered removal of physical sample material (brick and mortar) which was returned to the United States for chemical analysis.
  • 3. A consideration of recorded and visual (on-site) logistic data.
  • 4. A compilation of the acquired data.
  • 5. An analysis of the acquired information and comparison of this information with known and proven design, procedural and logistic information and requirements for the design, fabrication and operation of actual gas chambers and crematories.
  • 6. A consideration of the chemical analysis of the materials acquired on site.
  • 7. Conclusions based on the acquired evidence.753

In a section entitled "Synopsis and Findings," Leuchter summarized the results of his seven--stepped approach as follows:
After a study of the available literature, examination and evaluation of the existing facilities at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, with expert knowledge of the design criteria for gas chamber operation, an investigation of crematory technology and an inspection of modern crematories, the author finds no evidence that any of the facilities normally alleged to be execution gas chambers were ever used as such, and finds, further, that because of the design and fabrication of these facilities, they could not have been utilized for execution gas chambers.
Additionally, an evaluation of the crematory facilities produced conclusive evidence that contradicts the alleged volume of corpses cremated in the generally alleged time frame. It is, therefore, the best engineering opinion of the author that none of the facilities examined were ever utilized for the execution of human beings and that the crematories could not have supported the alleged work load attributed to them.754
 
Before we go into a detailed discussion, it is good to note two things. The first is the very limited research he did before he left for Poland. During his testimony during the trial, he told the court that he reviewed some parts of Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews, a Degesch document on how to handle Zyklon-B which had been submitted as evidence in the Nuremberg Trials (NT-9912), a Dupont flyer on safety when handling its own brand of hydrocyanide, and some negationist literature, among which was the article by Lindsey on the Trial of Bruno Tesch, an article by a certain Friedrich Paul Berg on German Delousing Chambers, and Arthur Butz's The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.755
The second issue is that Leuchter did not attach too much significance to his samples. When Pearson asked him "what percentage of your conclusions is based on these conclusions you draw from the cyanide traces?," Leuchter answered: "Ten per cent."
[Pearson]: "What other--what are the other foundations for your conclusion?"
[Leuchter]: "The other foundations are that the facilities that I looked at were physically not designed and could not have been operations as gas chambers."
Q.: "And what do you rely on for that conclusion?"
A.: "I rely on my knowledge of gas chamber construction and design."
Q.: "So you rely on your knowledge and experience as somebody constructing gas chambers in the United States for the purposes of executing one person as humanly as possible with as less danger to other people as possible."
A.: "Partially."
Q.: "Well, that's your only experience, isn't it?"
A.: "It's my only experience at constructing gas chambers. I don't believe anyone has had any experience constructing larger gas chambers that took more than two people. But, the--"
Q.: "Did you read the testimony of the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss?"
A.: "I did."
 
Q.: "Okay. So, you've told us about your experience and you said that the hydrogen traces account for ten percent of your conclusion. What per cent of your conclusion is your experience in the construction of modern gas chambers?"
A.: "Twenty, maybe thirty percent."
Q.: "Okay. What else is there then, please?"
A.: "Good engineering design in terms of building structure, air moving equipment, plumbing equipment that would be utilized to handle the air and mechanical equipment that would be utilized to introduce gas and gas carriers into a structure."
Q.: "And what percentage of your opinion is based on that?"
A.: "Fifty or sixty percent."
Q.: "And that is all based on the assumption that the physical plant presently at that location in Poland is what was there in 1942, '43, '44 and '45. Is that right?"
A.: "That is correct."756

Given the fact that Leuchter himself based ninety percent of his conclusion on considerations of engineering, we do well to follow his cue, and concentrate on his observations as an engineer. I will provide first of all the full passage that contains his main observations on the gas chambers, and then analyze the various statements it contains separately.
Bunkers 1 and 2 are described in Auschwitz State Museum literature as converted farm houses with several chambers and windows sealed. These do not exist in their original condition and were not inspected. Kremas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are described historically and on inspection were verified to have been converted mortuaries or morgues connected and housed in the same facility as crematories. The on-site inspection of these structures indicated extremely poor and dangerous design for these facilities if they were to have served as execution gas chambers. There is no provision for gasketed doors, windows or vents; the structures are not coated with tar or other sealant to prevent leakage or absorption of gas. The   adjacent crematories are a potential danger of explosion. The exposed porous brick and mortar would accumulate the HCN and make these facilities dangerous to humans for several years. Krema I is adjacent to the S.S. Hospital at Auschwitz and has floor drains connected to the main sewer of the camp--which would allow gas into every building at the facility. There were no exhaust systems to vent the gas after usage and no heaters or dispersal mechanism for the Zyklon B gas to be introduced or evaporated. The Zyklon B was supposedly dropped through roof vents and put in through windows--not allowing for the even distribution of gas or pellets. The facilities are always damp and not heated. As stated earlier, dampness and Zyklon B are not compatible. The chambers are too small to physically contain the occupants claimed and the doors all open inward, a situation which would inhibit removal of the bodies. With the gas chambers fully packed with occupants, there would be no circulation of the HCN within the room. Additionally, if the gas eventually did fill the chamber over a lengthy time period, those throwing Zyklon B in the roof vents and verifying the death of the occupants would die themselves from exposure to HCN. None of the alleged gas chambers were constructed in accordance with the design for delousing chambers which were effectively operating for years in a safe manner. None of these chambers were constructed in accordance with the known and proven designs of facilities operational in the United States at that time. It seems unusual that the presumed designers of these alleged gas chambers never consulted or considered the United States technology, the only country then executing prisoners with gas.757

Let us consider this central statement sentence by sentence. "Kremas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are described historically and on inspection were verified to have been converted mortuaries or morgues connected and housed in the same facility as crematories."
The sentence does not make any sense. I presume that Leuchter meant to write "[The alleged gas chambers of] Kremas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are described historically and on inspection were verified to have been converted mortuaries or morgues connected and   housed in the same facility as crematories." If this is what he meant, and I cannot imagine any other possible explanation for why he wrote what he wrote, we must ask how he had determined "on inspection" that all these alleged gas chambers had been morgues. While he could have done so safely in crematorium 1, where the space is still available for inspection, and while he could have inferred from the underground position of the alleged gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3 that these most likely would have been designed as morgues, and while he would have found evidence in the blueprints provided by Faurisson that these places had indeed been designated as morgues (Leichenkeller), he could not have come to that conclusion studying the remains of crematoria 4 and 5. First of all virtually nothing is left of these structures except concrete slabs and some low walls reconstructed after the war, and the blueprints of these buildings do not show any designation of gas chambers as morgues. So it is unclear on the basis of what evidence he was able to come to a verification in the case of crematoria 4 and 5.
"The on-site inspection of these structures indicated extremely poor and dangerous design for these facilities if they were to have served as execution gas chambers," Leuchter claimed. "There is no provision for gasketed doors, windows or vents; the structures are not coated with tar or other sealant to prevent leakage or absorption of gas." It is a mystery how Leuchter, on the basis of the remains of the crematoria, could have come to this statement. With the exception of crematorium 1, the other four crematoria are merely rubble, a fact which Leuchter admitted in cross-examination, and which he also observed in the paper he presented at the Ninth International Revisionist Conference in 1989.758 Simply stated, there is simply not enough evidence remaining to establish if there were, or not, the gasketed doors, windows or vents. There is, however enough left to see that the walls had been plastered: in 1990 the forensic scientists of the Institute of Forensic Research in Cracow used plaster samples from the gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3 as the basis for their analysis of residual cyanide. Yet, undeterred by all of this, Leuchter had no hesitation to determine on the basis of the few remains of the gas chamber of crematorium 2 that the walls of that room   had been rough, unsealed brick and mortar, and that those walls that had never been painted.759 This was important because, if the wall had been coated with tar or painted, the bricks that remained would have been protected from the hydrogen cyanide, and it would have been impossible for a chemical reaction to occur between the hydrogen cyanide and the brick and mortar.760 But because he, or at least Faurisson, had aimed to establish that the absence of residual cyanide in the bricks pointed to the fact that no hydrogen cyanide had been used in those rooms, he had to postulate a priori that the walls had not been coated or painted. However, as we have seen, the remains of the rooms do not support such an assumption.
"The adjacent crematories are a potential danger of explosion," Leuchter observed. His reasoning was based on the fact that hydrogen cyanide is combustible, and that because the gas chambers were located not too far from the incineration ovens, there ought to have been a danger for explosion. Yet during cross-examination Leuchter had to admit that hydrogen cyanide became combustible at 60,000 parts per million, and that it was lethal at 300 parts per million, that is at 0.5 percent of the combustion point.
Q.: "And I want to ask you about your answer to me. I said it takes a higher concentration of hydrogen cyanide to exterminate insects than it does to kill human beings. You said no. We go to the Degesch manual and it says that it requires twenty times as much to kill beetles as to kill rats and it takes three times as much to kill rats [than] it does to kill humans."
A.: "Maybe it depends upon the insects. Most of the work that I've been looking at, they've been killing lice and ticks. And their recommendation for general fumigation purposes is three thousand per million."
Q.: "What is twenty times 833 parts per million?"
A.: "What is twenty times 833 parts per million?"
Q.: "Right."
 
A.: "16,600."
Q.: "16,600. So what Degesch are saying, the people who make the product, is that if you want to kill beetles, you should have a concentration of--of what, sir?"
A.: "16,600, apparently."
Q.: "Right, And it takes three hundred parts per million to kill a human being in a matters of minutes?"
A.: "Or more."
Q.: "In a matter of minutes."
A.: "Twenty minutes, fifteen minutes, yes."
Q.: "Right. And here they're talking about a time of exposure from 2 to 72 hours, right?"
A.: "Right."
Q,: "Now, you gave us as a conclusion about the danger of explosion, didn't you?"
A.: "Yes."
Q.: "This was a big factor in your mind, this possibility of explosion. Did you look at the Degesch manual when it talked about inflammability?"
A.: "I'm looking at it now, counsellor."
Q.: "Page five?"
A.: "Yes."
Q.: "'Liquid HCN,' that is hydrocyanic acid, right?"
A.: "Correct."
Q.: "'... Burns like alcohol. Aaseous [H]CN forms an explosive mixture with air under certain conditions. The lower explosion limit, however, lies far above the concentration used in practical fumigation work.' So, they tell us that if we're going to exterminate beetles, we have to have a concentration of 16,600 and they tell us if we have a concentration of 16,600, the lower explosion limit lies far above that concentration."
A.: "The lower explosion limit is six per cent."
Q.: "And what's six percent?"
A,: "Six thousand."
Q,: "Isn't it sixty thousand, sir?"
A.: "Correct. Sixty thousand."
Q.: "Sixty thousand parts per million of air. Right?"
 
A.: "Correct, but you must understand that at the Zyklon-B material, when the gas is being given off, you have a percentage per volume of air of ninety to one hundred per cent. That means you have almost pure hydrogen cyanide at the carrier."
Q.: "At the point where the Zyklon-B is vapourizing, I agree, you have a ninety-nine per cent concentration level. But how far did you tell us these ovens were from the chamber we are talking about?"
A.: "150, 160 feet."
Q.: "And doesn't gas diffuse, sir?"
A.: "It may or it may not."
Q.: "And what would its concentration be 150 or 160 feet away?"
A.: "I have no idea and no one could answer that question for you."
Q.: "Right, you don't know, do you?"
A.: "Most people would tell you it's very dangerous."761

And thus Pearson effectively and publically demolished Leuchter's argument that there would have been a danger of explosion, as the concentration used in the gas chambers was around 300 parts per million., that is at 0.5 per cent. Irving, who was to testify the following day, was in the audience and watched it all. It obviously did not leave an impression.
"The exposed porous brick and mortal would accumulate the HCN," Leuchter wrote in his report, "and make these facilities dangerous to humans for several years." Yet in the trial he admitted that hydrogen cyanide had only a very short life--a few days at best, and that the only way it would remain in the walls was if the cyanide would combine with iron present in brick or mortar to make the harmless pigment ferro-ferri cyanide,also known as Prussian blue.762
"Krema I is adjacent to the S.S. Hospital at Auschwitz," Leuchter observed, and he   continued to assert that it "has floor drains connected to the main sewer of the camp--which would allow gas into every building at the facility." He is right in observing a floor drain in the former gas chamber of crematorium 1. Yet there is no way in which he could positively determine if first of all this drain was "connected" to the main sewer of the camp, and second of all if the war-time camp possessed a "main sewer" at all: the main survey of the Polish military base that was to become the Stammlager, drawn up in December 1939, indicates that the water supply was by means of outside pumps while outside latrines had to serve the soldiers' needs.763 Projecting expectations about the usual infrastructure of American military installations to Polish military barracks in the 1930s does not show much historic sense. But even if the drain was connected to a main sewer, it would have been very unlikely that the hydrogen cyanide would have been able to travel from the gas chamber to other buildings. Hydrogen cyanide is very soluble in water. The water would dilute the hydrogen cyanide to such a degree that it would become a harmless solution to be dumped in the Sola river. Once dissolved in the water, the hydrogen cyanide would not evaporate again to (possibly) penetrate into other buildings.764
 
"There were no exhaust systems to vent the gas after usage," Leuchter observed. Prompted by Christie, Leuchter repeated this, according to him, crucial piece of evidence at various points during his testimony. Discussing crematorium 2, he stated that he did not find any capability to ventilate the alleged gas chamber.
[Christie]: "In this on-site inspection, did you find any roof vent capabilities as indicated on the various drawings that were given?"
[Leuchter]: "there was no ventilation capability for this facility at all. The door to the facility, the one door, as you can see, goes into the main area of the building, and it should be remembered that morgue 2 and morgue 1 and morgue 3 were all [under]ground. They were in actuality a basement for the building. They were floor level and they were ground level and with no structure above them. To the right of the building where it says 'Crematory', that was a structure that was ground up and was one and a half storeys with a stack for the furnaces. Now, these-- both facilities, as I said, were underground. This was Underground. There was only one door going to the morgue at that time and absolutely no way of getting air into the facility. There was a second door down at this end with a stairway, and in my opinion there will be no way of adequately ventilating this building and it would take a very long time since the only way you could allow   the gas to come out would be through the stairway. Since there were no other apertures, it wouldn't even make sense to put an exhaust fan in because there would be no way of getting air into the building, because there was no air intake at any point in the facility."765

Without a proper ventilation system, the basement of crematorium II could not have been used as a homicidal gas chamber.
[Christie]: "And can you tell us why you hold that opinion?"
[Leuchter]: "Yes, essentially for the same reasons that I felt that the mortuary at Krema I was not an execution gas chamber. The building was not sealed with tar or pitch in any manner. There was no ventilation system. There was no means at all for introducing the Zyklon B gas. There was a story in something I read in some of the available literature that there was a hollow column that the materials would drop through. All of the columns was solid reinforced concrete."766

When, during cross-examination, Pearson confronted Leuchter with a letter written by the leader of the Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung, Karl Bischoff, which mentioned that Topf would proceed with "the installation in time for aeration [Belüftung] and ventilation [Entlüftung]" immediately when transport became available, Leuchter wrongly concluded that "this ventilation system was, in fact, the blower for the furnace. It had nothing to do with ventilating the alleged gas chamber area. Since Topf made it, we know they manufactured furnace equipment, crematory equipment."767 Yet the plans of the crematoria show that built in the walls of the gas chamber were ducts indicated in the   drawings as "Belüftung" and "Entlüftungskanal." The remains of this system can still be seen in the ruined east wall of the gas chamber of crematorium 3. Ignoring important evidence, and refusing to examine the blueprints in relation to the correspondence and the remains of the crematoria Leuchter had jumped to the wrong conclusion. There was a ventilation system.
If he had spent a little bit more time in Auschwitz, and consulted the archive of the camp, Leuchter would have been able to find independent confirmation in the testimony of Henryk Tauber, who had been a Sonderkommando in crematorium 2, and who had given testimony immediately after the war.
Besides that, in the gas chamber there were electric wires running along the two sides of the main beam supported by the central concrete pillars. The ventilation was installed in the walls of the gas chamber. Communication between the room and the ventilation installation proper was through small holes along the top and bottom of the side walls. The lower openings were protected by a kind of muzzle, the upper ones by whitewashed perforated metal plates.
The ventilation system of the gas chamber was coupled to the ventilation ducts installed in the undressing room. This ventilation system, which also served the dissection room, was driven by electric motors in the roof space of the crematorium.768

But Leuchter never even thought about cross-referencing his own observations, the German blueprints, and the testimonies of eye-witnesses. He could, for example, have found some use for the statements of the well-known Israeli artist Yehuda Bakon during the Eichmann trial. In 1943 the then fourteen-year-old Bakon had been imprisoned in the Czech family Camp in Birkenau, and there he had joined a squad of inmates who had to bring papers to be burned in the crematoria. As a result, he had been able to enter the buildings, and seen the gas chambers from within. In the summer of 1945, after his liberation, Bakon who was already a talented draughtsman at the time drew various views of Auschwitz from   memory. He showed them during his testimony.
Attorney general: "What are you holding in your hand now?"
Witness Bakon: "This is a view of the gas chambers and also Nos. 1 and 2 which were underground, and what one saw above. They looked like water sprinklers; I was curious and examined them closely. I saw there were no holes in them, this was just a sham; at first sight it seemed to be an actual shower-head.
Above there were lights covered with wire, and in each gas chamber there were two pipes leading from the ceiling to the floor, and around them were four iron columns surrounded by strong wire. When the operation was over and the people were forced inside, the SS opened some device above, like a drainage pipe, and through it introduced Zyklon B."
Presiding Judge: "Did the gas remain in the middle of the chamber and spread from there?"
Witness Bakon: "Yes."
Judge Raveh: "Is that what we see in the centre of the picture."
Witness Bakon: "Yes, there were two of these in each gas chamber in crematoria Nos. 1 and 2--that is to say, there were four; their dimensions were 40 x 40 centimetres; below were the ventilators and also holes for cleaning with water. Afterwards, when they dismantled the crematoria, we saw the ventilators separately."
Presiding Judge: "Were these air vents?"
Witness Bakon: "Yes. There were several openings. One opening was for the purpose of ventilation and one for washing the floor."
Presiding Judge: "This drawing of the gas chamber will be marked T/1320."
Attorney general: "In order to make it quite clear, Mr. Bakon, what purpose did this ventilation serve?"
Witness Bakon: "The ventilation made it possible for other people to enter at once."
Q.: "To ventilate the chamber after the killing?"
A.: "Yes. The bodies were removed from the chamber, there was a lift there--actually it consisted only of boards 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 metres. I saw the lift on which they transferred the bodies to the top floor of that crematorium, from where there were rails of small trains with waggons, and they conveyed the bodies to the   incinerators. I also saw the incinerators, and I remember that members of the Sonderkommando also showed me the crate in which they collected the gold teeth, which were melted down into gold bars."
Q.: "What do you have before you now, in this picture?" [Hands a picture to the witness.]
A.: "Crematoria 3 and 4--they were built in a different style--they were older."
Q.: "Are these the ones you mentioned in your earlier testimony?"
A.: "Yes."
Q.: "At the end there is a small structure. What is that?"
A.: "Here, there were two gas chambers, on the extreme right-hand side."
Attorney general: "I submit this to the Court."
Presiding Judge; "What does the arrow signify?"
Witness Bakon: "The arrow points to the gas chambers, to the small structure containing the gas chambers."769

Leuchter did not consult the records of the Eichmann Trial, nor for that matter testimony given at othet trials. During the cross-examination Pearson asked Leuchter why he did not consult any witnesses when he did his investigation.
[Leuchter]: "I don't know who I would speak to, sir, because I would submit that the person that I should speak to have would have to be someone who was operating the chamber. If I am to believe the literature, these people all died in the operation of the chamber."
Q.: "How about some of the people that cleared the bodies out of the chambers?"
A.: "Well, from what I've been able to determine from most of the literature, these people are expendable and probably all deceased and were deceased shortly after the operation of the facility."770
 
The SS men who had been involved in the gassings had not been expandable, and Leuchter could have found some interesting testimony about the operation of the gas chambers from, for example, a well-known witness like Pery Broad, or a more obscure SS man like Hans Stark. Like Broad, Stark had been employed in the Auschwitz Political Department, better known as the "Camp Gestapo." Stark provided during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial useful evidence about the procedures in the Political Department, and the various ways of execution. One of these was gassing in crematorium 1.
As early as autumn 1941 gassings were carried out in a room in the small crematorium which had been prepared for this purpose. The room held 200-250 people, had a higher-than-average ceiling, no windows and only a specially insulated door, with bolts like those of an airtight door. There were no pipes or the like which would lead the prisoners to believe that it was perhaps a shower room. In the ceiling there were openings of about 35 cm in diameter at some distance from each other. The room had a flat roof which allowed daylight in through the openings. It was through these openings that Zyklon B in granular form would be poured.771

Stark participated in various of those gassings. Sometimes his business was to check the numbers.
About 200-250 Jewish men, women and children of all ages were standing at the crematorium. There may also have been babies there. There were a great many SS members present, though I could not say what their names were, plus the camp commandant, the Schutzhaftlagerführer, several Blockführer, Grabner and also other members of the Political Department. Nothing was said to the Jews. They were merely ordered to enter the gas-chamber, the door of which was open. While the Jews were going into the room, medical orderlies prepared for the gassing. Earth had been piled up against one of the external walls of the gassing   room to ceiling height so that the medical orderlies could get on the roof of the room. After all the Jews were in the chamber the door was bolted and the medical orderlies poured Zyklon B through the openings.772

One time Stark was ordered to pour Zyklon B into the room because only one medical orderly had shown up. It was essential, he claimed, that Zyklon B was poured simultaneously through both openings.
This gassing was also a transport of 200-250 Jews, once again men, women and children. As the Zyklon B--as already mentioned--was in granular form, it trickled down over the people as it was being poured in. They then started to cry out terribly for they now knew what was happening to them. I did not look through the opening because it had to be closed as soon as the Zyklon B had been poured in. After a few minutes there was silence. After some time had passed, it may have been ten or fifteen minutes, the gas-chamber was opened. The dead lay higgledy-piggledy all over the place. It was a dreadful sight.773

Stark described the procedure at crematorium 1. In order to understand the slighlty different arrangement at crematorium 2, Leuchter could have profited from Tauber's testimony.
Crematorium 2 had a basement where there was an undressing room and a bunker, or in other words a gas chamber (Leichenkeller/corpse cellar)....The roof of the gas chamber was supported by concrete pillars running down the middle of its length. On either side of these pillars there were four others, two on each side. The sides of these pillars, which went up through the roof, were of heavy wire mesh. Inside this grid, there was another finer mesh and inside that a third of very fine mesh. Inside this last mesh cage there was a removable can that was pulled out with a wire to recover the pellets from which the gas had   evaporated.774

These wire-mesh columns had been made in the camp metal workshop. One of the inmates employed there, the Pole Michael Kula, testified immediately after the war that he had made various metal parts for the Birkenau crematoria, including the four wire-mesh columns in the large gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3. As we have seen, Tauber had described the three structures of ever finer mesh. Within the innermost column there was a removable can to pull after the gassing the Zyklon "crystals," that is the porous silica pellets that had absorbed the hydrocyanide. Kula, who had made these columns, provided some technical specifications.
Among other things the metal workshop made the false showers intended for the gas chambers, as well as the wire-mesh columns for the introduction of the contents of the tins with Zyklon into the gas chambers. These columns were around 3 metres high, and they were 70 centimetres square in plan. Such a column consisted of 6 wire screens which were built the one within the other. The inner screen was made from 3 millimetre thick wire, fastened to iron corner posts of 50 by 10 millimeters. Such iron corner posts were on each corner of the column and connected on the top in the same manner. The openings of the wire mesh were 45 millimeters square. The second screen was made in the same manner, and constructed within the column at 150 millimeters distance from the first. The openings of the second were around 25 millimeters square. In the corners these screens were connected to each other by iron posts. The third part of this column could be moved. It was an empty column with a square footprint of around 150 millimeters made of sheet zinc. At the top it was closed by a metal sheet, and at the bottom with a square base. At a distance of 25 millimetres from the sides of this columns were soldered tin corners supported by tin brackets. On these corners were mounted a thin mesh with openings of about one millimeter square. This mesh ended at the bottom of the column and from here ran in the [Verlaenderung] of the screen a tin frame until the top of the column. The   contents of a Zyklon tin were thrown from the top on the distributor, which allowed for a equal distribution of the Zyklon to all four sides of the column. After the evaporation of the gas the whole middle column was taken out. The ventilation system of the gas chamber was in installed in the side walls of the gas chambers. The ventilation openings were hidden by zinc covers, provided with round openings.775

These wire mesh columns do not appear in the blueprints of the crematoria. The reason for this is easily explained: first of all they only became part of the building's equipment relatively late in the construction process. Originally crematorium 2 had not been designed to be a site of mass murder, and the space labelled as "Leichenkeller I" had indeed been designed to serve as a morgue and not as a gas chamber. The "mother" set of blueprints of the building were drawn up in that first phase, and they remained the basis of the documentation after the building's purpose had been expanded to include gassing. Furthermore the wire-mesh columns had no structural function in the building. They were, in fact, more like pieces of equipment attached to four of the seven structural columns that supported the roof (most likely columns 1, 3, 5, and 7), and therefore there was no need to draw up a new set of blueprints after the decision had been made to insert them into the morgue. As pieces of equipment it was relatively easy to dismantle these columns after the cessation of gassings and before the demolition of the crematoria, which explains why Leuchter did not find any remains.
These columns were connected to small holes that penetrated the concrete ceiling of the gas chamber, which opened to four small "chimneys" for lack of a better word. These are visible on one of the photos of crematorium 2 taken by the SS during construction, the aerial photos taken by the Americans in 1944, and have been described by, amongst others, Henryk Tauber.  
The undressing room and the gas chamber were covered first with a concrete slab then with a layer of soil sown with grass. There were four small chimneys, the openings through which the gas was thrown in, that rose above the gas chamber. These openings were closed by concrete covers with two handles.776

Tauber also witnessed the way the Germans inserted the Zyklon through these small chimneys.
Through the window of the incineration room, I observed how the Zyklon was poured into the gas chamber. Each transport was followed by a vehicle with Red Cross markings which entered the yard of the crematorium, carrying the camp doctor, Mengele, accompanied by Rottenführer Scheimetz. They took the cans of Zyklon from the car and put them beside the small chimneys used to introduce the Zyklon into the gas chamber. There, Scheimetz opened them with a special cold chisel and a hammer, then poured the contents into the gas chamber. Then he closed the orifice with a concrete cover. As there were four similar chimneys, Scheimetz poured into each the contents of one of the smallest cans of Zyklon, which had yellow labels pasted right round them. Before opening the cans, Scheimetz put on a gasmask which he wore while opening the cans and pouring in the product. There were also other SS who performed this operation, but I have forgotten their names. They were specially designated for it and belonged to the "Gesundheitswesen." A camp doctor was present at each gassing. If I have mentioned Mengele, that is because I met him very often during my work. In addition to him, there were other doctors present during the gassings, like König, Thilo and a young, tall, slight doctor whose name I do not recall.777

Today, these four small holes that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete slab. Yet does this mean they   were never there? We know that after the cessation of the gassings in the Fall of 1944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would have remained would have been the four narrow holes in the slab. While there is not certainty in this particular matter, it would have been logical to attach at the location where the columns had been some formwork at the bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and pour some concrete in the holes, and thus restore the slab.
"The Zyklon B was supposedly dropped through roof vents and put in through windows," Leuchter observed, "not allowing for the even distribution of gas or pellets." Leuchter attached great importance to the even distribution of the gas, and this could not be obtained by inserting the Zyklon at some points. In cross-examination he was challenged on this assumption, which also had led Leuchter to conclude elsewhere in the report that, on the basis of his calculation of the ideal airflow requirement, a gas chamber of 2,500 square feet could only hold 278 people.
[Pearson]: "Some of the calculations that you made were based on the executed person occupying nine square feet?"
[Leuchter]: "That's correct."
Q.: "How do you calculate that measurement?"
A.: "The space required is determined by what's necessary for air circulation and those figures are normally used by all air moving engineers throughout the world."
Q.: "So once again, we're talking about figures that you would use in the United States in 1988 to conduct the execution of a condemned person. Is that right?"
A.: "Yeah, or in 1810. It doesn't matter when it is, the requirements for moving air have stayed the same."
Q.: "But would you agree with me that if you want the person to die quickly, if you put a premium on executing the person quickly, you want to have as much flow of air as possible. If you're not really concerned about how long it takes, the amount of time it takes for the air to flow, it isn't as important. Would you agree?"
 
A.: "Within reason."778

Unlike the State of Missouri, which stipulates in one of its statutes that an execution by gas should take occur as quickly as possible, the SS were not bound by any statute or protocol to ease the suffering of their victims.
"The facilities are always damp and not heated." Essential for Leuchter's argument was that the gas chambers had been operated on low temperature. "We know that the facilities in question were operated at low temperatures," he testified in court. "We know that there would have been a considerable amount of condensation of liquid hydrogen cyanide on the walls, floor and ceiling of these facilities."779 Leuchter was even prepared to testify that "these facilities were operated at zero degrees fahrenheit or near zero temperatures and perhaps below that."780 It is not clear on the basis of what evidence Leuchter came to this conclusion. There is, in fact, ample evidence that the gas chambers were heated. One piece of anecdotal evidence was given by Yehuda Bakon during the Eichmann trial. In 1943 he had joined a group of youngsters who had to pull a cart, the so-called Rollwagenkommando.
Q. "Who gave you orders where the cart should go?"
A. "The Blockälteste (block elder) always went with us and he knew what we had to do. Our tasks were quite varied: Sometimes we had to collect papers, sometimes we had to transfer blankets, sometimes we had to go to the women's camp to which other people did not have access. With the Rollwagenkommando we went through all the camps of Birkenau, A, B, C, D, E and F,as well as the crematorium."
 
Q. "You went into the crematorium?"
A. "Yes."
Q. "Did you see the crematorium from the inside?"
A. "Yes. We had to take wooden logs that were in the vicinity of the crematorium for the fire. Sometimes these had to be taken for regular heating in the camps. And when we finished our work and it was cold, the Kapo of the Sonderkommando took pity on us and said: "Well, children, outside it is cold, warm yourselves in the gas chambers! There is nobody there."
Q. "And you went to warm yourselves inside the gas chambers?"
A. "Yes. Sometimes we went to warm ourselves in the Kleidungskammer, sometimes in the gas chambers. It sometimes happened that when we came to the crematorium, we were told: "You cannot enter now--there are people inside." Sometimes, it was in crematorium 3, after they had been burned, we took the ashes, and in winter the ashes were to be used for the road."
Q. "Did you use human ashes to spread on the roads?"
A. "Yes."
Q. "For what purpose?"
A. "So that people could walk on the road and not slip."781

There are also German documents that attest to the fact that the gas chamber was heated (a fact which, as I have pointed out above, strongly suggests that that room was not anymore to be used as a morgue. The most important is a letter the chief architect of Auschwitz, Karl Bischoff, sent to Topf on March 6, 1943. In it, Bischoff discussed the heating of morgue 1 of crematorium 2.
In accordance with your proposal, the department agrees that morgue 1 will be preheated with the air coming from the rooms with the 3 installations to generate the forceddraught. The supply and installation of the necessary ductwork and ventilators most follow as soon as possible. As you indicate in your letter, the work   should begin this week.782

Both Bakon's testimony and Bischoff's letter demolish Leuchter's argument that the gas chamber of crematorium 2, and by implication of crematorium 3, was not heated.
"As stated earlier, dampness and Zyklon B are not compatible." For once, I have no complaint with Leuchter's assertion, yet it has become irrelevant.
"The chambers are too small to physically contain the occupants claimed and the doors all open inward, a situation which would inhibit removal of the bodies." Surviving Sonderkommandos and Kommandant Höss claimed that the gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3, which were 210 m2 each, held up to 2,000 people at a time. This meant some nine to ten people per square meter. Leuchter categorically refused the accept the possibility that 2,000 could be crammed in such a space, but during cross-examination he had to admit that he could not back up his judgement.
[Pearson]: "Have you ever put 2,000 people into a room?"
[Leuchter] "No. But I'm sure I couldn't get them into that room."
Q.: "You've never done it, you have not conducted any experiments but you're sure. Is that what you're saying?"
A.: "That's what I'm saying. I don't believe anyone else has either."783

Perhaps more important is the fact that Leuchter was simply wrong when he stated that the doors all open inward. There is no evidence in the rubble of crematoria 2 to 5 to come to any judgement if the doors opened one way or another. The blueprints that have been preserved in the archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, however, directly and convincingly refute Leuchter's assertion. Drawing BW (B) 30/12, which shows Walther Dejaco's drawing for the modification of the entrance to the basement of   crematoria 2 and 3, shows that the doors to the gas chamber, indicated here as "L.[eichen] Keller 1"] swing to the outside; drawing BW (B) 30b, which shows Walther Dejaco's design for crematorium 4, shows that the doors to the gas chambers, located on the left of the plan but depicted on the right of the elevation, open again to the outside.
"With the gas chambers fully packed with occupants, there would be no circulation of the HCN within the room." It is undoubtedly true that packing the gas chamber with people did not aid the rapid circulation of the hydrogen cyanide. Yet the design of the hollow, perforated columns did help to allow the gas to reach the higher reaches of the gas chamber, where the air was not displaced by the bodies, and where the heavy panting of panicking 2,000 people, or less, would--so one would assume--cause some circulation.
"Additionally, if the gas eventually did fill the chamber over a lengthy time period, those throwing Zyklon B in the roof vents and verifying the death of the occupants would die themselves from exposure to HCN." This is an odd sentence, as the adverb "eventually" suggests that even Leuchter assumes that it would take some time before the gas would reach the roof vents. Nevertheless, during his testimony Leuchter repeated his assertion that the SS men dropping the Zyklon-B through the roof vents would face real danger. "The gas would come back up while they were doing this and probably kill all of the personnel operating the facility."784 Pearson did not accept this reasoning, and forced Leuchter to address this issue once more during cross examination.
[Pearson]: "Now, hydrogen cyanide is slightly lighter than air?"
[Leuchter]: "that's correct."
Q.: "It means it rises slowly?"
A.: "Very slowly."
Q.: "very slowly. So this stuff you told us about people on the roof who dropped the gas down and how they would be committing suicide, it would take a matter of minutes before the gas got to them, wouldn't it?"
A.: "Unquestionably."
Q.: "So, if they closed the vent and got off the roof, there would be nothing to   concern them, would there?"
A.: "If they got off the roof. But at some point they have to do an inspection to determine whether the parties are deceased."
Q.: "They send in the Sonderkommandos to do that, sir, and they don't care what happens to them."
A.: "Right, all right."785

In fact, for this purpose the doors of the gas chambers were equipped with spyholes. Again, Tauber's testimony is rather specific on this point.
Crematorium 2 had a basement where there was an undressing room and a bunker, or in other words a gas chamber (Leichenkeller/corpse cellar)....From the undressing room people went into the corridor through a door above which was hung a sign marked "Zum Bade", repeated in several languages. I remember the [Russian] word "banya" was there too. From the corridor they went through the door on the right into the gas chamber. It was a wooden door, made of two layers of short pieces of wood arranged like parquet. Between these layers there was a single sheet of material sealing the edges of the door and the rabbets of the frame were also fitted with sealing strips of felt. At about head height for an average man this door had a round glass peephole. On the other side of the door, i.e. on the gas chamber side, this opening was protected by a hemispherical grid. This grid was fitted because the people in the gas chamber, feeling they were going to die, used to break the glass of the peep-hole. But the grid still did not provide sufficient protection and similar incidents recurred.786

Also experience helped in guessing when it was time to turn on the ventilators. After a few gassings the men operating the gas chambers knew how long it took how many people to   die as the result of how much hydrogen cyanide.
"None of the alleged gas chambers were constructed in accordance with the design for delousing chambers which were effectively operating for years in a safe manner." One wonders why the Germans would have bothered to use the design of delousing chambers for their gas chambers. First of all, the delousing chambers were designed to operate with very high concentrations of hydrogen cyanide--between 40 and 70 times the concentration the Germans used to kill humans in Birkenau--and these concentrations were applied for a couple of hours. Secondly, the delousing chambers were, as Leuchter observed, designed in such a way that it guaranteed the highest possible safety for its users whilst allowing for the greatest possible efficiency in the quick loading and unloading of the chamber. The issue of safety was of lesser importance in the gas chambers, as the Sonderkommando who entered the room were expendable. Furthermore efficiency in the filling of the room with living people and retrieving their bodies afterwards was less important in the case of the gas chamber. While in the case of the delousing chambers the rate-delimiting factor was the technology of the room itself, in the case of the gas chambers it was in the cremation process which, invariably went considerably slower than the gassing. In other words, the delousing rooms were designed to operate more or less continuously with high doses of hydrogen cyanide, with relatively short periods of down-time in between, while the gas chambers were designed to operate for very short times with low doses of hydrogen cyanide, while remaining idle for extended periods of time.
"None of these chambers were constructed in accordance with the known and proven designs of facilities operational in the United States at that time. It seems unusual that the presumed designers of these alleged gas chambers never consulted or considered the United States technology, the only country then executing prisoners with gas." It is obvious that, in late 1941 or early 1942, a letter from Kommandant Höss to the Warden of, let's say, the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri, which had been equipped with an state-of-the-art hydrogen cyanide gas chamber in 1939, would not have elicited a steady stream of collegial advice as to the design and operation of gas chambers. Furthermore, it is not clear why Höss would have bothered, as became clear in Leuchter's cross examination.  
[Pearson]: "Would you agree with me that the gassing process itself is not a very difficult or complex process? The difficulty arises in constructing chambers which meet the requirements of safety and humane execution."
[Leuchter]: "That's probably true, yes."787

The fallacy of Leuchter's reasoning, which went back to Faurisson, was the assumption that American gas chambers would be comparable with German gas chambers. First of all, in the case of the American types, all was designed to provide for a quick and, given the circumstances, "humane" execution that not only satisfies the sense of decency of the witnesses who, seated in an adjacent room equipped with air-sickness bags, can see all through a glass window, but also preempts a possible constitutional challenge on the grounds of "cruel and unusual" punishment. This means, in the case of gas chambers, that everything is designed to introduce the gas immediately after the execution command is given, and to ensure that the concentration of gas in the room reaches quickly such a level that death follows immediately. Related to the necessary "constitutionality" of the American gas chambers and the irrelevance of this notion in the case of the Auschwitz killing installations is the fact that the former are, in a sense, only the last station in a long, ritualized path that takes the condemned a week to travel, and that provides both a sense of legality while dissolving at the same time any possibility of individual accountability. Michael Lesy wrote in his The forbidden Zone that, "[s]ince there's no holy law to protect them, prison officials rely on a system of divided responsibilities."
Procedures are so fragmented that no single person remains responsible. All actions are mediated by others or shared with other. Everything is done by administrative decree and court order, conveyed from person to person, down a chain of command and obedience: "I-did-what-I-did-because-he-did-what-he-did." By the time a death sentence is carried out, it's impossible to accuse any particular person of anything. In Georgia, murderers die, but no one man ever   kills them.788

The whole ritual develops on the understanding that it may be stopped, even a second before the final command, because of a last-minute stay of execution. The situation in Auschwitz could not have been more different.
We have now considered every word of the paragraph devoted to the Auschwitz gas chambers in the section entitled "Design and Procedures at the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers." It is clear that almost all his engineering opinion concerning the crematoria at Auschwitz must be defined as uninformed rubbish. It is important here to remember that Leuchter attached great significance to his observations as an engineer: in fact, as he claimed in the Toronto court, 90% of his conclusion that no homicidal gassings could have taken place in the Auschwitz gas chambers were based on these observations.
Despite the fact that Leuchter adamantly asserted that the Auschwitz "facilities" could not have worked as gas chambers, he was in the end prepared to calculate how many people could have been killed in these spaces (I presume if they would have worked). "The alleged gas chamber in each of Kremas 2 and 3 had an area of 2500 sq. ft. This would accommodate 278 people based on the 9 square foot theory."789 Leuchter assumed that it would take a week to ventilate the room as he had not found evidence of a ventilation system, and so, with a sleight of hand, the daily extermination capacity became a weekly one. Crematoria 2 and 3 had been in operation for a total of 84 and 72 weeks respectively, and thus Leuchter came to a maximum extermination capacity of 23,352 persons for crematorium 2 and 20,016 persons for crematorium 3. Using a similar approach, he concluded that the gas chambers of crematorium 4 could kill 209 people daily/weekly, and those of crematorium 5 could kill 570 on a daily thus weekly basis. As each of these had been in operation for 80 weeks, the maximum extermination capacity for crematorium 4 had been 16,720 people and crematorium 5 had been able to gas a total of   45,600 people.790 This gave a total of 105,688--a number that did not include the 6,768 people who could have been killed in crematorium I, or the people killed in Bunkers I and II--gassing installations for which Leuchter did not provide any data.
It is clear that Leuchter's numbers are wrong. First of all if one refuses to assume that the gas chambers could be used only once a week, we come to a total of 7 x 105,688 =739,816. If then one assumes instead of a density of one person per nine square feet a more realistic figure of one person per two square feet, then one comes to a killing capacity of above 3.3 million victims for the four crematoria of Birkenau as they operated between the Spring of 1943 to the fall of 1944. If one adds to this the killing capacity of crematorium I and Bunkers I and II, the figure becomes even higher, rising to at least 3.5 million people.791
Leuchter did not only study the technology of the gas chambers. He also was prepared to act as an expert witness for the construction of incinerators. He wrote in his unique style that "a consideration of crematories, both old and new, must be made to determine the functionability of the German Kremas at accomplishing their attributed tasks."792 It is important to note that, during cross-examination, Leuchter had to admit that he had no expert knowledge of crematories.
[Pearson]: "Now, you devote in your report, one, two, three, four, five, six--seven paragraphs to gas chambers and you devote one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen--seventeen sections or paragraphs to crematoriums."
 
[Leuchter]: "I'm not sure that is entirely true, counsellor, because there's information interspersed throughout this as necessary. You're simply going by the section headings and I would submit if you would read each section in each paragraph, you would see that the two are intertwined and there is information contained on gas chambers throughout."
Q.: "Well, unfortunately I haven't been given an opportunity to read it so you'll have to bear with me. I'm just going by the headings. What expertise do you have with designing crematoriums?"
A.: "Nothing in design, sir."
Q.: "All right. Do you operate a crematorium?"
A.: "No."
Q.: "What experience do you have with crematoriums?"
A.: "I made a determination before and after I began this project to apprise myself of crematorium design and operation. I consulted with a number of the crematorium manufacturers, I received data from these manufacturers on instruments that are used for cremation, and likewise, I visited two crematories and I watched the entire operation several times and the cremation of a number of corpses from the start of putting the corpses into the retort, until the bones were crushed and the ashes were put into the urn."
Q.: "You said both before and after you were retained. What made you look into this before you were retained?"
A.: "There's a misunderstanding there, counsellor. What I said before and after I went to Poland."
Q.: "All right. Sorry. So once again, we're talking about knowledge that you picked up since February when you were retained, I will suggest on a part-time basis or while you were working on one of a number of projects that your company was engaged in. Is that right?"
A.: "Most likely, yes."
Q.: "And I suggest, sir, that that really doesn't give you the expertise required to give opinions and extrapolate with respect to crematoriums."
A.: "Only to the extent, sir, that it is common and expected of an engineer that's dealing with any given problem to investigate the problem and then to investigate procedures relative to that problem."
Q.: "Sir, you went to school in Massachusetts?"
 
A.: "I did."
Q.: "Do they give degrees of engineering in Massachusetts?"
A.: Some schools do."
Q. For instance, does MIT give out degrees in engineering?"
A.: "It does."
Q.: "You don't have a degree in engineering, do you?"
A.: "No, I do not."793

Consequently, the court rejected Leuchter's qualifications as an expert witness of the design and construction of crematories.
Leuchter's lack of expertise did not prevent either Zündel nor Irving including Leuchter's observations on the Auschwitz crematoria and his conclusions regarding the total incineration capacity of these installations for the period that they were in operation. After a short historical introduction, in which he observed that Orthodox Judaism forbade cremation, he reviewed modern practices.
Earlier retorts were simply a drying or baking kiln and simply dried the human remains. Modern retorts of brick-lined steel actually blow fire from a nozzle onto the remains setting them afire, causing combustion and rapid burning....
These modern retorts or crematories burn at a temperature of 2000+°F, with an afterburner temperature of 1600°F. This high temperature causes the body to combust and consume itself, allowing for the burner to be shut down....At 2000°F or more with a 2500 cfm blowered air supply from the outside, modern retorts will cremate one corpse in 1.25 hours. Theoretically, this is 19.2 in a 24 hour period. Factory recommendations for normal operation and sustained use allow for three (3) or less cremations per day. Older oil, coal and coke furnaces with forced air (but no direct flame application) normally took 3.5 to 4 hours for each corpse. Theoretically, this could allow for 6.8 corpses in a 24 hour time period at a maximum. Normal operation permits a maximum of three (3) cremations in a 24 hour time period. These computations are based on 1 corpse   per retort per cremation.794

This led Leuchter to the conclusion that, with 3 furnaces with 2 muffles each, crematorium 1 would have had a theoretical incineration rate of (6 x 6.8 = ) 40.8 corpses per day, and a "real-time" rate of (6 x 3 =) 18 corpses per day. Crematoria 2 and 3 could have incinerated then "theoretically" (15 x 6.8 =) 102 and practically (15 x 3 =)45 corpses per day, and crematoria 4 and 5 respectively (8 x 6.8 =) 54.4 and (8 x 3 =) 24. This resulted in a combined daily incineration capacity in Auschwitz of 353.6 (theoretical) or 156 (practical). These numbers led Leuchter to infer that, over the history of the crematoria which operated over a minimum of 72 weeks (crematoria 1 and 3) and a maximum of 84 weeks (crematorium 2), the total number of cremations would have been 193,576 (theoretical) and 85,092 (practical).795
As with his calculations for the gas chambers, Leuchter operated in a make-believe universe, in which he consulted neither German documents nor the testimony of witnesses. Leuchter claimed that, before his journey to Poland, he had studied Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews. Hilberg mentioned in note 110 in Chapter Nine, "Killing Center Operations," a letter written by the Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung.796 Dated June 28, 1943, the letter reads as follows:
28 June, 1943.

Concerns: the completion of crematorium 3.

Reference: none
 
To the SS-Administrative and Economic Head Office,
department C,
SS-Brigadeführer and General Major Dr. Ing. Kammler
Berlin--Lichterfelde--West
Unter den Eichen 120-135.

Report the completion of crematorium 3 at 26 June 1943. Therewith all the crematoria ordered have been completed.

Capacity of the now available crematoria per 24 hours:
1. old crematorim 1
3 x 2 muffle ovens 340 persons
2. new crematorium 2 in KGL
5 x 3 muffle ovens 1,440 persons
3. new crematorium 3
5 x 3 muffle ovens 1,440 persons
4. new crematorium 4
8 muffle oven 768 persons
5. new crematorium 5
8 muffle oven 768 persons
Total per 24 hours 4,756 persons

The leader of the Central Building Administration
of the Waffen SS and Police Auschwitz,

Signed: Jahrling
SS-Sturmbannführer.

Cc: dossier--Janisch
dossier--Kirschnek
 
file KGL BW 30.797

In short, according to a war-time German document, the daily incineration capacity of the five Auschwitz crematoria was 4,756 corpses per day. In his cross-examination, Pearson confronted Leuchter with Hilberg's reference.
[Pearson]: "Now, that document suggests that there is a capacity on a twenty-four hour period of 4,756 persons in the crematoriums?"
[Leuchter]: "Yes."
Q.: "That's quite different from your report, isn't it?"
A.: "It is."
Q.: "Have you looked at that document before?"
A.: "I have never seen that document before."798

Each of the ovens of crematoria 2 to 5 were calculated to have a capacity of 96 corpses per day (15 x 96 =1,440; 8 x 96 =768), or an average of four corpses per muffle per hour. Is this German statistic possible? If one followed normal civilian practice, in which it is absolutely essential to preserve the identity of the remains from the beginning of incineration to the final gathering of the ashes, the German figures are absurd. It would be impossible to insert a body in the muffle, cremate it, and remove the remaining bones and ashes within fifteen minutes. But the situation changes radically when the identity of the   remains ceases to be important. First of all, if the size of the muffle permits, it becomes possible to insert more than one corpse at the same time, and furthermore it becomes feasible to create something of a continuous process, in which, after initial heating of the incinerators, the burner can be turned off, thus making full use of the phenomenon that at the right temperature the body will combust and consume itself without any further application of an external source of energy.
Henryk Tauber, who worked the incinerators of both crematorium 1 and 2, gave in his testimony an extensive description of the incineration procedures, and implicitly confirmed the validity of the German figures.
In crematorium 1, there were three, two-muffle furnaces, as I have already mentioned. Each muffle could incinerate five human bodies. Thirty corpses could be incinerated at the same time in this crematorium. At the time when I was working there, the incineration of such a charge took up to an hour and a half, because they were the bodies of very thin people, real skeletons, which burned very slowly. I know from the experience gained by observing cremation in Krematorien 2 and 3 that the bodies of fat people burn very much faster. The process of incineration is accelerated by the combustion of human fat which thus produces additional heat.799

If we take Tauber's figures, it would take 17 hours to incinerate the 340 corpses mentioned in the letter of June 28, 1943.
Tauber provided a very detailed account of the incineration procedure in crematorium 2.
As I have already said, there were five furnaces in crematorium 2, each with three muffles for cremating the corpses and heated by two coke-fired hearths. The fire flues of these hearths came out above the ash boxes of the two side muffles. Thus the flames went first round the two side muffles then heated the centre one, from where the combustion gases were led out below the furnace, between the two   firing hearths. Thanks to this arrangement, the incineration process for the corpses in the side muffles differed from that of the centre muffle. The corpses of "Müselmanns" or of wasted people with no fat burned rapidly in the side muffles and slowly in the centre one. Conversely, the corpses of people gassed directly on arrival, not being wasted, burned better in the centre muffle. During the incineration of such corpses, we used the coke only to light the fire of the furnace initially, for fatty corpses burned of their own accord thanks to the combustion of the body fat. On occasion, when coke was in short supply, we would put some straw and wood in the ash bins under the muffles, and once the fat of the corpse began to burn the other corpses would catch light themselves. There were no iron components inside the muffle. The bars were of chamotte,800 for iron would have melted in the furnace, which reached 1,000 to 1,200° Celsius. These chamotte bars were arranged crosswise. The dimensions of the door and the opening of the muffles were smaller than the inside of the muffle itself, which was 2 meters long, 80 centimeters wide and about 1 meter high. Generally speaking, we burned 4 or 5 corpses at a time in one muffle, but sometimes we charged a greater number of corpses. It was possible to charge up to 8 "Müselmanns." Such big charges were incinerated without the knowledge of the head of the crematorium during air raid warnings in order to attract the attention of airmen by having a bigger fire emerging from the chimney. We imagined that in that way it might be possible to change our fate. The iron components, in particular fire bars, still to be found in the camp, were from the fireboxes. Crematorium 2 had fire bars of heavy angle iron. Crematoria 4 and 5 were fitted with fire bars in the form of a lance, or rather were like swords with handles.801

After the description of the installation, Tauber recalled how on the first day, 4 March, they operated the ovens in the presence of observers from the Political Section, representatives of the Berlin headquarters, and engineers of Topf. For this occasion, the   Political department had taken care to provide 45 bodies of well-fed victims recently killed in Bunker 2.
Via the lift and the door leading to the furnace room, we took out the bodies and placed them two or three at a time on trolleys of the type I described for crematorium 1 and charged them into the different muffles. As soon as all the muffles of the five furnaces had been charged, the members of the commission began to observe the operation, watch in hand. They opened the muffle doors, looked at their watches, expressed surprise at the slowness of the cremation process. In view of the fact that the furnaces were not yet hot enough, even though we had been firing them since the morning, and because they were brand new, the incineration of this charge took about 40 minutes.802

Tauber went on to explain that later on incineration became more efficient, and they could incinerate two loads per hour. In fact, the Sonderkommando tried to overload the muffles, because this would allow them some free time.
According to the regulations, we were supposed to charge the muffles every half hour. Ober Capo August explained to us that,according to the calculations and plans for this crematorium, 5 to 7 minutes was allowed to burn one corpse in a muffle. In principle, he did not let us put more than three corpses in one muffle. Because with that quantity we were obliged to work without interruption, for as soon as the last muffle was charged, the contents of the first had been consumed. In order to be able to take a pause during the work, we would charge 4 or 5 corpses in each muffle. The incineration of such a charge took longer, and after charging the last muffle, we had a few minutes' break until the first one was again available. We took advantage of this free time to wash the floor of the furnace room, as a result of which the air became a little cooler.803
  According to Tauber's testimony, the incinerators of crematorium 2 should burn, according to the regulations, (15 x 2 x 3 =) 90 bodies per hour. This would mean that the official daily capacity of 1,440 would be reached in 16 hours of operation (90 x 16 =1,440).
Kommandant Rudolf Höss confirmed Tauber's account. In 1946 he wrote in Polish captivity that "the two large crematories were built in the winter of 1942-43 and brought into service in the spring of 1943."
Each had five ovens with three doors [retorts] per oven and could cremate about two thousand bodies in less than twenty-four hours. Technical difficulties made it impossible to increase the capacity. Attempts to do this caused severe damage to the installations....
The two smaller crematories [4 and 5] were capable of burning about 1,500 bodies in twenty-four hours, according to the calculations made by the construction company called Topf of Erfurt.804

A few pages later, in a different context, Höss returned to the issue of concerning the incineration capacity of the crematoria.
Depending on the size of the bodies, up to three corpses could be put in through one oven door at the same time. The time required for cremation also depended on the number of bodies in each retort, but on average it took twenty minutes. As previously stated, Crematories 2 and 3 could cremate two thousand bodies in twenty-four hours, but a higher number was not possible without causing damage to the installations. Crematories 4 and 5 should have been able to cremate 1,500 bodies in twenty-four hours, but as far as I know this figure was never reached.805

>There are two more indications that the Topf ovens could, indeed, handle   numbers far greater than what Leuchter claimed. The first is a recently discovered note written by Topf engineer Kurt Prüfer on September 8, 1942. Addressed to the SS, Prüfer calculated the daily incineration capacity of the three double muffle ovens of crematorium 1 as 250 corpses, the five triple muffle ovens of crematoria 2 and 3 as 800 corpses each, and the eight muffle ovens of crematoria, 4 and 5 as 400 corpses each. In short, according to Prüfer, the daily incineration capacity was to be 2,650 corpses.806 While Prüfer's figures are only 55% of those given by Bischoff, they are still 16 times Leuchter's practical incineration capacity, and 7 1/2 times Leuchter's theoretical incineration rate. When considering Prüfer's figures, it must be remembered that, with the contracts signed, it was in his interest to provide very conservative numbers, as the Topf firm was to be accountable for the functioning of the ovens.
A final indication that the testimony of Tauber and Höss may be trusted, and that the Topf ovens had a much larger capacity than Leuchter claimed, can be found in the patent application T 58240 Kl. 24 for a "Continuous Operation Corpse Incineration Furnace for Intensive Use," filed by Topf on November 5, 1942. In the first paragraph the application referred to the situation in the camps in the East.
In the gathering camps in the occupied territories in the East with their high mortality rate, as they are affected by the war and its consequences, it has become impossible to bury the great number of deceased inmates. This is the result of both the lack of space and personnel and the immediate and longterm danger to that immediate and farther surroundings that is caused by the burial of the dead   who often succumbed to infectious diseases.
Therefore there is a need to quickly, safely and hygienically dispose of the constantly great number of corpses. In that process it will, of course, be impossible, to operate according to the legal stipulations that are valid in the territory of the Reich. Thus it will be impossible to reduce to ashes only one corpse at a time, and the process cannot be done without extra heating. Instead it will be necessary to incinerate continuously and simultaneously many corpses, and during the duration of the incineration the flames and the gasses of the fire will have to engage the corpses to be incinerated directly. It will be impossible to separate the ashes of the simultaneously incinerated, and the ashes can only be handled together. Therefore one should not really talk in the depicted disposition of corpses of "incineration," but it really concerned here corpse burning.
To realize such corpse burning--following the principles sketched above--a number of multi-muffle ovens were installed in some of those camps, which according to their design are loaded and operated periodically. Because of this these ovens do not fully satisfy, because the burning does not proceed quickly enough to dispose off in the shortest possible time the great number of corpses that are constantly presented.807

It is clear that the ovens referred to in the last paragraphs are the multi-muffle ovens supplied by Topf to Auschwitz.
The patent application describes the continuous cremation furnace as a structure in which the corpses are inserted at the top, and as they slowly slide down a system of inclined grids they are quickly reduced to ashes. It does not provide data as to the capacity of the furnace, but in 1985 the consulting engineers Klaus and Christel Kunz made, in consultation with Rolf Decker, manager of incinerator production at the Ruppmann company in Stuttgart, an engineering assessment of Topf's continuous cremation furnace. They assumed that the furnace could be initially loaded with 50 corpses, and in the upper part of the furnace the bodies would dry out through   evaporation; having allowed to fall into the second part these corpses would be burned, while the first part would be reloaded. Having been allowed to fall into the third part of the furnace, the remains would be completely reduced to ashes.
On the basis of the plan one may only theoretically calculate the capacity and duration, because exact data can only be determined through practical trials. Nevertheless it is quite conceivable to introduce, when the object is appropriately dimensioned, some 50 corpses on the shelve, assuming it has a length of 25 meters. The process of evaporation in position a should take some 15 minutes, so that at a continuous operation one could arrive at an incineration capacity of around 4,800 corpses per 24 hours.
Pre-heating of such an oven should take at least two days. After this preheating the oven will not need any more fuel due to the heat produced by the corpses. It will be able to maintain its necessary high temperature through self-heating. But to allow it to maintain a constant temperature, it would have become necessary to introduce at the same time so-called well-fed and so-called emaciated corpses, because one can only guarantee continuous high temperatures through the emission of human fat. When only emaciated corpses are incinerated, it will be necessary to add heat continuously. The results of this would be that the installation could be damaged because of the thus created temperatures and one would expect shorter or longer breakdowns.808

The report ended with the assertion that it should be possible to increase, after some initial experience, the initial load from 50 to 100 corpses. This would increase the loading rhythm from every 15 to every 20 minutes, and as a result the daily capacity would increase from (50 x 60/15 x 24 =) 4,800 corpses to, at least theoretically, (100 x 60/20 x 24 =) 7,200 corpses. It is unclear if the incinerator would have ever worked. What is important, however, is that both the text of the patent application and the design of the incinerator makes the incineration process described in Tauber's testimony not merely   plausible, but indeed probable.
With both a war-time German document stating that the daily incineration capacity of the crematoria came close to 4,500 corpses per day, two independent testimonies corroborating this range of cremation capacity, and a war-time patent application by the makers of the ovens which corroberate the incineration procedure described in these testimonies, there is little reason to dwell much longer with Leuchter's assertion that the theoretical incineration rate was a whole order of magnitude smaller, and that the practical incineration rate was with 156 corpses per day a little over 3 per cent of the official German rate.

Finally I turn to the issue of the samples. As we have seen, Leuchter did not find them too important, but because their alleged evidentiary value impressed Irving, Faurisson, and so many others, it is necessary to consider then in some detail.
First of all it is necessary to point out some of the assumptions that led Leuchter to assume that their would be residual cyanide, in the form of ferro-ferri-cyanide, in the walls of the Auschwitz gas chambers. In the second Zündel trial, Leuchter admitted that one should not expect any residual cyanide in the walls of American gas chambers.
[Pearson]: "You'd agree with me that the purpose of a ventilation fan is to remove the gas from the--the place where the gas is at.
[Leuchter]: "That is true."
Q.: "And it will have a bearing on what traces are present at some later date. Isn't that right?"
A.: "That's very true."
Q.: "Very True."
A.: "Yes."
Q.: "Now, with respect to the delousing chamber, if there was no ventilation at all, we could expect high levels of cyanide traces, couldn't we?"
A.: "It depends upon how--the system we used. That's partially true, yes.
Q.: "Well, if there's not ventilation at all and there's no way for the gas to get out, then we would expect high levels of cyanide traces, wouldn't we?"
A.: "Again, counsellor, it depends upon the ventilation system."
 
Q.: "I'm saying no ventilation system."
A.: "Probably."
Q.: "All right. Now, if, on the other hand, the location is extremely well ventilated to get all the gas out, I suppose that's the optimum, if the ventilation system works perfectly, and would you agree with me that it's very difficult to reach perfection with respect to ventilation?"
A.: "I do."
Q.: "Although that's basically one of your engineering tasks with these modern gas chambers you produce, isn't it?"
A.: "Yes, it is."
Q.: "Do you expect that forty-five years from now, people will be able to find cyanide traces in your gas chambers?"
A.: "No, I do not."809

He continued to explain, good ventilation, heating the room so that the hydrogen cyanide would not condensate on the walls, and walls coated with epoxy or some other sealant prevented the formation of residual cyanide such as ferro-ferri-cyanide in the walls of modern gas chambers.
Leuchter wrongly assumed that Auschwitz gas chambers were not ventilated. Furthermore, he wrongly hypothesized that the gas chambers operated at very low temperatures, and that therefore there would have been "a considerable amount of condensation of liquid hydrogen cyanide on the walls, floor and ceiling of these facilities."810 Furthermore he wrongly inferred from the ruins of crematoria 2 to 5 that the walls of the gas chambers had not been coated, and that therefore the liquid hydrogen cyanide could have reacted with the iron in the bricks and mortar to form ferro-ferri-cyanide. Then he wrongly reasoned that, in accordance with American practice, the Germans had used a high concentration of 3,600 parts of hydrogen cyanide per million   parts of air--the concentration used in United States gas chambers to ensure that the condemned will die a quick death--while in fact the Germans used a concentration of 300 parts per million to kill their victims.811 Neither did he consider the amount of hydrogen cyanide that would be absorbed by the bodies of the victims. Finally he did not take into account the effects of changes in the situation of the gas chambers in the last 45 years. For example, the gas chamber of crematorium 1 had been abandoned in 1943, and had been transformed into an air-raid shelter in 1944, undergoing substantial modifications in the process. Then, after the war, it was once more changed, to provide a museological reconstruction of the original gas chamber. Leuchter assumed that the layer of plaster from which he took his samples was the same that had coated in the walls in 1942. There is little to no evidence to support that premise. Then he took no account of the fact that the gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3 had been purposefully demolished in 1944 and that their remains had been exposed to the elements for 45 years, and that the walls had been washed with acid rain--a fact of some importance because, contrary to Leuchter's belief, ferro-ferri-cyanide is not stable under all conditions, but tends to slowly dissolve in an acidic environment. Finally, he did not know that the low brick walls that mark the plan of crematoria 4 and 5 were rebuilt after the war using bricks from the original buildings, but not necessarily in the right position. In other words, the walls that now define the outlines of the gas chamber could have been rebuilt using bricks originally used for the construction of the incineration rooms, or the coke storage rooms.
On the basis of wrong assumptions, Leuchter expected that one would find relatively high residual cyanide in the walls of the gas chambers if they had been indeed used for genocidal purposes. When he did not, he immediately jumped to the conclusion that these spaces had not been used as gas chambers. He was strengthened in his conviction by a few "control samples" he had taken from rooms that had been used as hydrogen cyanide delousing chambers. These samples showed a very high degree of ferro-ferri-cyanide--something that did not surprise anyone as the walls of these delousing rooms showed large Prussian blue stains. Leuchter wrongly assumed that the delousing rooms had been exposed to much lower quantities of gas than the homicidal gas   chambers--in fact the opposite is true, and while the delousing chambers operated more or less non-stop, the homicidal gas chamber operated only for very short times--and drew his "shattering" conclusion.
One would have expected higher cyanide detection in the samples taken from the alleged gas chambers (because of the greater amount of gas allegedly utilized there) than that found in the control sample. Since the contrary is true, one must conclude that these facilities were not execution gas chambers, when coupled with all the other evidence gained on inspection.812

As we have seen, also "all the other evidence gained on inspection" was less than it purported it to be.
Perhaps the most damning aspect of Leuchter's investigation is the way he took the samples. I have studied carefully the videotapes which were made of his trip to Poland, and which clearly show that Leuchter took what were for the analysis of cyanide content incorrect samples. When the Alpha laboratories analyzed the cyanide content of the samples, they provided the measurements of the total cyanide concentration in each of the samples. It did not provide the concentration of cyanide on the outer surface of the samples. As Dr. Jim Roth, who analyzed the samples in 1988, explained recently to the American film maker Errol Morris, "hindsight being 20/20, the test was not the correct one to have used for the analysis."813 Roth explained that cyanide will react on the surface of brick or plaster, penetrating the material not more than 10 microns, or 0.01 mm, or one tenth the thickness of a human hair (one micron equals 1/1,000,000 of a meter, or 0.000039 inch). In other words, if one wants to analyze the cyanide concentration in a brick sample, one should take a representative sample of the surface, 10 microns thick, and no more. Yet, as Roth remembered, "[Leuchter] presented us with rock samples anywhere from the   size of your thumb up to half the size of your fist. We broke them up with a hammer so that we could get a sub-sample; we placed it in a flask, add concentrated sulfuric acid. It undergoes a reaction that produces a red-colored solution. It is the intensity of this red color that we can relate with cyanide concentration."814 Roth explained that his laboratory analysis could not make up for faulty sampling technique. If the sample was not representative, the results would be meaningless. Because the cyanide cannot penetrate into the brick for more than 10 microns, it is unavoidable that the cyanide concentration will be diluted 10 times when the sample is 100 microns or 0.1 mm or 0.0039 inch thick, it will be diluted 1,000 times when the sample is 10 mm or 0.39 inch thick. Leuchter did not carefully slice the surface of the materials he was sampling. In fact, as the video tapes clearly show, he hacked happily into the walls, and took samples that counted at least a thousand of layers of material that could not have reacted with the cyanide. As Roth remarked, "I might have had the back side of the brick, not the front side of the brick, but I didn't know which side was up and which was down. That's the point: Which was the exposed surface? I didn't even have any idea. That is like analyzing paint on a wall by analyzing the timber that's behind it." In conclusion Roth stated that "I don't think the Leuchter results have any meaning."815
Indeed: the only conclusion one may legitimally draw from Leuchter's sampling is that the very fact that the Alpha laboratories found any residual cyanide at all is extremely significant. In fact, Leuchter's samples most likely proved the use of morgue 1 of crematorium 2 and 3 as a gas chamber.

As we have seen before, Leuchter's track record as a forensic scientist was not very impressive, and it is not very useful to waste more energy on his samples. At this point it is more useful to consider the legitimate forensic studies which were undertaken at the Auschwitz crematoria by Polish scientists in the early 1990s. When the first news about the Zündel Trial and Leuchter's testimony reached the Auschwitz Museum, its director Kazimierz Smolen wrote to the highly experienced and respected Polish forensic scientist   Professor Jan Markiewicz, Director of the Institute of Forensic Research in Cracow with the request to take samples from the wall plaster of the gas chambers and analyze them for the presence of hydrogen cyanide. Smolen did not inform Markiewicz about the existence of the Leuchter Report. Markiewicz responded that he thought "the chances of detecting hydrogen cyanide in such samples as nearly none."816 Nevertheless, he dispatched two of his employees to the camp, who took on 20 February 1990 22 samples: ten from rooms in Block 3 of the Auschwitz Stammlager that had served as delousing rooms, five from the ruins of the gas chamber of crematorium 2 and 3, and one sample each from crematorium 5 and crematorium 1. No samples were taken from crematorium 4--the latter building was left alone since all the walls had been reconstructed after the war. The results showed traces of hydrocyanic compounds in seven samples taken from Block 3, and in one sample taken from a remaining pillar of the gas chamber of crematorium 2.
The letter that Markiewicz sent to the Museum was leaked to the revisionists, and in the newsletter of the Institute of Historical Review much was made of it. Mark Weber, Associate Editor of the Journal of Historical Review then wrote to Markiewicz, and asked him to comment on the relevance of his own findings for the Leuchter Report. Markiewicz responded in a letter dated 7 June, 1991, in which he observed that the initial research had been a little too hasty.
Now, in the light of letters and publications coming to us from different countries, I have arrived at the conclusion that our investigations aiming at the confirmation, if possible, of the use of cyanic preparations in the rooms that survived whole or only in the form of ruins, were rather preliminary in nature and incomplete. We are bent on widening and deepening these investigations and have already been preparing for them. It is only now when suitable materials from literature have become accessible to us that we see the purpose and sense of such studies. Naturally, we shall publish their results and make them accessible to you   and your Institute.817

The Institute of Historical Review did not wait, however, for the new report. Immediately after receiving Markiewicz's letter they published an article entitled "An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz 'Gas Chambers': Krakow Forensic Institute Bolsters Leuchter's Findings." It claimed that Polish scientists had "replicated Leuchter's findings and implicitly corroborated his conclusions." Wrongly arguing that the whole of the gas chamber of crematorium 2 was protected from the elements by the collapsed concrete ceiling," and is otherwise in its original condition," the author of the article found it worth noting that the Cracow scientists had not responded to the "compelling reasons given by Leuchter for doubting the orthodox extermination story." For example, they had not engaged him on his engineering considerations--a fact which should not have surprised them because Markiewicz had written in his letter to Weber that they had not known about the Leuchter Report when they took their samples or wrote their report. The main text of the article ended with the following comment.
Auschwitz State Museum officials initiated this investigation rather obviously hoping that the Institute's report would discredit Leuchter's findings and corroborate the orthodox extermination account. And just as obviously, if the Institute's report had, in fact, discredited the American engineer's conclusions, the Auschwitz State Museum would certainly have wasted no time in giving it maximum publicity.
Although neither the Auschwitz State Museum nor the Krakow Institute has (so far) made this September 1990 report public, Revisionists were nevertheless able to obtain a copy of the original document. Professor Robert Faurisson in France and Fred Leuchter in the United States were quick to cite the "Polish Leuchter Report" as corroboration of the Revisionist view of the Auschwitz extermination story.

Having rudely awakened to the realities of negationism, Markiewicz and his people   decided to move with greater care. In the final report, which they published in 1994, they discussed Leuchter's investigations, their own early sampling and its results.
When the dispute on the Leuchter Report arose, we undertook a closer study of the problem, availing ourselves, among other publications, of J.C. Pressac's comprehensive work. In consequence, we decided to start considerably more extensive and conscientiously planned researches. To carry them out, the Management of the Auschwitz Museum appointed their competent workers, Dr. F. Piper (custodian) and Mr. W. Smrek (engineer) to join the commission, in which they co-worked with the authors of the present paper, representing the Institute of Forensic Research. Under this collaboration, the Museum workers were providing us on the spot with exhaustive information concerning the facilities to be examined and--as regards the ruins--a detailed topography of the gas chambers we were concerned with. And so they made it possible for us to take proper samples for analysis. We tried to take samples--if at all possible--from the places best sheltered and least exposed to rainfall, including--also as far as possible--fragments from the upper parts of the chambers (hydrogen cyanide is lighter than air) and also of the concrete floors, with which the gas from the spilled Zyklon B came into contact at rather high concentrations.
Samples, about 1-2 g in weight, were taken by chipping pieces from bricks and concrete or scraping off, particularly in the case of plaster and also mortar. The materials taken were secured in plastic containers marked with serial numbers. All these activities were recorded and documented with photographs. Work connected with them took the commission two days. The laboratory analysis of the material collected was conducted--to ensure full objectivity--by another group of institute workers. They started with preliminary work: samples were comminuted by grinding them by hand in an agate mortar, their pH was determined at 6 to 7 in nearly all samples. Next the samples were subjected to preliminary spectrophotometric analysis in the infrared region, using a Digilab FTS-15 spectrophotometer. It was found that the bands of cyanide groups occurred in the region of 2000-22000 cm-1 in the spectra of a dozen samples or so. However, the method did not prove to be sensitive enough and was given up in quantitative determinations. It was determined, using the spectographical method, that the main elements which made up the samples were: calcium,   silicon, magnesium, aluminium and iron. Moreover, titanium was found present in many samples. From among other metals in some samples there were also barium, zinc, sodium, manganese and from non-metals boron.
The undertaking of chemical analysis had to be preceded by careful consideration. The revisionists focussed their attention almost exclusively on Prussian blue, which is of intense dark-blue colour characterized by exceptional fastness. This dye occurs, especially in the form of stains, on the outer bricks of the walls of the former bath-delousing house in the area of the Birkenau camp. It is hard to imagine the chemical reactions and physicochemical processes that could have led to the formation of Prussian blue in that place. Brick, unlike other building materials, very feebly absorbs hydrogen cyanide, it sometimes does not even absorb it at all. Besides, iron occurring in it is at the third oxidation state, whereas bivalent iron ions are indispensable for the formation of the [Fe(Cn)6]-4 ion, which is the precursor of Prussian blue. This ion is, besides, sensitive to the sunlight.
[....]
We decided therefore to determine the cyanide ions using a method that does not indice the breakdown of the composed ferrum cyanide complex (this is the blue under discussion) and which we had tested before on an appropriate standard sample. To isolate cyanide compounds from the materials examined in the form of hydrogen cyanide we used the techniques of microdiffusion in special Conway-type chambers. The sample under examination was placed in the internal part of the chamber and next acidified with 10% sulfuric acid solution and allowed to remain at open room temperature (about 20°C) for 24 hrs. The separated hydrogen cyanide underwent a quantitative absorption by the lye solution present in the outer part of the chamber. When the diffusion was brought to an end, a sample of lye solution was taken and the pyridine-pyrazolone reaction carried out by Epstein's method.818 The intensity of the polymethene dye obtained was measured spectrophotometrically at a wavelength equal to 630 nm. The calibration curve was constructed previously and standards with a known CN⁻ content were introduced into each series of determinations to check the curve and the course of determination. Each sample of materials examined was   analysed three times. If the result obtained was positive, it was verified by repeating the analysis. Having applied this method for many years, we have opportunities to find its high sensitivity, specificity and precision. Under present circumstances we established the lower limit of determinability of cyanide ions at a level of 3-4 µg CN⁻ in 1 kg of the sample.
The results of analyses are presented in Tables I-IV. They unequivocally show that the cyanide compounds occur in all the facilities that, according to the source data, were in contact with them. On the other hand, they do not occur in dwelling accomodations, which was shown by means of the control samples. The concentrations of cyanide compounds in the samples collected from one and the same room or building shows great differences. This indicates that the conditions that favour the formation of stable compounds as a result of the reaction of hydrogen cyanide with the components of the walls, occur locally. In this connection it takes quite a larger number of samples from a given facility to give us a chance to come upon this sort of local accumulation of cyanide compounds.819

Samples 1 to 8 were taken from fumigation chambers in Blocks 1 and 3 in the Stammlager and showed concentrations of CN⁻ that went in one instance (sample 6) as high as 900 µg/kg. Samples 9 to 12 were taken from dwelling spaces in Block 3 and 8, and all showed a total absence of CN⁻. These rooms were known to have been fumigated with hydrogen cyanide only once. Samples 13 to 52 were taken from places which served as homicidal gas chambers. Samples 13 to 22 were taken in Auschwitz 1. It is a pity that the report does not mention the thickness of the samples, again the knowledge that cyanide only reacts on the surface of brick remains an important fact of consideration. Therefore I would not like to assign more than relative significance to the Polish measurements. Yet, even so, they are important in their own right, as they clearly show the presence of cyanide in the walls of the gas chambers, confirming the "alleged" use of these spaces as killing installations.
 
A--Sample No. B--Concentration of CN⁻ (µg/kg)
Cellars of Block 11 used as experimental Gas Chambers in 1941
A 13 14 15 - - - -
B 28 20 0 - - - -
24 16 0 - - - -
24 16 0 - - - -

Crematorium 1
A 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
B 28 76 0 0 288 0 80
28 80 0 0 292 0 80
28 80 0 0 288 0 80
 
Crematorium 2
A 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
B 640 28 0 8 20 168 296
592 28 0 8 16 156 288
620 28 0 8 16 168 292
Crematorium 3
A 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
B 68 12 12 16 12 16 56
68 8 12 12 8 16 52
68 8 8 16 8 16 56
Crematorium 4
A 39 40 41 42 43 - -
B 40 36 500 trace 16 - -
44 32 496 0 12 - -
44 36 496 0 12 - -
Crematorium 5
A 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
B 244 36 92 12 116 56 0
248 28 96 12 120 60 0
232 32 96 12 116 60 0
Finally samples 53 to 59 were taken from the same delousing building BW5a from which Leuchter had obtained his control samples. Samples 53 to 55 were taken from the dark-   blue stains on the outer side of the building wall, sample 56 was mortar taken from the outer side of the building wall, samples 57 and 58 were plaster taken from dark blue stains on the inner side of the building wall, and sample 59 was plaster taken from white walls inside the building.
Delousing Buildings BW5a
A 53 53a 54 55 56 57 58 59
B 24 224 36 736 4 840 348 28
20 248 28 740 0 792 324 28
24 228 32 640 0 840 348 28
The forensic team also conducted various other tests to study the absorptive behaviour of various materials. In the first test the scientists exposed fresh plaster, fresh mortar, new brick, and old brick, both in dry and wet forms, to a high concentration of hydrogen cyanide (2%) for 48 hours. The results of this test, which simulated the conditions that existed in a fumigation room, showed that the various materials absorbed the hydrogen cyanide with very different rates.
material Fresh plaster Fresh mortar New brick Old brick
condition dry wetted dry wetted dry wetted dry wetted
CN⁻ mg/kg 24 480 176 2700 4 52 20 0
In a second test, the team added carbon dioxide to the hydrogen cyanide, introducing the two gasses in a rate of 5 parts of CO2 to one part of HCN. This test simulated the conditions that existed in homicidal gas chambers.
[I]n their reasoning the revisionists did not take into consideration certain circumstances, namely, the simultaneous action of cyanides and carbon dioxide   on the chamber walls. In the air exhaled by man carbon dioxide constitutes 3.5% by volume. Breathing for 1 minute, he takes in and next exhales 15-20 dm3 of air, comprising on the average 950 cm3 CO2; consequently, 1000 people breathe out about 950 dm3 of carbon dioxide. And so it can be estimated that, if the victims stayed in the chamber for 5 minutes before they die, they exhaled 4.75 m3 of carbon dioxide during that period. This is at least 1% of the capacity, e.g. of the gas chamber of Crematorium 2 at Birkenau, the capacity of which was about 500 m3, whereas the concentration of hydrogen cyanide virtually did not exceed 0.1% by volume (death occurs soon at as low HCN concentrations as 0.03% by volume).820

After having been exposed to the CO2 and HCN mixture, the samples were aired for 48 hours in the open air at a temperature of about 10-15°C, and then subjected to analysis.
material Fresh plaster Old mortar Fresh mortar New brick Old brick
condition dry wet dry wet dry wet dry wet dry wet
CN⁻ µg/kg 5920 12800 1000 244 492 388 52 36 24 60
While in the tests that simulated the situation in the fumigation rooms the CN⁻ content was higher in the wetted materials, in the tests that simulated the condition in the homicidal gas chambers the results were reversed, that is that the CN⁻ content was lower in the wetted content. "It seems that here a tendency is revealed towards the competitive action of carbon dioxide, which dissolved in water," Markiewicz's report explained. And it added that "in this series of tests fresh plaster showed an exceptionally high affinity to hydrogen cyanide."821
The samples of both tests were analysed again one month later. In the samples that   had been exposed to hydrogen cyanide only, the average decrease was 56%, while in the samples that had been exposed to the combination of carbon dioxide and hydrogen cyanide, the loss was 73%. "In as many as four samples that loss ranged from 97% to 100%."822 This was an important result, as the negationists had claimed that conditions for the preservation of HCN in homicidal gas chambers should have been better than in fumigation gas chambers. In fact, it was opposite.
Finally Markiewicz's team tested the way water elutes cyanide ions. Taking two plaster samples of 0.5 grams each that had been fumigated with hydrogen cyanide, they flushed them with one litre of clean deionized water. The first sample showed a loss in concentration of HCN in µg/kg of 82.5% (160 vs. 28), the second of 90.7% (1200 vs. 112). This test is important as the remains of the gas chambers of crematoria 2 to 5 have been exposed to the elements since the end of the war, and "it can be estimated, on the basis of climatological records, that in these last 45 years or so they have been rinsed rather thoroughly by a column of water at least 35 m in height (!)."823
The conclusion of what one should call the Markiewicz Report was straightforward and, as far as the Leuchter Report was concerned, shattering.
The present study shows 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 vestigal 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. The cyanide compounds occur in the building materials only locally, in the places where the conditions arose for their formation and persistence for such a long time.
In his reasoning Leuchter claims that the vestigal amounts of cyanide combinations detected by him in the materials from the chamber ruins are residues left after fumigations carried out in the Camp, "once, long ago" (Item 14.004 of the Report). This is refuted by the negative results of the examination   of the control samples from living quarters, which are said to have been subjected to a single gassing, and the fact that in the period of fumigation of the Camp in connection with a typhoid epidemic in mid-1942 there were still no crematoria in the Birkenau camp. The first crematorium (Crematorium 2) was put to use as late as 15 March 1943 and the others several months later.824

Of course, at the time of the second Zündel trial the Markiewicz report did not exist. Yet at that time it was clear to the court, at least, that Leuchter's methodology and data simply did not meet the judicial demands of admissable evidence. While this impressed the jury and the judge, it did not impress hard-core Holocaust deniers and their allies, who hailed (and continue to hail825) the Leuchter Report as an important     breakthrough. A large part of the credit of having rescued the Leuchter Report from deserved oblivion must go to David Irving who, convinced by Leuchter's findings, publically converted to hard-core Holocaust denial in April 1988, and became the publisher of the English edition of the Leuchter Report a year later.

Notes

748. Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass," in The Annotated Alice, Marting Gardner ed. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970), 279.
749. Fred A. Leuchter, "The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why," The Journal of Historical Review. vol. 9 (1989), 133.
750. Letter Bill Armontrout to Barbara Kulaszka, January 13, 1988, Irving's Furtther Discovery.
751. Leuchter, "The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why," 134.
752. Ibid., 135.
753. [Fred Leuchter], The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, foreword by Dr. Robert Faurisson (Decatur Alabama: David Clark, n.d.), 7.
754. Ibid., 7.
755. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8955ff.
756. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9015ff.
757. [Leuchter], The Leuchter Report, 11.
758. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9230; Leuchter, "The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why," 136.
759. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9020.
760. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9021.
761. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9249f.
762. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8988f.
763. German army survey of Zasole, December 1939. Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 2/, file 2/1. See also plate 1 in Van Pelt and Dwork, Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present, between 320 and 321.
764. In an anonymous critique of the Leuchter Report, which Irving received in late fall or early winter of 1989, and which will be discussed in Chapter Ten, the author pointed out that Leuchter's point about the sewer was nonsensical. For the record, here is his argument. "A key point in the Leuchter analysis of the facility design is the presence in the chambers of a direct outlet to the sewer system. This, it is claimed, would permit the gas to access every part of the camp connected to the sewers leading to massive and indiscriminate death. This criticism is only valid for the 3200 ppm regime [Leuchter's erroneous assumption that, like the American gas chambers, the Auschwitz gas chambers had been operated with a very high concentration of hydrogen cyanide]. Leuchter's use of the 3200 ppm level makes him miss the point of that sewer access completely. Leuchter gives no indication as to whether there is flowing water down there. This is a factor of such key importance that its omission is a crushing blow against the validity of the whole report. / If it is a wet sewer (and rudimentary evidence available would suggest this is the case), the presence of constantly flowing water under a small aperture entrains air and causes suction from the area above the aperture down into the sewer. This technique is frequently used in laboratories to create vacuums for filtration and TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF NOXIOUS VAPOURS. The effect is to create a negative pressure gradient by which air is drawn from outside into the body of the chamber then down into the sewer. Gas cannot escape against this gradient. The airflow into the chamber prevents gas escaping from the chamber, eliminates the need for seals on doors and windows and to [...] reduce the exposure to toxic gas of anybody outside the chamber. [...] The effect of the sewer would also be to circulate air, ensuring the gas is well spread and also to continually draw fresh air in from outside, maintaining the gas concentration by evaporation from the Zyklon-B pellets. [...] On the basis of a 100 ppm gas concentration, that sewer outlet becomes a major feature in the design, rather than a fundamental weakness. Its presence removes the need for gaskets on doors and windows, the need for exhaust systems to remove the gas and the need to artificially circulate the air." Anonymous, "Critique of Forensic Examinations of Auschwitz by Leuchter, unpublished manuscript, 2f. Irving's further discovery. The final suggestion seems, somehow, far-fetched, yet the critique does make clear that Leuchter's interpretation of the sewer as a key piece of evidence that the morgue of crematorium 1 could not have operated as a gas chamber is without merit.
765. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9083.
766. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9085.
767. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9241f.
768. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Jean Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989), 483f.
769. Ibid., 1251.
770. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8981.
771. As quoted in Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess, "Those Were the Days": The Holocaust As Seen by the Perpetrators and Bystanders, transl. Deborah Burnstone (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1993), 252f.
772. Ibid., 255.
773. Ibid..
774. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Jean Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989), 483f.
775. Protocol testimony Michael Kula, 11 June 1945, added as Appendix 16 to: Cracow District Commission for the Investigation of German War Crimes, "Protocol on the Machinery of Mass Extermination of Humans in Birkenau," 26 November 1946, transl. Roman Sas-Zalaziocky, in Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 264, 393v (r & v)
776. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschamber, 483f.
777. Ibid., 494.
778. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9205f.
779. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8998.
780. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8999.
781. State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Record of Proceedings in the District Curt of Jerusalem, 5 vols. (Jerusalem: The Trust for the Publication of the Eichmann Trial, 1992), vol. 3, 1247.
782. Letter Bischoff to Topf, March 6, 1943, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, BW 30/ 25, 7.
783. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9255.
784. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9077.
785. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9253f.
786. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers, 483f.
787. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8973f.
788. Michael Lesy, The Forbidden Zone (New York: Anchor, 1989), 140.
789. [Leuchter], The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, 15.
790. Ibid., 15ff; tables V, VI and VIII.
791. Bunker 1 some 500 square feet, which leads a killing capacity of at least 250 people per day; Bunker 2 had some 650 square feet usable space, which leads to a capacity of 320 people per day. Bunker 1 was at least 6 months in operation, and Bunker 2 at least 14 months, which adds another 180,000 to the total killing capacity of the camp. If also the gas chamber of crematorium 1 is added, we come to a conservative estimate of a killing capacity in Auschwitz of 3.5 million people over the time period the crematoria and bunkers were in operation.
792. [Leuchter], The Leuchter Report, 12f.
793. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8975ff.
794. [Leuchter], The Leuchter Report, 12f.
795. Ibid., Table VIII.
796. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, revised and definitive edition, 3 vols. (New York and London: Holmes & Meier, 1985), vol. 3, 978.
797. Letter Jahrling to Kammler, 28 June 1943, Osobyi Moscow, ms 502/1--314; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41. The original German of the main text of the letter reads as follows: "Melde die Ferigstellung des Krematoriums III mit dem 26.6.1943. Mithin sind samtliche befohlenen Krematorien fertiggestellt. / Leistung der nunmehr vorhandenen Krematorien bei einer 24 Stündigen Arbeitszeit: / 1.) altes Krematorium I--3 x 3 Muffelöfen--340 Personen / 2.) neues Krematorium i.K.G.L.II--5 x 3 Muffelöfen--1440 Personen / 3.) neues Krematorium III--5 x 3 Muffelöfen--1440 Personen / 4.) neues Krematorium IV--8 Muffelöfen--768 Personen / 5.) neues Krematorium V--8 Muffelöfen--768 Personen / Inges. bei 24 ständiger Arbeitszeit 4756 Personen."
798. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9010.
799. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschamber, 483.
800. Chamotte is fireclay or firebrick.
801. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschamber, 489.
802. Ibid.
803. Ibid.
804. Höss, "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Concentration Camp Auschwitz," in Höss, Death Dealer, 36.
805. Ibid., 45.
806. Jean-Claude Pressac discovered the note in 1995 in dossier 241 of the Topf company archive located in the EMS (Erfurter Malzerei und Speicherbau) factory at 7-9 Sorbenweg in Erfurt.. While much lower than the official daily capacity of 4,756 corpses per day, the crematoria would still have been able to easily incinerate the corpses of the 1.1 million people who were killed in Auschwitz. Crematorium I, which was in operation for 24 months (not all of that time with three ovens, however), could have incinerated smore than 100,000 corpses. Crematoria 2 and 3, operating for 19 and 18 months, could have incinerated 456,000 and 432,000 corpses, and crematoria 4 and 5, operating for 17 and 18 months, could have incinerated 204,000 and 216,000 corpses. Thus if Prüfer's conservative estimate was right, and if we disregard the use of incineration pyres, the total incineration capacity of the crematoria over the period of their existence was more than 1.4 million corpses.
807. J.A. Topf & Söhne Erfurt, Patent Application, "Kontinuierliche arbeitender LeichenVerbrennungsofen für Massenbetrieb," Archive Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, BW 30/44, 1f.
808. Report Klaus and Christel Kunz, 25 April 1985, on patent application T 58240 Kl. 24 for a "Kontinuierliche arbeitender Leichen-Verbrennungsofen für Massenbetrieb," Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/44.
809. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9005f.
810. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8998.
811. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9203f.
812. [Leuchter], The Leuchter Report, 14; See also Leuchter, "The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why," 139.
813. Statement by Dr. Jim Roth, the chemist who analyzed Leuchter's samples in 1988, in Errol Morris's film "Dr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr."
814. Ibid.
815. Ibid.
816. Letter Jan Markiewicz to Mark Weber, June 7, 1991, as printed in "An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz 'Gas Chambers': Krakow Forensic Institute Bolsters Leuchter's Findings," The Journal of Historical Review, vol 11 (Summer 1991), 215.
817. Ibid., 216.
818. J. Epstein, "Estimation of Microquantities of Cyanide," Analytical Chemistry, vol. 19 (1947), 272.
819. Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubala, Jerzy Labedz, "A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps," Z Zagadnien Nauk Sadowych / Problems of Forensic Science, vol. 30 (1994), 19ff.
820. Ibid., 25f.
821. Ibid., 25.
822. Ibid.
823. Ibid., 18.
824. Ibid., 27.
825. As recently as May 3, 1999, the Palestinian newspaper Al-manar published an article entitled "The Legend and the Truth: An American Expert Discusses the Details." For the record some excerpts. "Nobody in the West dares to stand up, when the subject is the fictitious Nazi Holocaust against the Jews of Europe. Since the end of WWII, the victors have imposed their hegemony over history, and forged the legend of the Holocaust to extort the entire world, using the face of the ugly Nazi. They planted a thorn in the side of defeated Germany to extort it forever. Whenever the truth reached the tongues of western intellectuals, the democratic regimes abandoned their liberalism and treated these scientists of History the same way the Catholic Church treated the Italian scientist Galileo when he tried to prove the world is round. His fate was to be executed. [In fact, he was not condemned to death. Galileo was placed under house-arrest.] Because history does not acknowledge legends, no matter what lies they include. the Holocaust legend faced the mighty winds of truth that tore it up by its feeble roots. Dozens of intellectuals and politicians in the West. refuted the false claims of this legend. ending with the renown French intellectual Roger Garaudi. who exposed the legends that served as the foundations of the state of Israel, and first and foremost, the legend of the Holocaust. Despite the importance of all these. efforts, the knockout. came from an American expert, a specialist in building gas chambers in American jails. This expert, Fred Leuchter, prepared a scientific field report about the Nazi execution camps. [proving] that even if all of the Nazi camps had been operating at full capacity, the total number of victims would not have exceeded a hundred thousand, and certainly could not have reached the one million mark. Leuchter's report was prepared in 1988 to save an American intellectual from imprisonment for challenging this mendacious legend. French intellectual Roger Garaudi. referred to this report in his book that enraged international Zionism and revealed the ugly face of western democracies. The Al-Ahram Al-Arabi newspaper [an Egyptian weekly] published this scientific report which serves as an unprecedented historical document and a death sentence to the bogus execution legends. Leutcher's report. uses forensic evidence to refute the superstition of gas chambers for Jews in the Nazi era. The story of this report begins in January 1988, when internationally renowned lawyer [sic!] Dr. Robert Faurisson, was in Toronto, Canada, assisting in the defense of Ernst Zuendel. A Canadian citizen of German origin, Mr. Zuendel was accused of distributing fake information after publishing a book titled Were Six Million Really Killed? Zuendel discussed the widespread claim that the Nazis killed six million Jews during WWII, in gas chambers with, Hydrogen Cyanide the "Zyklon B Gas." Faurisson says, "I started talking to Fred Leutcher, an expert in the design of execution devices... He amazed me with the proficiency of his answers and his skill in explaining all the details of the process of executing by gas. He explained the extreme danger of using Hydrogen Cyanide in executions. This gas was first used in executions in the US in 1942, but there were still many problems in designing gas chambers. in 1988, including problems of gas leakage. I noticed Leutcher did not doubt the traditional claim regarding the Jewish Holocaust." Faurisson added: "Zuendel decided to ask Leutcher to prepare a scientific perspective regarding the claims of gas chambers in Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek." Leuchter accepted the assignment. On February 25, 1988, Fred Leuchter and his wife Caroline, along with the draftsman Howard Miller, cinematographer Jurgen Neumann, and Polish interpreter Theodor Rudolph flew to Poland and returned eight days later. On his return, Leuchter began writing a report that consisted of 192 pages, including appendices. His conclusions were clear: there is strong evidence that there were no gas chambers for executions in Auschwitz, Birkenau or Majdanek. The places that were claimed to be execution chambers could not have been used back then, cannot be used in the present, and cannot even conceivably be used as chambers for executions by gas." Faurisson says that on April 20-21, 1988, Fred Leuchter took the witness stand at the Toronto court and began by answering the questions of the defense....Afterwards, the prosecutor John Pearson, questioned Leuchter. Another prosecutor assisted him and the two of them consulted constantly with Jewish advisors sitting behind them....All present, regardless of their personal view on the subject, knew [that] they were participating in a historic event--the end of the legend of gas chambers. Faurisson says: "I think I was the first to point out that any research of the German gas chambers using Zyklon B, should start with the study of American gas chambers. The theory of executions can only be proven true or false by investigating the claim that Auschwitz was a death-factory. The investigations held by the 'Correction Movement' proved those places claimed to have been gas chambers, could not have been used for that purpose....Those rooms. claimed to be gas chambers, were in reality, warehouses for corpses.... It was imperative to find an expert of American gas chambers. Fred Leuchter was that expert. He. conducted the investigation, wrote the report, and signed it in Canadian court. When I asked him if he was afraid of dangerous consequences, he answered: "the truth is the truth." After reading his report, the British historian David Irving, said that this document would become an obligatory source for any historian writing about WWII." Made available in English translation by the Washington-based Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) on its website www.memri.org.
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