The 'Problem of the Gas Chambers'by Robert Faurisson
No one, not even those individuals who regard the Third Reich with nostalgia, denies the existence of concentration camps under Hitler. Everyone also recognizes that certain camps were equipped with crematory ovens: instead of being buried, the corpses were reduced to ashes. The repeated occurrence of epidemics made cremation necessary, especially for those who had died of typhus (see the photos of mass graves at Belsen et cetera). What is disputed by numerous French, British, American, and German authors is the existence of "extermination camps." This expression is used by historiographers to refer to those camps that were supposed to have been equipped with "gas chambers." Allegedly, these "gas chambers" were different from American gas chambers in that they were used to kill hundreds of men, women, and children at a time. Because the victims were chosen because of their race or religion, this is referred to as "genocide." The poison employed in this "genocide" is said to have been Zyklon B (a pesticide based upon prussic or hydrocyanic acid).
Those who contest the "genocide" claim and the existence of the "gas chambers" are called Revisionists. Their argument runs approximately as follows:
Today however, the silence is about to be broken about those men who have dared to write responsibly that Hitler's "gas chambers" (including those of Auschwitz and Majdanek) are only a historical lie. That is a great advance.
But what insults and distortions an Exterminationist historian such as Georges Wellers allowed himself when, more than ten years after Paul Rassinier's death, he decided to expose the minutest part of the arguments of this ex-inmate of a concentration camp who had had the courage to reveal the lie of the "gas chambers" in his writings!
The best way in which a historian may inform himself regarding the actual claims of the disciples of Paul Rassinier is to refer to the work of American professor Dr. Arthur R. Butz entitled The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. 2
For my part, I take the liberty of making only a few observations specifically for serious research-oriented historians.
I call their attention to a paradox. Although the "gas chambers" are, in the view of the official historians, absolutely central to a picture of the Nazi concentration camp system (and furthermore, as proof for the totally perverse and devilish character of the German concentration camps in comparison to all previous and more recent concentration camps it ought to be meticulously shown how the Nazis proceeded to invent, construct, and operate these fearsome human slaughterhouses), one must be thoroughly astonished that in the impressive bibliography of the concentration camp literature there is not a single book, not a single brochure, not a single article, on the "gas chambers" themselves. One must not be misled by some very promising titles; rather one must ascertain the contents of these writings for oneself. I regard as "official historical writing" those publications which are written about the concentration camps by institutions or foundations that are partly or wholly financed from public funds, such as, for example, in France, the Comité d'Histoire de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale (Committee for the History of the Second World War) and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaire (Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center), and in Germany (Munich), the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History).
One must wait until page 541 of the thesis by Olga Wormser-Migot on the system of Nazi concentration camps, before one finds a passage about the "gas chambers." However, for the reader there are still three other surprises:
At this point, the reader probably wants to know why an analysis that concludes that "gas chambers" did not exist in certain camps is suddenly discontinued as soon as, for example, Auschwitz is discussed. Why, on one hand, is the critical spirit awakened, and then, on the other hand, is it allowed to collapse into lethargy? After all, as far as the "gas chamber" of Ravensbrück is concerned, we have many points of "evidence" and "undeniable eyewitness accounts," beginning with repeated and extensive eyewitness accounts by Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier or Germaine Tillion.
It gets even better. Several years after the war, before both British and French tribunals, the camp officials of Ravensbrück (Suhren, Schwarzhuber and Treite) repeatedly confessed to the existence of a "gas chamber" in their camp. They even vaguely described its operation. Eventually, those who did not commit suicide were executed because of this alleged "gas chamber." The same "confessions" were given prior to their deaths by Ziereis for Mauthausen (Austria) and by Kramer for Struthof-Natzweiler (Alsace).
Today, one can see the alleged "gas chamber" of Struthof-Natzweiler and in the same place one can also read the unbelievable "confession" of Kramer. This "gas chamber," which is designated as an "historical monument," is a complete fraud. The slightest amount of critical spirit will be sufficient to convince oneself that a gassing in this small room, without any sealing whatsoever, would have been a catastrophe for the executioner as well as for the people in the vicinity. In order to make this "gas chamber" (which is guaranteed to be "in its original condition") believable, someone has gone so for as to clumsily knock a hole into the thin wall with a chisel, and thereby break four tiles. The hole was so arranged that Josef Kramer would have dumped through it the mysterious "salts" (about which he could give no further details and which, when mixed with a little water, killed within one minute!). How could salts and water make such a gas? How could Kramer have prevented the gas from coming back out the hole? How could he see his victims from a hole which would have let him see no more than half the room? How did he ventilate the room before opening the rudimentary door, made from rough-cut lumber? Perhaps one must ask the civil engineering firm in Saint-Michel sur-Meurthe (Vosges), which after the war altered the place which today is presented to visitors "in its original condition"?
Even long after the war, prelates, university professors, and some ordinary citizens gave eyewitness descriptions regarding the terrible reality of the "gas chambers" of Buchenwald and Dachau. With regard to Buchenwald, the "gas chamber" gradually disappeared from the minds of the people who had previously maintained that there was one in this camp.
With regard to Dachau, the situation is different. After it had been firmly established for example by His Eminence Bishop Piguet, the bishop of Clermont-Ferrand that the "gas chamber" had been especially useful in gassing Polish priests,3 eventually the following official explanation came to pass:
The little room, which visitors are told is a "gas chamber," is in reality completely harmless and, while all sorts of construction plans are available for "Baracke X" (the crematorium and vicinity), one cannot determine upon what basis or technical explanation one can claim that this structure is an "unfinished gas chamber."
No official historical institute has done more than the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich to make the myth of the "gas chambers" believable. Since 1972 its director has been Dr. Martin Broszat. As a member of this Institute since 1955, Dr. Broszat became famous as a result of his (partial!) publication in 1958 of the confessions that Rudolf Höss (former Commandant of Auschwitz) is supposed to have written in a communist prison before he was hanged. However, on 19 August 1960, this historian had to tell his amazed countrymen that there had never been mass gassings in the entire Old Reich (Germany's 1937 frontiers), but rather, only in a small number of selected places, especially in occupied Poland, including Auschwitz and Birkenau but not Majdanek. This startling news was given in a simple letter to the editor which was published in the weekly magazine Die Zeit (19 August 1960, page 16). The title was quite misleading and restrictive: Keine Vergasung in Dachau (No Gassing at Dachau) instead of Keine Massenvergasung im Altreich (No Mass Gassing in the Old Reich).4 In order to support this contention, Dr. Broszat provided not the slightest piece of evidence. Today , eighteen years after his letter, neither he nor any of his colleagues has provided the slightest explanation for this affirmation. It would be highly interesting to learn:
As if by some tacit agreement, not a single recognized historian has raised these questions. How often in the "history of history" has one relied upon the claims of a single historian? 5
German Camps in Occupied Poland
Let us now examine the "gas chambers" in Poland.
For proof that the "gas chambers" in Belzec or Treblinka really existed, one is asked to rely essentially upon the statement of Kurt Gerstein. This document from a member of the SS, who allegedly committed suicide in 1945 in the prison of Cherche-Midi in Paris, abounds with so many absurdities that in the eyes of historians it has for a long time already been thoroughly discredited.6 Furthermore, this statement has never been made public, not even in the documents of the Nuremberg tribunal, except in an unusable form (with truncations, falsifications, and rewritings). The actual document has never been available with its absurd appendices (French "draft" or the "supplements" in German).
Regarding Majdanek, a visit to the actual site is absolutely necessary. It is even more convincing than a visit to Struthof-Natzweiler, if that is possible. Over this question I will publish additional information.
With regard to Auschwitz and Birkenau, one must rely essentially on the "Memoirs" 7 of Rudolf Höss, which were prepared under the supervision of his Polish captors. At the actual site, one can only find a "reconstructed" room (Auschwitz I) and ruins (Auschwitz II or Birkenau).
An execution with gas has nothing to do with a suicidal or accidental suffocation. In the case of an execution, the executioner and his team must not be exposed to the slightest danger. For their executions, the Americans employ hydrocyanic acid in a sophisticated way, and that only in a small, hermetically-sealed chamber. Afterwards, the gas is exhausted from the chamber and neutralized.
For this reason, one must ask how, for example in the case of Auschwitz II or Birkenau, one could bring 2,000 people into a room measuring 210 square meters in area, and then in this highly crowded situation throw in the very strong pesticide Zyklon B, and then immediately after the deaths of the victims let a work crew without any gas masks enter the room in order to take out the bodies which had been thoroughly saturated with cyanide.
Two documents8 from the German industrial archives which were registered by the Americans at Nuremberg tell us that the Zyklon B had a strong tendency to adhere to surfaces and could not be removed from an ordinary room with a strong ventilator, but only by natural aeration for almost 24 hours. Additional documents may be found only at the site in the Auschwitz Museum archives, which were never described elsewhere, but which show that this room of 210 square meters, which is today in a dilapidated condition, was only a very simple mortuary, which (in order to protect it against heat) had been located underground, and which was provided with only a single door which served as both an entrance and an exit. 9
Concerning the crematoria of Auschwitz, there is just as there is generally for the entire camp an overabundance of documents and invoices down to the last penny. However, concerning the "gas chambers" there is nothing: no contract for construction, not even a study, nor an order for materials, nor a plan, nor an invoice, nor even a photograph. In a hundred war crimes trials, nothing of the sort was ever produced.
"I was in Auschwitz and I can assure you that there was no 'gas chamber' there." Only seldom does one hear defense witnesses with enough courage to pronounce this statement. They are persecuted in the courts. 10 Still today, everyone in Germany takes the risk that, if they give an eyewitness account in favor of Thies Christophersen (who wrote The Auschwitz Lie), they will be punished for '"defaming the memory of the deceased." 11
Immediately after the war, the Germans, the International Red Cross and the Vatican (which was otherwise so expert as to whatever happened in Poland), as well as many others, declared in an embarrassed tone: "The 'gas chambers' we knew nothing about them!" Yes but I would put the question this way: "Can one know about things which did not even happen?"
There was not a single "gas chamber" in even one of the German concentration camps; that is the truth. The nonexistence of "gas chambers" should be regarded as welcome news; to hide this news in the future would be an injustice. Just as there is no attack upon a religion if one portrays "Fatima" as a fraud, the announcement that the "gas chambers" are an historical lie is no attack upon concentration camp survivors. One is merely doing one's duty being truthful.
After 30 years of research, revisionist authors have reached the following conclusions:
Two publications and an official intervention by the author: