The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Hoss said in his confession that his men would smoke cigarettes as they pulled the dead Jews out of the gas chambers ten minutes after gassing. Isn't Zyklon-B explosive?

32. Hoss said in his confession that his men would smoke cigarettes as they pulled the dead Jews out of the gas chambers ten minutes after gassing. Isn't Zyklon-B explosive?

The IHR says:

Highly so. The Hoss confession is obviously false.

Nizkor replies:

Now this is really absolute nonsense.

The minimal concentration causing explosion is 56,000 parts per million. A concentration of 300 parts per million kills humans within a few minutes. As a reference, one can look at "The Merck Index" and the "CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics," or consult any manual dealing with toxicity and flammability of chemicals. There would have been no real danger of explosion even if there were a bonfire burning in the gas chamber while the execution was taking place.

In fact, the Nazis' own product literature on Zyklon-B, Nuremberg document NI-9912, points this out:

Danger of explosion: 75 grams of HCN in 1 cubic meter of air. Normal application approx. 8-10 grams per cubic meter, therefore not explosive.

(By the way, the 8-10 grams per cubic meter is the concentration needed for exterminating lice and other insects, not human beings. Mammals require a much lower concentration and much shorter exposure time.)

A transcription of the NI-9912 document is available on Bradley Smith's web site, incidentally, including the above quotation. So the "revisionists" obviously know it exists. They just choose to ignore it. Mr. Smith calls the document "inconvenient" -- that it may be...but to whom?

In any case, would the gas be explosive ten minutes into the ventilation process, after enough of it had been swept away to render the room nontoxic? Not a chance. If the Sonderkommando were smoking cigarettes, they were obviously not wearing gas masks, so they would be dead anyway unless the concentration were far below 100 parts per million!

Why on earth does the IHR even bother to claim that explosion was a possibility? If there were anywhere near enough HCN to cause an explosion, any smoker would be long-dead from the poison anyway!

The facts are that the IHR has ignored basic reference works, failed to notice the Nazis' own dismissal of this point, and jettisoned common sense. This says a great deal about their level of scholarship.

And, for a brief digression...

It seems to say something about their honesty as well. Though they ignore NI-9912 here, where it is inconvient, they actually use it in other IHR publications! The so-called Lueftl Report, available from Greg Raven's web site, lifts figures from this document without a citation, when it says:

The evaporation of Zyklon B requires as many as 32 hours or as few as six hours, depending on whether the ambient temperature ranges from five to 30 degrees Celsius.

So they quote NI-9912 when it suits their purposes, and ignore it when it doesn't. That pretty much sums up Holocaust "revisionism."

And as long as we're on the topic, we might as well mention: that statement, even just in and of itself, is blatant academic dishonesty. NI-9912 does mention the figures of 6 to 32 hours, depending on temperature. However, those numbers are how long it takes the insects to die, and they have nothing to do with the evaporation time of Zyklon-B. Here is the original text of the captured Nazi document:

Time needed to take effect: 16 hours, unless there are special circumstances such a closed-in type of building, which requires less time. If the weather is warm it is possible to reduce this to a minimum of 6 hours. The period is to be extended to at least 32 hours if the temperature is below 5 degrees Centigrade.

The strength and time as above are to be applied in the case of: bugs, lice, fleas, etc., with eggs, larvae and chrysalises.

Again, the above is available on Bradley Smith's web site and is called "inconvenient" -- again, inconvenient to whom?

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