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From oneb!!!!!!!uunet!!!not-for-mail Mon Sep 27 18:16:50 PDT 1993
Article: 4152 of alt.revisionism
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Path: oneb!!!!!!!uunet!!!not-for-mail
From: (Dan Gannon)
Newsgroups: soc.history,alt.censorship,alt.activism,alt.revisionism,alt.discrimination,alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.correct,alt.journalism.criticism,talk.politics.misc,talk.politics.mideast
Subject: Prof. Faurisson Responds to J.-C. Pressac's Ludicrous Book [Part 1]
Date: 26 Sep 1993 16:32:56 -0700
Organization: TECHbooks - Public Access
Lines: 1820
Message-ID: <2858r8$>
Summary: Another response to Pressac's "authoritative" "Holocaust" claims.

>From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 11, Number 1 (Spring 1991):


   Improvised Gas Chambers & Casual Gassings at Auschwitz & Birkenau,
                   According to J.-C. Pressac (1989)

                                 Part I
                            ROBERT FAURISSON
                      Translated by T. J. O'Keefe

Jean-Claude Pressac's massive study of the homicidal gas chambers of
Auschwitz and Birkenau appeared two years ago.  Had it actually presented
the slightest proof for the existence of the alleged gas chambers, media
throughout the entire world would have resounded with the news.  But
instead of an uproar, there has been silence.  The explanation for this
silence lies in the fact that the author, far from presenting the expected
proof, has unintentionally proved that the Revisionists were correct to
conclude from their own researches that the gas chambers were only
mythical.  As will be seen, the Pressac book is a calamity for the
Exterminationists, a windfall for the Revisionists.

     Since 1978, there have been innumerable books, documents, and films
supposed to prove, once and for all, the reality of the Hitlerian gas
chambers.  For their part, the professors and researchers, who made the
rounds from conferences on the "Holocaust" to colloquia on the "Shoah,"
promised us that, on this subject, we were about to hear the last word.
But when all was said and done, nothing surfaced in fulfillment of the
expectations which had been created.  Nothing.  Ever.

     Nevertheless, the appearance of these books, documents, and films as
well as the staging of the conferences and colloquia was usually
accompanied by an ephemeral media brouhaha or the appearance of
intellectual ferment, as if something new had actually been produced.  The
fever fell rapidly, but for some days at least the illusion of an event had
been created.

     Nothing of the sort with Pressac's book.  This time the silence was
shattering.  A single journalist remarked upon the book:  Richard
Bernstein, whose article appeared in the _New York Times_ of December 18,
1989 (section C, p. 11, 14).  The title of this article and the photograph
taken from Pressac to illustrate it are indicative of the reporter's
confusion.  The headline reads:  "A New Book Is Said to Refute Revisionist
View of Holocaust."

     The photograph shows a wooden door with a metal frame and, in the
center, a peephole; moreover, one sees chalked on the door German and
Russian words.  The _Times_ caption reads:

          A photograph of a gas chamber door from the book "Auschwitz:
     Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers."  A warning written on
     the door after the camp's liberation reads "Attention!  Danger!  No

     The journalist is honest enough to stress that the writing on the door
stems from after the war but doesn't reveal to the reader that this
photograph is presented by Pressac himself in the chapter on gas
chambers... for DISINFECTION (p. 50).  Truth to tell, the unfortunate
journalist could have found none better:  among the hundreds of photographs
and documents in this tedious tome, it is impossible to find A SINGLE ONE
which could be decently presented as proof of the existence of a single gas

     In a different edition of the _New York Times_ published on the same
date, an identical article (Section B, p. 1, 4) appeared under a different
title:  "Auschwitz:  A Doubter Verifies the Horror."

     This time, Bernstein chose a photograph of a blueprint of a
crematorium and a photograph of prisoners carrying their shoes after
showering.  The first photograph comes from page 141 of the book, on which
the blueprint is said to concern a crematorium without a homicidal gas
chamber.  The second photograph is taken from page 80, where the naked men
are said to be prisoners who, with their shoes in hand, are leaving the
shower room for the "drying room; clean side," both rooms in a large
installation for showering and disinfection.

     The content of this article would bear reproduction in fun for its
author's circumspection regarding Pressac.  And, as we've seen, none of the
three photographs supports the thesis of an extermination in gas chambers.

     In France there has been brief mention, here and there, of the Pressac
book, with the air of a drowning man's last grasp at a straw.  In this
regard, the case of Pierre Vidal-Naquet is heart-rending.  This professor
has, in recent years, championed two authors whom he counted on to answer
the Revisionists:  Arno Mayer and Jean-Claude Pressac or, as he described
them, an American Jewish historian "teaching at the very elitist Princeton
University" and a Frenchman, "suburban pharmacist, trained in and
practicing chemistry" (Arno Mayer, _La "Solution finale" dans l'histoire_,
Preface by Pierre Vidal-Naquet, La Decouverte, 1990, p. viii).  His
colleague and friend Arno Mayer has just done him a nasty turn by writing:

          Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and
     unreliable.  (English original text:  _Why Did the Heavens Not
     Darken?:  The "Final Solution" in History_, New York, Pantheon, 1988,
     p. 362).

Which led Pierre Vidal-Naquet to write:

          Nobody at all, from now on--I mean after Jean-Claude
     Pressac's book--will be able any longer to speak, regarding the
     gas chambers of Auschwitz, like Mayer of "rare and unreliable"
     sources.  (French edition, p. ix)

     But what Vidal-Naquet prefers to ignore is that Pressac, too, has
unintentionally made a fool of him (see below, page 43, note 2).  [Second
paragraph of the section entitled:  The "Circus Act" of Krema IV and V]

     Neither Arno Mayer nor Jean-Claude Pressac has succeeded in
discovering the slightest proof of the existence of homicidal gas chambers
at Auschwitz or at Birkenau.

            An Author and a Book That Are Concealed from Us

     So, J.C. Pressac is a pharmacist.  He practices in the Parisian
suburbs, at La Ville de Bois (Essonne).  Around 1979-1980, he first offered
his services to the Revisionists, who ended up in dismissing him; about
1981-1982, he besieged Georges Wellers, director of _Le Monde Juif_, who
finally sent him on his way; then he presented his services to the
Klarsfelds, who still use him today, but in an odd manner.  Serge and Beate
Klarsfeld have not published his book in its original French version, but
in an English translation in America.  It is unobtainable from the
indicated address:  The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 515 Madison Avenue, New
York, NY 10002.  One might say that this odd work has been placed under
lock and key, in a few tabernacles, and is accessible only to a handful of
the elect.  In January 1990 I was able to obtain a copy by chance.

     In October 1990, during my trip to Washington, I visited those two
sanctuaries of international research, the Library of Congress and the
National Archive and, out of simple curiosity, asked to see the book.
Impossible:  it was, to be sure, listed in the general catalogue, but oddly
absent from the shelves, with no one able to explain its absence.

     When Pressac, who has a burning desire to speak on the radio and at
conferences, makes an appearance, one has the feeling that his handlers are
attempting either to cut him short or to keep him altogether silent.  Thus
he was recently forbidden to speak at an anti-Revisionist colloquium
organized at Lyon by the Union of Jewish Students of France and the Council
of Representatives of Jewish Institutions of France; a journalist wrote:
"[J. C. Pressac], who was present, could not even present his work
yesterday, and he took it badly" (_Lyon Matin_, April 24, 1990, p. 7).

     His friends have good reasons for confining him to a minor role; they
know that, as soon as Pressac opens his mouth, they must fear the worst for
their own cause:  the whole world could then become aware that the
unfortunate pharmacist suffers grave difficulties in expressing himself,
that he advocates a horribly confused thesis and that he takes a real joy
in making blunders.

                    A Windfall for the Revisionists

     I will consider Pressac's book at some length for the following

     1)  The work is absurd to the point of zaniness and on that ground
constitutes a historical and literary curiosity which the historian has no
right to ignore; the author's mental fragility, combined with his taste for
cooking his data, for padding his figures, for strewing sand in his
critics' eyes and for making assertions without evidence provides a treat
in itself for the connoisseur of eccentricity;

     2)  The thesis defended by Pressac illustrates the state of
decomposition into which the theory of the extermination of the Jews has
fallen; according to our pharmacist, one can no longer maintain, as did the
judges at Nuremberg and the authorities at the Auschwitz State Museum, that
the Germans deliberately built vast gas chambers, veritable factories for
gassing at Auschwitz, which functioned impeccably for years; for Pressac,
the Germans tinkered with innocent rooms to transform them, for better or
worse, into homicidal gas chambers (in the case of two large crematoria)
and carried out improvised and episodic gassings (in the case of two other
crematoria); in short, to use expressions I've heard many times from the
mouth of our subject, at Auschwitz and at Birkenau there was a good deal of
"improvisation" and "casual gassing":  these words sum up Pressac's book in
its entirety;

     3)  This voluminous compilation is like a mountain which gave birth to
a mouse, and the mouse is Revisionist; indeed, the little of substance
which one draws from reading Pressac fully confirms that the Revisionists
were--and are--right;

     4)  For the first time, an Exterminationist agrees, apparently at
least, to a debate with Revisionists on terrain dear to them:  that of
scientific and technical argumentation; the opportunity to demonstrate the
impotence of the Exterminationists on this terrain as well is too good to
be missed.

                           A Deceptive Title

     Pressac has chosen a deceptive title for his book.  He devotes not a
single chapter to homicidal gas chambers and even less to the "technique"
or to the "operation" of such chambers.  He never stops asserting that
these chambers existed, but nowhere does he demonstrate this.  Often I've
done the following:  opening the book to a half-dozen different pages, I've
invited people to confirm that each time, without exception, either there's
no question of homicidal gas chambers, or the QUESTION OF THE HOMICIDAL GAS
the author himself, it's a matter not of "proof' but of "clues" and
"traces" of the gas chambers.  Chapters are allotted to Zyklon B, to
delousing installations, to the Zentral Sauna (a large complex of showers
and disinfection equipment located at Birkenau), to crematoria, to
testimonies, to the Revisionists, to the town of Auschwitz and to the
private life of J.C. Pressac.  There are treatments in detail, invariably
confused, of faucets, of plumbing, of ventilation, of stairs, of masonry,
of heating, and even fairly intimate personal revelations, all in the worst
disorder and in a style never anything but baffling.  On the gas chambers
described as HOMICIDAL, however, one finds NOT A SINGLE CHAPTER NOR EVEN SO
MUCH AS A SINGLE AUTONOMOUS TREATMENT which can be detached for a second
from the whole for study on its own.

     Pressac wishes to deceive us utterly; or more specifically, to mistake
showers, disinfection gas chambers, and morgues for homicidal gas chambers.

                          Scribbler's Methods:
          Disinfection Gas Chambers or Homicidal Gas Chambers?

     Pressac in no way respects his book's plan.  The disorder is general.
The book swarms with needless repetitions.  The technical discussions are
disjointed.  The book's title justified one in expecting a technical
treatment, thoroughly documented, of the "murder weapon."

     Since, according to the author, at Auschwitz and at Birkenau there was
a considerable number of disinfection gas chambers (p. 550) and because
such chambers could not, for obvious physical reasons, be used for killing
people, how is a homicidal gas chamber to be distinguished from a
disinfection gas chamber?

     Since, according to the author, in one document (p. 28) the words
GASKAMMER (gas chamber), GASTUR or GASDICHTE TUR (gas-tight door), RAHMEN
(frame), SPION (peephole) are all employed for a disinfection gassing, how
are the words GASDICHTE TUR alone suddenly able, in another document, to
supply proof of a homicidal gassing?

     Doesn't one risk, at every moment, believing he's discovered a
homicidal gas chamber where, in reality, the German document speaks only of
a disinfection gas chamber?

     Left with no criterion, without the least direction, we are condemned,
from the opening pages of this utterly disorganized book, to doubt, to
uncertainty, to the worst errors, and all that while wandering through a
maze of heterogeneous reflections by the author.

     I awaited with curiosity Pressac's response to these elementary
questions.  Not merely did he fail to give us answers, but he confessed his
own embarrassment and, as we shall see, he devised a pitiful technical
explanation to extract himself from the mess.  Here is what he has written:

          Since the homicidal and delousing gas chambers using Zyclon-B
     [sic] had been installed and equipped according to the same principle,
     they had identical gas-tight doors fabricated in the same workshops
     [at Auschwitz].  Confusion [...] was inevitable, since at this time it
     was not known how to distinguish between the two types of gas chamber.
     [...]. The only difference is in the gas-tight doors:  there is a
     hemispherical grid protecting the peephole on the interior of the
     doors of homicidal gas chambers.

     The author returns to this subject on page 49 and above all on page
50, as if there he had a technical proof, a material proof of the existence
of the famous homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.  This apparent proof is
based on two photographs of poor quality.  On the left is the exterior of a
gas-tight door with a peephole and, on the right, the interior side of this
same door with a peephole protected by a hemispherical grid.  It is this
grid which makes the difference between the door of a homicidal gas chamber
and the door of a disinfection gas chamber:  it protects the peephole;
thanks to it, the victims could not break the glass through which the SS
were watching them!  On page 50, Pressac is not so affirmative; he writes
that this protective grid "makes it reasonable to conclude a homicidal
use."  But, nearly 200 pages later, he reproduces the two photos again, but
with a different caption; this time, more boldly, he states plainly that it
concerns (indisputably) "a gas-tight door from a homicidal gas chamber (as
can be seen by the heavy hemispherical grill protecting the inspection
peephole on the inside)" (p. 232).  There one sees a characteristic example
of Pressac's inability to put his thoughts in order, of his endless
repetitions, of his mania for passing from hypothetical statement to pure
affirmation on the same subject.  The reader's confusion grows when,
another couple of hundred pages further, he discovers a photograph of a
wooden door with the following caption:

          An almost intact gas-tight door found in the ruins of the western
     part of Krematorium V [...].  THIS DOOR HAS NO PEEPHOLE [emphasis in
     the original] even though it was used for homicidal gassings (p. 425).

     But how does Pressac know that this door was used [sic] for such

     The Pressacian confusion probably reaches its height when, at the end
of the book, the photograph of a small brick building at Stutthof-Danzig is
presented to us in these terms:

          [...]  This chamber, originally used for delousing effects, was
     later used as a homicidal gassing chamber.  This mixed usage is an
     extreme example of the confusion created over a period of thirty years
     and more by the difficulty of distinguishing between, or the
     deliberate refusal to distinguish between, disinfection and homicidal
     gas chambers (p. 541).

     In the end the reader is unable to understand what, for Pressac,
constitutes the physical characteristics of a homicidal gas chamber at
Auschwitz, or of even a mere gas chamber door at the camp.  It is the
author who, according to his whim, decides to class as homicidal this
chamber or that door, which in fact could have been entirely innocent.

     But, to return to the grill which so preoccupies him, our pharmacist
ought to have consulted an expert in disinfection gas chambers and asked
him, for example, the following question:  didn't the grill simply protect
either the extremity of a device to measure the temperature of the chamber,
or a cylinder for chemically testing the density of the gas?  (See _The
Leuchter Report_ [David Clark, P.O. Box 726, Decatur, Alabama 35602], 1989,
p. 16, column C, and J. C. Pressac himself, "Les Carences et Incoherences
du Rapport Leuchter," _Jour J, La lettre telegraphique juive_, December
1988, p. viii, where there is mention of the "thermometer" of a
disinfection gas chamber at Majdanek.)

     The confusion between disinfection gassings and homicidal gassings
continues with the business of the trucks which left Auschwitz to pick up
Zyklon-B at the factory in Dessau, a city south of Berlin.  Pressac cites
"movement authorizations," of which Revisionists are perfectly aware (p.
188).  In my _Reponse a Pierre Vidal-Naquet_ (La Vieille Taupe, 2nd ed.,
1982, p. 40), I reproduced the text of a radio message dated July 22, 1942,
signed by General Glucks and addressed to the Auschwitz concentration camp:

          By this [radio message] I authorize a round-trip journey from
     Auschwitz to Dessau by 5-ton truck in order to pick up gas intended
     for gassing the camp to combat the epidemic that has broken out.

     The German words are "Gas far Vergasung":  gas for gassing.  Here, and
in two other documents of the same type, it is expressly a question of
gassing for disinfection (July 22 and 29, 1942 as well as January 7, 1943).
In the meantime, on August 26 and October 2, 1942, two other documents of
the same sort speak of "material for special treatment" and "material for
the transport of the Jews."  There Pressac sees proof that, BOTH TIMES,
what is meant is gas for KILLING the Jews!  This is no proof at all.  As
the general context (three other texts of the same sort) demonstrates, the
gas was for disinfecting clothing or rooms on account of the arrival of the
Jews who had been deported. The term "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung)
here designates transport (Transportierung) of the Jews (_Reponse a
Vidal-Naquet_, op. cit., p. 24).  The more people arrived at Auschwitz,
which functioned as a turntable for redistributing a large number of
deportees to other camps after a quarantine period, the more necessary was

                  The Six Gassing Locations According
                to Establishment History and to Pressac

     These six places are, first, Krematorium I or Krema I (also called
Altes Krematorium [Old Crematorium]), located in the main camp of Auschwitz
and visited by innumerable tourists (it is presented as if in its original
state); then, located at Birkenau, Bunkers I and II (their location is not
very certain); Krematoria or Kremas II and III (in ruins which can be
investigated) and Kremas IV and V (of which there remain only traces).

     According to Pressac, Krema I was planned with criminal intent and the
homicidal gassings in the crematorium constitute an "established fact."
But he offers only assertions unsupported by any arguments, any documents,
and, in the 38 pages he devotes to this building (pp. 123-160), he is
content essentially to report TESTIMONIES of gassings rather than proof.
These testimonies, to which I shall return, leave one absolutely
unsatisfied.  He recalls, following the Revisionists, how after the
liberation of the camp the Poles altered and disguised this crematorium so
better to convince visitors of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber.
The tricks were many.  It was, for example, to conceal some of them that
the Poles, Pressac tells us, covered the roof with "roofing felt" (p. 133).
The loveliest of these ruses, discovered by the Revisionists and reiterated
by Pressac (p. 147), is the pretended door for victims entering the gas
chamber; in reality, this door was constructed much later by the Germans to
give access to the air-raid shelter into which the structure had been
converted.  In short, for Pressac, what the tourists visit today is to be
considered an "authentic symbol of homicidal gassings at Auschwitz" (p.
133), which is to say an imaginary representation, because, here, a symbol
is not a reality and an "authentic symbol" is still further from reality.

     In the conclusion to this section, he plays a real sleight-of-hand
trick.  He appeals to the Leuchter Report as the material proof--the only
one--of the reality of homicidal gassings in that place.  He says that Fred
Leuchter, whose qualifications he cites, removed seven samples of brick and
cement and that upon analysis six of them revealed the presence of cyanide;
then he writes in bold-face type:

          These results, virtually all (6 out of 7) positive, prove the use
     [of] hydrocyanic acid in the "Leichenhalle" of Krematorium I, hence
     its use as a homicidal gas chamber.

Pressac omits stating that Leuchter:

--came to exactly the opposite conclusion:  for Leuchter, a gas chamber did
not exist and could not exist there;

--based his findings on physical inspection;

--reinforced this finding with chemical analyses entrusted to an American
laboratory; these analyses revealed that, in the alleged homicidal gas
chamber, the amount of ferric-ferro-cyanide was either zero or
infinitesimal by comparison with samples from a disinfection gas chamber
(recognized as such by the authorities of the camp museum), which had
quantities of ferric-ferro-cyanide equal to 1050 mg per kilo, that is, at
least 133 times that of the quantities found in the alleged homicidal gas

     I shall return later to the Leuchter Report and the use to which
Pressac puts it.^1  Let us note for the moment that our author exploits the
report and the chemical analyses it contains to his own profit.  Georges
Wellers does the same (see "A propos du 'rapport Leuchter' et les [sic]
chambres a gaz d'Auschwitz," _Le Monde Juif_, April-June 1989, p. 45-53),
judging that "the results of the chemical analyses were obtained by a very
competent and conscientious specialist [Fred Leuchter]" but that "his
understanding of the problem posed is minimal" (ibid., p. 48). Vidal-Naquet
thus took advantage of general credulity when, before an assembly of
students of the Lycee Henri IV, in Paris, on September 24, 1990, he stated
regarding the Leuchter Report:

          This is a grotesque document which proves nothing.  Wellers
     and Pressac have expressed what is to be thought of it.

     Let it be added that Pressac states that Leuchter was "commissioned"
by the Revisionists, thus implying that these had been beaten at their own
game and that the American engineer had cruelly deceived his "silent
partners."  Leuchter, however, has in fact demonstrated that the
Revisionists were correct.  Furthermore, he functioned in a completely
independent spirit, as a man who had up to then believed in the reality of
the German homicidal gas chambers.

     Since Pressac admits that the Poles drastically altered the site, it
is incumbent on him to study the question of gassing in the alleged gas
1980, AND FOR WHICH HE IS INDEBTED TO ME.  However, he hasn't done so
because then he would have to admit the obvious:  vast gassing operations,
right beside the oven rooms and twenty meters from the SS hospital, would
have resulted in a general catastrophe.

     The premises could have been disinfected with Zyklon B, as suited a
storage place where in particular corpses of those who had died from typhus
were piled; from whence, doubtless, the infinitesimal traces of
ferric-ferro-cyanide originated.

     Neither Gerald Reitlinger nor Raul Hilberg nor Pierre Vidal-Naquet
seems to believe that there was a gas chamber there; as for Olga
Wormser-Migot, she stated expressly in her dissertation that Auschwitz I
had NO (homicidal) gas chamber (_Le Systeme concentrationnaire nazi_
(1933-1945), PUF, 1968, p. 157).

     Pressac is thus perhaps the last believer in the "homicidal gas
chamber of Krematorium I."  At least publicly, for I recall that in
private, in the company of Pierre Guillaume and me, he ridiculed the idea.

     As for Bunker 1, he admits that in the last analysis even the physical
site is unknown to us (p. 163).  He adds that no one has either physical
traces or an original plan (p. 165).  As for the mass graves which were
supposedly alongside this bunker and whose odor was allegedly unendurable,
he considers them to be a product of the imaginations of the "eyewitnesses"
and the odor in question to have arisen from decantation basins for sewage
(p. 51, 161).

     Regarding Bunker 2, there is no more evidence.  Pressac believes he's
found traces of this house but he furnishes only "testimonies" that he
himself considers implausible; these testimonies are sometimes accompanied
by drawings; in addition there are vague area plans owing to a Soviet
commission (p. 171-182).

     The factual balance established by Pressac up to this point is
pitiful, if one considers that a good portion of the history of homicidal
gassings at Auschwitz is founded on the CERTITUDE that the Germans carried
out massive gassings at these three places (Krema I, Bunker 1, Bunker 2).
This certitude, which one sees today as based on no evidence, has invaded
the history books and the court dockets:  goodly numbers of Germans have
been convicted of the alleged gassings in Krema I, in Bunker 1 and in
Bunker 2.

     Krema II is supposed to have been planned WITHOUT a homicidal gas
chamber (p. 200).  It is here that the Pressac thesis differs totally from
the traditional thesis.  According to him, the Germans transformed a
harmless, half-underground morgue (Leichenkeller 1) into a homicidal gas
chamber.  To that end they improvised, but without modifying the
ventilation; this is supposed to have remained in conformance with that of
a morgue, evacuating contaminated air at the bottom; that would have
contradicted the ventilation of a hydrocyanic gas chamber, in which the
warm air and the gas would have necessitated removing the contaminated air
at the top.

     Krematorium II is supposed to have functioned as a homicidal gas
chamber and a crematorium starting on March 15, 1943, before its entry into
official service on March 31 [1943], to November 27, 1944, "annihilating a
total of approximately 400,000 people, most of them Jewish women, children,
and old men" (p. 183).

     Pressac offers no proof in support of such statements.  He even states
that the "industrial" extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau was
"planned between June and August 1942 and actually implemented between
March and June 1943 by the entry into service of the four Krematorien" (p.
184).  These dates are known to be those on which the Germans, alarmed by
the spread of typhus, decided to build these crematoria, and later
completed the construction, but one cannot see what allows Pressac to
assert, ADDITIONALLY, that these dates coincide with a decision to gas and
an employment for gassing!  Nowhere does he reveal to us who made such a
decision, when, how, why, what were the authorizations, the instructions,
the funding, and, as well, who, on the spot, was requisitioned for such an
undertaking and what it must have taken to set in motion the modalities of
this gigantic murder.  He states that documents specifying the date of the
decision to modify the crematorium for "criminal" ends are lacking (Ibid.)!

     Krema III, too, is said by Pressac to have been planned WITHOUT a
homicidal gas chamber (p. 200).  The Germans are supposed to have carried
out the same "do-it-yourself" improvisation as in Krema II.  Krema III is
supposed to have operated from June 25, 1943 to November 27, 1944, "killing
about 350,000 victims" (p. 183).

     Krema IV and V are supposed to have been planned WITH homicidal gas
chambers (p. 384).  They are supposed to have functioned, one beginning on
March 22, the other on April 4, 1943 (p. 378), but to have been scarcely
used.  "After two months, Krematorium IV was completely out of service.
Krematorium V did not enter service until later, but was scarcely any
better."  (p. 384, 420).   The gassing procedure is described as "illogical
to the point of absurdity" (p. 379) and as "constituting a circus act" for
the SS man carrying out the gassing (p. 386; see p. 43-46 below).

     It is important to recall here that in 1982 Pressac maintained that
Kremas IV and V had been planned WITHOUT homicidal gas chambers; the
Germans had, according to him, transformed harmless rooms into homicidal
gas chambers ("Les 'Krematorien' IV et V de Birkenau et leurs chambres a
gaz, construction et fonctionnement," _Le Monde juif_, July-September 1982,
p. 91-131).  He never lets us know why he renounced that thesis in order to
adopt one diametrically opposed now.

     To sum up, if one is to believe our guide, one obtains, as to
crematoria planned WITH or WITHOUT homicidal gas chambers, the following
sequence, arranged in chronological order according to initial date of

     Krema I:  planned WITH homicidal gas chamber

     Krema IV:  planned WITH (Pressac's thesis in 1982:  WITHOUT)

     Krema II:  planned WITHOUT

     Krema V:  planned WITH (Pressac's thesis in 1982:  WITHOUT)

     Krema III:  planned WITHOUT

     Neither logic nor chronology can be served by such caprice and such

          For Pressac, Almost No Zyklon B Used to Kill People

     According to our author, more than 95 per cent of the Zyklon B was
used to exterminate vermin, which take time to kill, and less than 5 per
cent to exterminate people, who are easy to kill (p. 15).  He doesn't let
us know how he has arrived at these figures.  Here, we are at a far remove
from the claims of the run of Exterminationists, in particular Raul
Hilberg, who assures us that:

          Almost the whole Auschwitz supply was needed for the gassing of
     people; very little was used for fumigation (_The Destruction of the
     European Jews_, New York, Holmes and Meier, Revised and Definitive
     Edition, 1985, p. 890).

     One can imagine the consternation of Exterminationists on this point,
as on many others, if, instead of vaunting the book without having read it,
they should happen to open it up and start reading.

              He Can't Explain the Absence of Blue Stains

     According to our pharmacist, if the Germans used so little Zyklon B to
murderous ends, that's because in order to gas a million men (750,000 in
Kremas II and III and 250,000 elsewhere, p. 475), only tiny quantities were
required, whereas much more was needed to kill insects.  Pressac holds to
his belief in this matter because it is for him the only way to explain a
stupefying physics-chemical anomaly:  the complete absence of blue stains
in the places at Auschwitz and Birkenau at which, supposedly, Zyklon B was
used to kill human beings on an industrial scale, while, on the other hand,
one notices the presence, today, of large blue stains on the walls of the
disinfection gas chambers at Auschwitz, at Birkenau, or in other
concentration camps.  These blue stains in the disinfection gas chambers
are due to the presence, at one time, of hydrocyanic (or prussic) acid;
this acid has remained in the walls where, combining with iron contained in
the bricks, it has produced ferric-ferro-cyanides.

     Pressac dares to state (p. 555) that, in the case of homicidal
gassings, the hydrocyanic acid went directly into the victims' mouths
before it could spread elsewhere and impregnate the ceiling, the floor, and
the walls.  The gas was not even deposited on the bodies of the victims,
from which it could have emanated throughout the room.  This naive
explanation amounts to supposing that the hydrocyanic gas, in this case and
this case only, consisted of molecules with homing devices, so organized
that these molecules divided up the job of being inhaled, each vanishing
into its own particular mouth.

     According to even its manufacturers, Zyklon B (employed since the
early 1920's and still used around the world today under other trademarks)
presents the inconvenience of needing "difficult and lengthy ventilation,
due to the gas's strong capacity for adhering to surfaces" (doc.  NI-9098).
Pressac forgets that, according to his own theory, in Leichenkeller 1 (less
than 210 sq. meters) of Krema II alone 400,000 persons were gassed in 532
days (see p. 36 above), which implies that gassings of human beings were
carried out with great speed and in quasi-continuous fashion.  He knows
that hydrocyanic acid is absorbed through the skin (p. 25).  So many
corpses, representing a skin surface far larger than that offered by the
insects and impregnated, like it or not, by hydrocyanic acid, would have
constituted no less a source of emanation of the dread gas, which would
have gone on to settle all over the room.  These corpses would have been,
further, impossible to handle in the way we've been told, and I shall not
recall here the extreme precautions which, in today's American
penitentiaries, are required of the doctor and his two helpers in order to
remove a single cyanic corpse from a hydrocyanic gas chamber.

     The ruins of Krema II are eloquent:  they do not bear the least stain
of blue ferric-ferro-cyanide.  Therefore, the Germans certainly never used
Zyklon B there in the quantities needed to gas 400,000 persons.

          He Admits That the Germans' Code Language Is a Myth

     Pressac opens an enormous breach in the edifice of the traditional
historians and especially in that of Georges Wellers when he rejects the
thesis according to which, in order to camouflage their crime, the Germans
used a secret language or "code."  He states twice that this is a "myth,"
explaining himself at length (p. 247, 556).  He well sees that the secret
of such a massacre would be impossible to conceal.  Following the
Revisionists, he submits documents which prove that the camps at Auschwitz
and Birkenau were, if one may say so, transparent.  Thousands of civilian
workers mingled each day with the prisoners (p. 313, 315, 348,...).
Numerous civilian firms, located at different places in Germany and Poland,
received orders for the construction of the crematoria, the disinfection
gas chambers or the gas-tight doors.  The Bauleitung alone comprised around
a hundred employees; photographs show engineers, architects, and draftsmen
in their offices (p. 347) where--as was known long before Pressac--the
plans of the crematoria were displayed for all to see.  The aerial
photographs taken by the Allies show that at Auschwitz, as at Treblinka
too, the farmers cultivated their fields right up to the camp fences.  On
the other hand, it is certain that the Germans sought zealously to conceal
their industrial operations at Auschwitz (in vain, by the way).  Thus the
following paradox would arise:  at Auschwitz, the Germans strove to hide
what was going on at all their factories (armaments, synthetic petroleum,
synthetic rubber, etc.) except ... at their "death factories," supposedly
located in the crematoria.

              Unsubstantiated Statements and Manipulations

     The book abounds with unsubstantiated statements and manipulations

     What evidence does the author have to support the claims, hitherto
unproved, according to which on September 3, 1941 Zyklon B was used, for
the first time, to kill 850 people in the basement of Block 11 at Auschwitz
I (p. 132)?  He states that, shortly afterwards (?), Russian prisoners were
gassed in the morgue (Leichenhalle) of Krema I. He provides not a single
bit of evidence.  He states that, according to the "confession" of
Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess, these prisoners numbered 900, then slips
in the following words:  "in fact between 500 and 700."  The method is
characteristic of Pressac:  undoubtedly recognizing that the figure 900 is
impossible in view of the dimensions of the room, he "corrects" it, and
instead of making clear that his lower number is hypothetical, he ASSERTS
that "IN FACT" there were 500 to 700 victims.  I believe I could cite a
good fifty examples of this process, which consists of introducing an
unbelievable testimony, altering it to make it credible, and finishing up
by according the result of this transformation the status of an established
fact a little further on in the text, without reminding us that the
original text was changed on the basis of a hypothesis.

     Pressac alters words, numbers, dates, sometimes informing the reader
of these changes with laborious justifications, at other times leaving him
in the dark.  Page 18 offers an example of this procedure.  There the
author sets forth the different characteristics of hydrocyanic acid (HCN,
principal component of Zyklon B):  molecular weight, etc.  Suddenly, in a
list of fifteen characteristics, he slips in the following:  "Concentration
used in homicidal gassing at Birkenau:  12 g/m^3 (1%) or 40 times the
lethal (or mortal) dose."  By so doing, he gives to understand, from the
outset of his book, that the homicidal gassings at Birkenau are a
scientific fact of equal standing with the molecular weight of the gas
under discussion; and he would have us believe that the amount of Zyklon
used to kill people at Birkenau can be, almost to the gram, scientifically

     This technique, a mixture of guile and aplomb, is standard operating
procedure throughout the Pressac book.  Page 227 includes surprising
assertions.  Without providing the least justification, the author declares
that Krema II was used to gas Jews before it was even completed (the
undressing room was not finished) and before it was handed over to the camp
administration on March 31, 1943.  He lets fly, as self-evident fact, that
around 6,900 Jews were GASSED in twelve days.  And he specifies the exact
numbers and dates:  1,500 Jews from the Cracow ghetto on Sunday evening,
March 14; 2,200 Jews from Salonika on March 20; nearly 2,000 more Jews from
Salonika on March 24; and 1,200 more the day after.  None of these data is
accompanied by the citation of any source other than "The Auschwitz
Calendar," compiled by Polish Communists.  If indeed those Jews arrived at
the camp on these dates, on what authority does Pressac tell us they were
gassed?  The accusation made here against Germany is exceptionally grave
and would require a sheaf of evidence of extreme precision.

     Repeatedly Pressac mentions "Himmler's order of 26th November 1944 to
destroy Birkenau Krema II and III," "thus making the end of the gassings
official" (p. 115, 313, 464, 501, 533, etc.) but our autodidact can only
repeat here, without verification, what leading Jewish authors have stated
(with some variation as to the date).  This order never existed, but one
understands why it had to be invented:  in the first place to explain why,
when the camp was liberated, there were no traces whatsoever of the crime;
further, to make up for the absence of any order to begin the gassings.

     On what authority does Pressac assert that Himmler was present in
person at a homicidal gassing at Bunker 2, on the day of July 17, 1942 (p.
187)?  How can he accuse Dr. Grawitz, "Head of the German Red Cross," of
having seen the extermination of the Jews (in gas chambers, from the
context) with his own eyes (p. 206)?

     To begin with, whence has he derived his summary of the homicidal
gassing procedure at Auschwitz such as it appears, fragmentarily, on page
16?  His sketch surprises one.

|                                                                         |
|      What the reader of a work entitled _Auschwitz: Technique and       |
| Operation of the Gas Chambers_ would expect is an in-depth study        |
| bearing on the technique and operation of these extraordinary chemical  |
| abattoirs without precedent in history, then a complete description of  |
| the process by which a million victims were gassed.  But the author     |
| evades the subject.  He furnishes nothing but vague, fragmentary hints, |
| with the reader unable to determine whether they are based on           |
| "testimony," documents, or are simply the result of further             |
| extrapolations.  Nowhere in his book does he return to the central      |
| subject of gassing PROCEDURE.  To be sure, he mentions, but only in the |
| context of Kremas IV and V, the procedure peculiar to the gassings in   |
| these two locations, a procedure so absurd that he speaks of it as "a   |
| circus act" (p. 386).                                                   |

     How is he able to write:  "In May 1942, the large-scale gassings of
arriving transports of Jews began in Birkenau Bunkers 1 and 2" (p. 98),
especially given that, as we've seen above, he acknowledges knowing nothing
about Bunker 1 (appearance, make-up, and even site)?

     How does he know that, when the Zyklon B was poured through the
openings in the roof of Krema I, the SS men in the hospital located right
next door avoided watching the operation because "at such times it was
forbidden to look out the windows" (p. 145)?

     In what way does a pile of shoes offer proof of the existence of
homicidal gas chambers (p. 420)?

     How is he able to maintain that the SS envisaged the possibility of
alternately using Leichenkeller 1 and Leichenkeller 2 as gas chambers (p.

     How could anyone serve up the enormity enthroned at the top of page
188 (column 2)?  There Pressac declares that the "terrible hygienic
conditions in the camp" required enormous deliveries of Zyklon B and that
the SS, in order to hide these conditions, pretended to order Zyklon B...
for exterminating the Jews; these requests were addressed to superiors who
had "a general knowledge" of the extermination "without being informed of
the practical details"!

                   The "Circus Act" of Krema IV and V

     Had he been honest, the author would have begun the section he devotes
to Krema IV and V by recalling his interpretation of 1982.  At that time,
he maintained in _Le Monde juif_ (op. cit.) that these two Krema had been
planned WITHOUT criminal intent, as simple crematoria; then, later, the
Germans had carried out improvisations in order to transform certain rooms
there into homicidal gas chambers.  In 1985 the author was still sticking
to this thesis (Colloque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en sciences sociales
[Francois Furet and Raymond Aron], _L'Allemagne nazie et le genocide juif_,
Gallimard/Le Seuil, 1985, p. 539-584).

     But in the present work Pressac makes a 180-degree turn, giving his
reader no warning other than after the fact, in veiled terms at that (p.
379, 448).  Since Pressac is always confused, readers will be unaware of
why he held his former thesis (that these Krema were planned WITHOUT
criminal intent), or what led him to adopt a new thesis, diametrically
opposed to the earlier one (these Krema were planned WITH criminal

     The author's embarrassment is considerable.  One wonders if he
wouldn't be happy to send to the devil the history of these two Krema IV
and V which--he insists on this point--should not have worked because they
were so badly designed and constructed that the ovens were quickly out of
service (p. 384, 420).

     He writes that at the end of May 1944 most of the members of the
Sonderkommando who lived in a section of the Men's Camp at Birkenau--and
therefore, he adds in passing, openly and publicly--were transferred "to
Krema IV, which was converted into a dormitory for them" (p. 389).

     In the Holocaust literature the revolt of the Jewish Sonderkommando,
which set fire to Krema IV out of despair at having gassed and burned
masses of their co-religionists, is presented as a page of heroism.  For
his part Pressac doubts the "veracity" of this story and writes that Krema
IV was only a dormitory at that time and that

     this rebellion was an act of despair on the part of prisoners who were
     overcrowded and underoccupied, who had seen too much and felt that
     their end was near (p. 390).

     As one will see right away, the layout of the premises was such that,
at Krema IV and V, it would have made a mockery of a homicidal gassing

     Let's take either of these two Krema.  To start with, since there was
no undressing room, the crowd of victims is supposed to have been led into
the morgue, where bodies were already piled up.  There, the victims
undressed with the corpses in full view.  Then they were led into an
antechamber, and next a corridor.  Wisely, they passed the doctor's office,
then a coal storage room.  Next, at the end of the corridor, they were
divided up between two "homicidal gas chambers," each equipped with a coal
stove which was fired from the corridor.  Then an SS man, stationed outside
the building, is supposed to have poured the granules of Zyklon B through
shutters on the roof.  Due to the height, he had to use a ladder.  He had
to position the ladder and climb up for each shutter; he would open the
shutter with one hand and empty the contents of the Zyklon can with the
other.  Quickly, he would close the shutter and go on to the next.  At the
next he would move all the more quickly because, HCN being lighter than
air, the emissions from the granules from the first made the operation more
dangerous, even if our SS man was wearing a gas mask.

     At the end of the operation, he would have had to ventilate these
rooms at length and with care.  Given the small size of the shutters and
the absence of any sort of equipment for ventilation, one can't see how the
operation could be carried out.  The doors would have to be opened, and
thus the antechamber, the doctor's office, etc.  The corpses would have to
be removed from each of the two gas chambers; then dragged the length of
the corridor and past three successive doors to end up... in the morgue,
where presently other prospective victims would be arriving.

     In his 1982 study in Le Monde juif (op. cit., p. 126), Pressac wrote:
"This improvisation is stupefying," concluding:

     So, it becomes obvious:  KREMATORIUM IV AND V WERE NOT PLANNED AS

     In the great opus under review, he makes obscure reference to his
feelings of "1980"; he says that at that time he found that the operation
was "illogical to the point of absurdity" (p. 379).

     Nine years later, has our pharmacist finally arrived at either
explaining this operation, "illogical to the point of absurdity," or
discovering that the Germans in fact used a different procedure, one
logical, sensible, explicable?  Not at all.

     He begins by relating that the SS took note of the fact that their
procedure "had become irrational and ridiculous" (p. 386).  The SS gasser
had to pour the Zyklon B through six openings (Pressac considers that there
were three gas chambers, not two, the hall doing service as the third!).
This SS man, he states, had to go up or down his ladder no fewer than
eighteen times while wearing his gas mask.

     According to our guide, after two or three gassings carried out in
this fashion, the Bauleitung (Construction Office) determined that natural
ventilation was dangerous and that the method of introducing the poison
resembled "a circus act."

     For ventilation a door was installed which resulted, Pressac assures
us, in preventing the west wind from blowing the gas in a dangerous
direction and which allowed the rooms to be ventilated only by the north or
south winds.

     As to the procedure for introducing the gas (the "circus act"), that
remained the same, except that the shutters were widened by 10 centimeters.
Pressac writes, in all seriousness, that

          The method of introduction remained the same, however, the camp
     authorities considering that a little physical exercise would do the
     medical orderlies responsible for gassing a world of good.

     Here, as elsewhere, our pharmacist shows marvelous aplomb, telling his
story without supplying his reader a reference to any evidence whatsoever.
Where has he seen, for example, that the camp authorities (which?  when?)
decided that the "circus act" was absurd but that "a little physical
exercise would do the medical orderlies responsible for gassing [the Jews]
a world of good"?

     One of the constants in Pressac's writings is the stupidity which the
SS demonstrated by its boasts.  He uses this to explain many of the
anomalies, absurdities, and ineptitudes in the stories of homicidal
gassing.  It is curious that he apparently doesn't suspect that this
"stupidity" could be attributed precisely to those who describe to us the
activities of the SS gassers in such fashion.  Or yet again, since all
these operations are supposed to be tinged with stupidity, is it the SS's
stupidity or that of Pressac himself?

     Lastly, it is surprising that before concluding that Krema IV and V
definitely had homicidal gas chambers, he didn't wonder whether they didn't
simply house showers or delousing chambers.  I have in my archives a sketch
of Krema IV and V, after a plan which I entrusted to him; I see written
plainly in our subject's handwriting the words "Showers 1" and "Showers 2"
at the places he calls the homicidal gas chambers today.  And, on his third
gas chamber, I read "Corridor."

               Instead of One Proof, One Single Proof...
                      Thirty-Nine Criminal Traces

     In his chapter on proof, Pressac capitulates immediately.  He is aware
of his failure; despite his rodomontade, he admits:

          The day when a newly discovered drawing or letter makes it
     possible to explain the reality in black and white the revisionists
     will be routed (p. 67).

     This statement, which he lets slip regarding a detail, could be
applied to the work as a whole:  Pressac hopes one day to discover a
"specific German document" which will prove the Revisionists wrong but, as
of now, he hasn't yet found anything.

     He recalls that in 1979 I launched a challenge.  I was asking for
proof, a single proof of the existence of a single homicidal gas chamber.
He is not up to this challenge.  His title for Chapter 8 speaks volumes.
It reads:

     "One Proof ... One Single Proof":  Thirty-nine Criminal Traces (p.

     For my part, I was expecting to find a chapter entitled:  "'One Proof
... One Single Proof'?  Thirty-nine Proofs."

     By "criminal traces" he intends "traces of the crime" or "clues to the
crime."  That is to say, as the author specifies, "presumptive evidence" or
"indirect proofs."  Pressac tells us that "in the absence of any 'direct,'
i.e. palpable, indisputable and evident proof," an "indirect" (author's
quotation marks) proof "may suffice and be valid."  He adds:

     By "indirect" proof, I mean a German document that does not state in
     black and white that a gas chamber is for HOMICIDAL purposes, but one
     containing evidence that logically it is impossible for it to be
     something else (p. 429).

     And at this point the reader is offered thirty-nine indirect proofs.

     But let us return for a moment to my challenge, in its meaning and its
rationale.  And let us also see in what terms Pressac admits that he is
unable to provide what he himself calls a "direct proof" or a "definitive

     On February 26, 1979, exercising my right of response, I sent a letter
on this matter which _Le Monde_ refused to publish and which is reproduced
in my _Memoire en defense contre ceux qui ma'accusent de falsifier
l'histoire_ (La Vieille Taupe, 1980, p. 100).  At that time I wrote:

          I know a way of advancing the debate.  Instead of repeating ad
     nauseam that there exists an abundance of proofs attesting to the
     existence of the "gas chambers" (let us recall the value of this
     alleged abundance for the--mythical--"gas chambers" of the Altreich),
     I propose that, to begin at the beginning, someone supply me with one
     proof, one single precise proof of the actual existence of one "gas
     chamber," of one single "gas chamber."  Let us examine this proof
     together, in public.

     It goes without saying that I was prepared to consider as "proof" what
my opponents themselves chose to designate as such.  My challenge is
explained by an ascertainment:  the Exterminationists all employed the
all-too-facile system of "converging bundles of presumptions" or again, as
it was called in past times, "adminicles" (parts of a proof, presumptions,
traces).  Each of their alleged proofs, rather shaky, was supported by
another proof, itself rather fragile.  There was much use of testimonial
proof, which is the weakest of all since, as its name indicates, it is
based only on testimony.  The "essence" of the testimony of Kurt Gerstein
was called on, supported by the "essence" of the confession of Rudolf
Hoess, which rested on the "essence" of a personal diary in which, they
say, in veiled language, Dr. Johann-Paul Kremer revealed, and at the same
time concealed, the existence of the gas chambers.  In other words, the
blind man leans on the cripple, guided by the deaf man.  In the past, at
the time of the witchcraft trials, judges made great use of adminicles and,
in order to condemn witches and wizards, relied on a strange accounting
method whereby a quarter of a proof added to a quarter of a proof, itself
added to half a proof, were considered to equal a real proof (the film _Les
Sorcieres de Salem_ [the French version of Arthur Miller's _The Crucible_]
depicts a judge practicing this type of arithmetic).  Naturally, one
couldn't provide definitive proof of the existence of Satan and of a
meeting with him.  It was impossible to prove his existence as one would
prove that of a human being.  That wasn't the fault of the judges, the
thinking went, but precisely that of Satan, who, it was no doubt thought,
was too naughty to leave traces proving his misdeeds.  Intrinsically
perverse by nature, Satan left at the most only vague traces of his passing
through.  These traces did not speak of themselves.  One had to make them
speak.  Especially wise intellects were skilled at detecting them in places
where ordinary people saw nothing.  For minds such as these, Satan had
tried to cover his tracks but had forgotten to hide the traces of his so
doing, and, beginning there, learned magistrates, helped by scholarly
professors, were able to reconstruct everything.

     It was no different from any of the trials in which, since 1945, SS
men have been tried for their participation, always indirect, in the
homicidal gassings.  Like adepts of Satan, these SS men allegedly left not
a single trace of the gassings, but trained minds (the Poliakovs and the
Wellers), testifying in their writings or at the bar of justice, have known
how to foil their tricks, unravel the mystery and reconstruct the crime in
all its Satanic horror; they have interpreted, deciphered, decoded, and
decrypted everything.

                 No "Direct Proof," He Finally Concedes

Pressac writes:

          The "traditional" historians provided him [Faurisson] an
     "abundance of proofs" which were virtually all based on human
     testimony (p. 429).

     He also states that there have been photographs of which certain have
traditionally passed as proof of the existence of homicidal gassings, but
he admits that not a single one of these can be "presented as definitive
proof" (Ibid.).

     Not a single one of the numerous plans of the Krema of Auschwitz and
Birkenau in his possession indicates "explicitly," he writes, the use of
homicidal gas chambers although in the trials certain of these plans were
employed as though they were explicitly incriminating (Ibid.).

     There remain, he writes, only the various items of correspondence and
official documents of German origin, which have, for example, been used in
the "Faurisson trial"; but which, according to him, have never formed more
than a convincing body of presumptive evidence (Ibid.).

     The list of thirty-nine "criminal traces" brings to mind an
enumeration (in the style of Francois Rabelais or Jacques Prevert) of
disparate objects.  One sees a parade of harmless technical terms drawn
from the realms of the architect, the heating engineer, or the plumber,
over which our pharmacist from La Ville de Bois wracks his brain to uncover
darker designs.  Pressac is without equal in making screws, nuts, bolts,
and even the very screwheads speak.^3  It would be tedious to go through
all thirty-nine clues.  I shall restrict myself to the ones which,
according to him, are essential.

                        Harmless Technical Terms

     But beforehand I would like to call to the English-speaking reader's
attention several German technical terms in fairly commonplace usage.

     In order to designate a delousing gas chamber (or a gas chamber for
training recruits in the use of gas masks), the Germans use the word
"Gaskammer" and, when the context is sufficiently clear, simply "Kammer."
A gas-tight door is a Gastur or gasdichte Tur; English speakers use
"gas-proof door" as well as "gas-tight door"; this type of door can be used
either for delousing gas chambers or for airlocks (for example, airlocks in
an oven room or in an air-raid shelter).^4  In a more general fashion, a
gas-tight door may be found anywhere in a building where there is a risk of
fire or explosion; this is so in a crematorium, where high-temperature
ovens are in operation.  I believe that in Germany--this has to be
verified--doors to basements with central heating installations are,
generally if not compulsorily, gas-tight to contain fire, explosion, or gas
leakage.  "Gasprufer" means "gas detector."  "Brausen" means "shower heads"
(for watering, spraying, showering).  "Auskleideraum" means "undressing
room" and, in DELOUSING installations, refers to the room in which, on the
"dirty side" (unreine Seite), persons undressed; it is not impossible, but
I haven't been able to verify, that in a morgue the same word is applied to
the room in which clothes were removed from the corpses.  Pressac
introduces into evidence the existence of words such as
"Drahtnetzeinschiebvorrichtung," which he translates as "wire mesh
introduction device," and "Holzblenden," "wooden covers"; I do not think
these words call for any special comment.

     On the other hand, it is inadmissible that at the very start of his
book, where he claims to enumerate the terms used by the Bauleitung in
order to designate "delousing" or "disinfection," he noted the words
Entlausung, Entwesung, and Desinfektion without taking the chance to recall
that one of the terms most frequently used by the Germans to designate this
type of operation is:  Vergasung, which is translated by "gassing."  For
example, to stick to the documents cited by Pressac, Nuremberg document
NI-9912, which I was the first to publish and for which he is indebted to
me, designates gassing only by Durchgasung or Vergasung; this last word,
which figures in the first paragraph of Section III, was translated into
English as "fumigation" (p. 18, col. D).  In a document cited by Pressac
himself, General Glucks speaks of "gas for gassing" the camp due to the
typhus epidemic:  "Gas for Vergasung" (see above, p. 32); as for Commandant
Hoess, he referred to disinfection gassings as "Vergasungen" (see Part II
of this article in the next (Summer) issue of _The JHR_.).

     In passing I wish to specify that, for the reader's convenience, I
have translated "Entlausung" and "Entwesung" the same, that is, by
"disinfection."  I note moreover that in the language used by the
Bauleitung or in the ledgers of the locksmith of Auschwitz, there is a
tendency to use the words interchangeably, without always distinguishing
between "delousing" and "disinfestation."

     In Krema II and III, the ventilation of the area which Pressac dares
call a gas chamber, whereas it was a morgue, was exactly the opposite--and
he admits this--of the way it must have been if Zyklon B had been employed
there.  Zyklon B is essentially hydrocyanic acid, a gas lighter than air.
Therefore ventilation would have had to proceed from the bottom to top,
with air blowing in at ground level and being extracted at ceiling level.
But it was done from top to bottom as... in a morgue.  Pressac does not try
to explain this anomaly, which destroys his thesis, at its foundations, one
could say.  He makes note of it, then does not even attempt to come up with
an explanation.^5

               Fourteen Shower Heads and A Gas-Tight Door

     A discovery on which he prides himself, truth to tell the only one
which he presents as "definitive" (p. 430) before declaring that it
"indirectly" (p. 430) proves the existence of a homicidal gas chamber, is
an inventory from Krema III for 14 shower heads (Brausen) and a gas-tight
door (gasdichte Tur).  Giving in to enthusiasm at first, our inventor
writes on page 430:


     In 1986, the magazine _VSD_ had published an interview with Serge
Klarsfeld under the title "Les historiens du mensonge" (["The Historians of
the Lie"], May 29, p. 37).  There Klarsfeld admitted that until then "no one
[had] bothered to compile the material proofs" of the existence of the gas
chambers.  To the question "Why were there no longer real proofs?," he

          There were the beginnings of proofs which embarrassed the
     Faurissonians but had not yet silenced them.  In particular, two
     letters analyzed by Georges Wellers, dating from 1943, which spoke,
     one of a gassing cellar, the other of three gas-tight doors to be
     installed in the crematoria.

     Klarsfeld announced that he was eventually going to publish "a
monumental work on Auschwitz-Birkenau by Jean-Claude Pressac."  He added
that the author had discovered the "proof of proofs":

          In all he has found 37 proofs, one of them definitive, of the
     existence of a homicidal gas chamber in [Krema III] at Birkenau.

     The interview was accompanied by "the irrefutable proof" in the form
of a reproduced document described as follows:

          On this receiver from [Krema III] signed by the camp commandant
     of Auschwitz, one reads at the top of the last two columns:  14 shower
     heads (Brausen), 1 gas-tight door (gasdichte Tur).

     Regarding this "definitive" or "irrefutable" proof, Klarsfeld declares
that it concerns

     A document which mentions both a gas-tight door and 14 shower heads.

To which he adds by way of commentary:

          Come, let us be logical, if this was a shower room, why this
     gas-tight door?  The logic is flawless.

     The logic is certainly not flawless and besides, as is obvious, here
Klarsfeld makes use of a rhetorical technique dear to Pressac:  preterition
(and what's more, in the interrogative form).

     I sent the magazine a text by way of right of response but they
refused to publish it.

     To begin with, this interview is actually a confession.  In it
Klarsfeld acknowledges that, until then, nobody had bothered to gather the
material proofs.  For his part Pressac declared at about the same time:
"Until now there have been the testimonies and only the testimonies" (_Le
Matin de Paris_, May 24-25, 1986, p. 3).  In other words a terrible charge,
an atrocious accusation against Germany had been broadcast throughout the
world up to that time with no real proof, merely with the "beginnings of
proofs" or with "testimonies."  The murder weapon had never been subjected
to expert examination.

     The text I submitted by right of response recalled that the gas-tight
doors were commonplace and that, for example, before and during the war it
was compulsory to equip every place which could serve as a bomb shelter
with gas-tight doors.  I added that the gas-tight doors didn't imply, any
more than do gas masks, a homicidal gassing.

     Serge Klarsfeld, embarrassed by my use of citations from his interview
in a text I devoted to Elie Wiesel ("Un grand faux temoin:  Elie Wiesel" [A
Prominent False Witness:  Elie Wiesel], _Annales d'Histoire Revisionniste_,
no. 4, 1988, p. 163-168 [published as a leaflet by IHR, 1822 1/2 Newport
Blvd., Suite 191, Costa Mesa, CA 92627]), blundered by publishing a letter
in _Le Monde Juif_ (January-March 1987, p. 1) in which he stated that his
interview was "mistakenly edited" at certain points.  But there are denials
which are as good as confirmations, and such was the case here, since
Klarsfeld, compounding his mistake, was then impelled to write:

          It is evident that in the years following 1945 the technical
     aspects of the gas chambers have been a neglected topic because back
     then no one imagined that their existence would have to be proved.

     Pressac had before his eyes a typed form, probably mimeographed, in
numerous copies.  Headings down the side of the page listed various parts
of a building (rooms, elevator cage, hallway, toilet, etc.); across the top
were headings for different fittings (lamps, chandeliers, lanterns, ovens,
electrical plugs, etc.).  Both horizontal and vertical listings left blank
spaces for additional headings.  The form in question referred to rooms in
Krema III, among them Leichenkeller 1 and 2. Regarding Leichenkeller 1,
alleged to have been the homicidal gas chamber, the following had been
entered:  12 of a certain type of lamp, 2 water taps, 14 shower heads and
(handwritten in ink) 1 gas-tight door.  For Leichenkeller 2, allegedly the
undressing room, 22 lamps and 5 faucets have been noted.

     From the juxtaposition of 14 shower heads and a gas-tight door in the
same room (part of a morgue), Pressac concludes that he is confronted with
a homicidal gas chamber (!) outfitted with DUMMY shower heads; these shower
heads, he adds with admirable composure, were "made of wood or other
materials and painted" (p. 429; see also p. 16)!

     The reasoning here is disconcerting.  Pressac frames it in expressly
the following terms:

--A gas-tight door can be intended only for a gas chamber [implying:  a
HOMICIDAL gas chamber];

--Why does a [homicidal] gas chamber have showers in it?

     This reasoning evinces, aside from its innuendoes, a grave error.  A
gas-tight door can be found, as I've already stated, at any place in a
structure in which, as is the case in a crematorium, ovens operate at high
temperatures, with the risk of fire, explosion, and gas leakage.  They may
also be in air-raid shelters, in disinfection gas chambers, in morgues,
etc.  Finally, Krematorium III could have had, in all or in part of its
Leichenkeller 1, a shower or wash room (every crematorium has a room for
washing corpses).  Furthermore, in another passage, Pressac writes that
Bischoff, head of the construction office, requested, on May 15, 1943, the
firm of Topf & Sons, specialists in the construction of crematoria, "to
draw up the plans for 100 showers using water treated by the waste
incinerator of Krematorium III" (p. 234); we know that there was a shower
room on the ground floor because the plan is detailed enough to show it; on
the other hand, the plan of the basement is not detailed and indicates only
the general layout of Leichenkeller 1 and 2.

     But Pressac must sense the frailty of his argument since, once his
enthusiasm has receded, he writes, nine pages later, in regard to this same

          This document is the only one known at present that proves,
     *indirectly* [my highlighting *'s], the existence of a HOMICIDAL GAS
     CHAMBER in Leichenkeller 1 of Krematorium III (p. 439).

     Let us observe, in consequence, that at issue here is the SOLE real
proof and this proof is now INDIRECT, although earlier it was decreed to be
"fundamental" (p. 429) and "definitive" (p. 430).  Georges Wellers himself,
despite his readiness to entertain the most tainted "proofs," has conceded,
since 1987, his total skepticism regarding the probative value of the
document disclosed in _VSD_ the year before.  He told Michel Folco:

          Good, and the story of the shower heads on the form, you know,
     that isn't proof of what it was (_Zero_, Interview, May 1987, p. 73).

     As long as one refuses to carry out complete excavations of Krema II
and III or to publish the explanations as to the function of these places
furnished by the architectural engineers Dejaco and Ertl at the 1972 trial
in Vienna, the matter can only be speculated on.

                      Four "Introduction Devices"

     When Pressac discovers on another inventory that four "wire mesh
introduction devices" and four "wooden covers" for Leichenkeller 2 are
mentioned, he puts forward the hypothesis that the inventory is in error
and that it should read Leichenkeller 1 (p. 232 and 430).  His hypothesis
is not gratuitous; it is founded on a material observation:  an aerial
photograph showing, apparently, four openings on the roof of Leichenkeller
1.  But he is wrong to present subsequently his hypothesis as a certainty
and to decide that the wooden covers belong to Leichenkeller 1 (p. 431). If
these devices were used to convey the Zyklon-B granules to the floor of the
alleged gas chamber, how would they have been protected from the pressure
of the crowd of victims and how would the gas have been able to spread
through the room?  I recall that, in the procedure for disinfection
gassing, the granules were not piled together or thrown in bunches but
rather spread out on reafting so that the gas could rise from the floor to
the ceiling without hindrance or obstacle; after the gassing, the
personnel, always wearing gas masks equipped with a particularly powerful
filter, entered, following a long period of ventilation, to recover the
dangerous granules, taking great care that none were left behind.  Finally,
Pressac seems to ignore that in 1988, at the Zundel trial in Toronto, the
Revisionists were able to show that, if the four apparent openings are
present in Brugioni and Poirier's work at the date of the aerial
reconnaissance of August 25, 1944, curiously they no longer appear on the
aerial photograph "6V2" of September 13, 1944, which Brugioni and Poirier
didn't publish.  Are they patches?  Retouchings?  Discolorations?  On this
matter one must read the expert testimony of Kenneth Wilson (Robert Lenski,
_The Holocaust on Trial_, Decatur, Alabama, Reporter Press, 1990, p.
356-360, with a photograph of the expert at work, p. 361).  The imposing
block of concrete which constituted the roof of Leichenkeller 1 and which
can be inspected today on its outer as well as its inner surface bears not
a single trace of these mysterious openings.  As for the support columns,
they were entirely of concrete and were not hollow.  To conclude, if the
inventory shows that these "devices" and "covers" belonged to Leichenkeller
2, it is dishonest to transfer them arbitrarily to Leichenkeller 1 as
Pressac has done in his "recapitulatory drawing for Krematorien II and III"
on page 431.


     Pressac makes use, but not without hesitation, of the shopworn
argument based on the presence of the word "Vergasungskeller" in a routine
letter that the Auschwitz Construction Office addressed to the competent
authorities in Berlin (doc. NO-4473).  This lefter, dated January 29, 1943
which contained nothing confidential and was not even stamped "Secret,"
states that in spite of all kinds of difficulties, and in particular,
despite the frost, the construction of Krema II was nearly completed (in
fact this Krema would not be operational until two months later).  The
letter states specifically that due to the frost it has not yet been
possible to remove the formwork from the ceiling of the corpse cellar
(which isn't assigned a number), but that this is not serious since the
Vergasungskeller can be used as a provisional morgue (p. 211-217, 432).
For Pressac the use in this lefter of the word Vergasungskeller involves an
"enormous gaff [sic]" (p. 217), revealing the existence of a homicidal
"gassing cellar" which could only have been Leichenkeller 1.

     Since the word "Vergasung" is standard in German technical language to
designate either the phenomenon of gasification^6, or carburetion in a
motor, or disinfection gassing (translated in English as "fumigation"; see
p. 50 above), it is impossible to see how, on the part of the author of the
letter at Auschwitz, or on the part of the addressee in Berlin, a meeting
of minds could result in the understanding that, for the first and last
time, a homicidal gassing was at issue here!  If Pressac, relying on
another document, is correct in saying that the Leichenkeller in question
here can't be Leichenkeller 2, he is wrong to deduce that consequently it
can only be Leichenkeller 1 (which recalls a homicidal gas chamber).  He
doesn't examine seriously another hypothesis:  Leichenkeller 3 with its
three rooms.

     To place myself in the framework of his hypothesis, if the word
"Vergasung" is to be taken here in the sense of "gassing," Pressac must,
before jumping to the conclusion of a homicidal gassing, consider the
possibility that the word may refer to a disinfection gassing and since
(locating myself throughout in the framework of his book), he makes great
play of the testimony of the Jewish cobbler Henryk Tauber, I remind him
that, according to this testimony, SUCH AS PRESSAC READS IT HIMSELF, Zyklon
B cans were stored in one of the rooms of Leichenkeller 3.  According to
him, the room of which Tauber speaks would have been the one, on plans in
our possession, which is labeled "Goldarb[eit]"; perhaps he considers that
this room, before it was used for melting down the dental gold^7, served as
a storage room for the Zyklon cans (see p. 483 and the annotated plan on p.
485, number 8) but perhaps another room of Leichenkeller 3 is meant.  What
is certain is that materials for gassing (Vergasung) were stored, if
possible, in locations protected from heat and humidity, well-ventilated,
and locked; a cellar was recommended.

     Expressed otherwise, always in Pressac's frame of reference, the
letter of January 29, 1943 might mean that the morgue couldn't yet be used
but in the meantime the corpses could be placed in the storage room
provided for the gassing materials:  in the Vergasungskeller, that is the
"cellar for gassing [material]" (as Vorratskeller means "cellar for

     On the other hand, IF one makes of Vergasungskeller a cellar for
homicidal gassing, IF this cellar was Leichenkeller 1, and IF the Germans
contemplated making it into a provisional morgue, where would the victims
have been gassed?  Leichenkeller 1 could not have been simultaneously a
homicidal gas chamber and a morgue.

     I notice on pages 503 and 505 that Pressac believes that I have given
three successive and differing interpretations of Leichenkeller 1.  I am
supposed to have seen this room as first a room for carburetion, then as a
morgue, and finally as a disinfection gas chamber.  Not at all.  In the
first case, I recalled Arthur R. Butz's interpretation of the word
Vergasung in the sense of "gasification" or "carburetion" but neither Butz
nor I located this Vergasungskeller which, in any case, would have had to
be close to the oven room and not in a dependency far-removed from the
ovens.  In the second instance I reminded Pierre Vidal-Naquet that the word
Leichenkeller meant morgue or cold room and I specified:  "A morgue has to
be disinfected" (_Reponse a Pierre Vidal-Naquet_, op. cit., p. 35).  I
added that chemical analysis would be able to reveal traces of cyanide
because Zyklon B is an insecticide with a hydrogen-cyanide base.  Rooms
designated to hold corpses, in particular corpses of those dead of typhus,
would have to be disinfected (I remind here that I use the word
disinfection for "disinfestation," fumigating for insects, as well as for
disinfection proper).

     One will remark that Raul Hilberg mentions this document NO-4473 and
cites three extracts in German, but avoids reproducing the word
Vergasungskeller (_The Destruction of the European Jews_, op. cit., p.
885).  I imagine that as someone with a good command of the German language
he saw that, had the Germans wanted to speak of a gas chamber, they would
have used the words "Gaskammer" or "Gaskeller" (?) and not
"Vergasungskeller," which one cannot translate as "gas chamber" without
dishonesty.  Besides, at the end of his book, Pressac himself is resigned
to writing that the Vergasungskeller document "does not in itself
constitute the absolute proof of the existence of a HOMICIDAL gas chamber
in the basement of Birkenau Krematorium II" (p. 505).

                          Four Gas-tight Doors

     On page 447, as "criminal trace" no. 22, Pressac cites a document
which makes mention of, regarding Krema IV, four gas-tight doors.  This
time, for reasons which are not clear, he judges that this document does
not amount to a "conclusive" proof of the existence of a homicidal gas
chamber.  This admission tends to reduce much of the value of his initial
and fundamental "criminal trace," on which he cites the mention of a single
gas-tight door on an inventory from Krema III as if it were a conclusive
proof (see above, "Fourteen Showers and a Gas-tight Door").

                        A Key for a Gas Chamber

     On page 456 he offers us as the 33rd "criminal trace" a document
dealing with a "key for gas chamber."  He does so with some embarrassment.
That is understandable.  Can one imagine a keyhole in a door, gas-tight, to
a room which itself is supposed to be gas-tight?  He writes that this is
"incomprehensible with our present state of knowledge"; but why then
represent this document as a "criminal trace"?  The key might have been the
one to the room in which the cans of Zyklon B were stored.

                     A Peephole for a Gas Chamber.

     Still on page 456, he confesses that the 34th "criminal trace" is
nothing of the sort, whatever may have been believed.  In question is an
order regarding "The fittings for one door with frame, airtight with
peephole for gas chambers" (Die Beschlage zu 1 Tur mit Rahmen, luftdicht
mit Spion fur Gaskammer).  In 1980, during proceedings brought against me
by the LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism), LICRA
and all the rest offered this document as proof of the existence of
homicidal gas chambers.  Pressac, however, concedes that the document at
issue was a command concerning a disinfection gas chamber, as I had already
indicated in my _Reponse a Pierre Vidal-Naquet_ (op. cit., p. 80).

                          Other False Findings

     "Criminal traces" nos. 33 and 34 ought never to have figured on
Pressac's list of the 39 "criminal traces."  Indeed, he presents no. 33 to
us as "incomprehensible with our present state of knowledge," while no. 34
proves, as Pressac admits, the existence of a disinfection gas chamber, not
that of a homicidal gas chamber.

     The business of the ten gas detectors, which he brings up on page 432,
has already been scotched on page 371, where Pressac reveals that the firm
Topf & Sons, manufacturers of crematory ovens, routinely supplied detectors
for CO and CO2; why try to convince us that this type of company, on
receipt of an order for "gas detectors," would have understood by way of
telepathy that in this case it was to supply detectors for HCN (and not of
CO and CO2) and... that it would be in a position to furnish an item that
it didn't manufacture?

     On pages 223 and 432, Pressac reveals what he believes is a document,
dated March 6, 1943, according to which Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II and III
had to be "preheated."  Pressac is triumphant.  Why would one bother to
preheat a morgue?  And he implies that what they wanted to preheat was... a
homicidal gas chamber.  But nineteen days later, on March 25, 1943 to be
exact, the authorities learned that such a preheating wasn't possible (p.

     On page 302 Pressac regales the reader with an account of how a corpse
chute was replaced by a stairway, but toward the end of his book he
abandons any attempt to include this in the "39 criminal traces."

                  He Ought to Have Pondered the Lesson
                    of the Dejaco/Ertl Trial (1972)

     I have had occasion to say that the real "Auschwitz Trial" was not
that of certain "Auschwitz guards" in Frankfurt (1963-1965), but the trial
in Vienna, in 1972, of two men responsible for constructing the crematoria
of Auschwitz, above all those at Birkenau, Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl,
architectural engineers.  Both were acquitted.

     If the scantiest of the fragments presented here by Pressac (and, as
he admits, already known at the time), could have proved the existence of
homicidal gas chambers, this trial would have been played up with great
fanfare and the two defendants been crushingly condemned.  The trial, which
was long and meticulous, and which was at first noisily heralded, above all
by Simon Wiesenthal, demonstrated--as Pressac concedes--that the
prosecution's designated expert was unable to trouble the two defendants;
the expert "virtually admitted defeat" (p. 303).  In July 1978 I paid a
visit to Fritz Ertl (Dejaco had died that January), in hope that he could
clarify certain points regarding the plans of the crematoria which I had
found at the Auschwitz Museum.  I discovered an old man, panicked by the
prospect that his troubles were beginning anew.  He was obstinate in
refusing me the slightest information but he told me all the same that, for
his part, he had never laid eyes on homicidal gas chambers either at
Auschwitz or at Birkenau.

     It is no secret that I would be delighted to have access to the
documents from the pretrial investigation as well as the transcripts of the
Dejaco/Ertl trial.  I am convinced that these would include detailed
answers on the architecture of the Birkenau crematoria, on their internal
layout, on their purpose, and, lastly, on their possible modification.
This Dejaco/Ertl trial, the preliminary investigation of which began in
1968 at Reutte (Tirol), is all too often forgotten:  it prompted, for the
first time, a general mobilization to prove the existence of homicidal gas
chambers at Auschwitz.  It marked the first time that the Soviet Union
really played a role in furnishing valuable documents, and it witnessed the
establishment of a sort of direct conduit between Moscow and Vienna through
the intermediacy of Warsaw (Central Commission for the Investigation of
German Crimes in Poland) and Auschwitz (archives of the Auschwitz Museum)
(p. 71).  Officials from the Jewish community throughout the world, alerted
by Simon Wiesenthal, spared no effort.  The two unlucky architectural
engineers thus saw massive forces combined against them.  Let it be added
that, since they were quite unaware of the chemical and physical
impossibilities of homicidal gassing in the facilities they had built,
their plea was that the buildings' construction was perfectly normal, but
that surely it was possible that certain Germans had used them to commit
crimes.  Dejaco went as far as to say:  "And every big room could serve as
gas chamber.  Even this hearing room" (_Kurier_, January 20, 1972).  Dejaco
was greatly mistaken, since a homicidal gas chamber can only be a small
room requiring a very complex technology and specific equipment, but nobody
caught the error.  It was during this trial (January 18-March 10, 1972)
that the only Jewish "witness" to the gassings, the all-too-renowned Szlamy
Dragon, "fainted" on the stand, and gave no further testimony (AZ, March 3,
1972).  Pressac says that he demonstrated "total confusion" (p. 172).

                   The Leichonkeller at Sachsenhausen
                       Ought to Have Been Visited

     In order to get an idea of the several Leichenkeller at Birkenau,
Pressac ought to have visited the Leichenkeller at the Sachsenhausen
concentration camp, which is still intact and which, modernized in
1940/1941, offers a standard model of this type of building:  on the ground
floor there was a dissecting room, a doctor's office, etc., and in the
basement three rooms occupying about 230 square meters.  They could hold
200 corpses.  Each room had its own function.  One was designed for the
undressing and laying out of 80 corpses; the next for laying out 100
corpses; the third was for 20 infected corpses.  It is not claimed that
there was a homicidal gas chamber in the Sachsenhausen crematorium.
Pressac could have verified on the spot that a Leichenkeller, which has to
be cool, possesses as well heating vents, humidification equipment, a
special system for the isolation of the infected corpses (no direct
drainage into the sewage system), a chute (Rutsche) very similar to those
in Krema II and III at Birkenau with, on both sides, steps for the
personnel who ran the elevator for transporting the corpses.  Finally, at
Sachsenhausen it is confirmed that the very word Leichenkeller is generic
and is used of the building, ground floor and cellar, as a whole.  This
point of nomenclature alone should make us cautious regarding every
invoice, every work sheet, every accounting record which, apparently
referring to a basement room, perhaps actually concerns a room on the
ground floor.  For example, at Sachsenhausen the well-lit dissecting room
or the doctor's office, both located on the ground floor, are described as
belonging to a Leichenkeller (underground morgue).

                   He Ought to Have Done Work in the
                          Archives at Koblenz

     In the German Federal Archive at Koblenz, Pressac could have
discovered, as I did, the extraordinary collection of documents NS-3/377,
relative to the 1940 modernization of the Leichenkeller at Sachsenhausen.
The three plans--of the foundations, the basement, and the ground
floor--might have been done by an artist.  There is in addition a
collection of 90 pages itemizing the materials supplied and the expenses
accrued; Pressac would perhaps have found in these pages the actual sense
of words which he unjustifiably invests with sinister meanings when he
finds them in the records of the workshops at Auschwitz.  By the way, I
also have in my possession extracts from these records, carefully selected
by the Polish prosecution:  from them one can determine that the Germans
and the internees under their discipline were scrupulous in entering the
slightest order and job; reference is often made to disinfection gas

                He Ought to Have Visited a Leichenkeller
                               in Berlin

     Pressac, who in his book speaks more of the crematoria and their ovens
than of the gas chambers, should perhaps have visited the Ruheleben
crematorium at Berlin-Charlottenburg to see a contemporary Leichenkeller
capable of receiving 500 bodies at a time (see Hans-Kurt Boehlke,
Friedshofsbauten, Munich, Callwey Verlag, 1974, p. 117, which shows a plan
of the above).

                     He Ought to Have Given Thought
                   to the Example of Stutthof-Danzig

     Towards the end of his book (p. 539-541), Pressac devotes some
attention to a small brick building which, at the camp in Stutthof-Danzig
(not to be confused with the camp at Struthof-Natzweiler, in Alsace), is
occasionally represented in the "Holocaust" literature as a homicidal gas
chamber although it was obviously, as shown by its external stove, a
disinfection gas chamber.  Pressac's discussion is incoherent.  He begins
by stating, correctly, that, given the presence of the stove, the building
was a gas chamber for delousing prisoners' effects (p. 539).  Then,
suddenly, with not a shred of supporting evidence, he declares that from
June 22, 1944 (one admires his precision) to the beginning of November 1944
the building was used as a homicidal gas chamber for executing groups of
about 100 people.  Finally, on the next page (p. 540), Pressac changes his
mind and concludes that no scientific examination of the "murder weapon"
was ever made.  From this he concludes, judiciously:

     which means that we do not know how the chamber functioned as a
     delousing installation and are unable to provide material proof of its
     criminal use.

     It should be brought to Pressac's attention that therefore he had no
right, a few lines earlier, to charge anyone with homicidal gassing.

                     No Expert Report on the Weapon
                           No Real Excavation

     Until 1988 there had been no expert report on the gas chambers of
Auschwitz and Birkenau.  We had to wait until April 1988 for Fred Leuchter,
a specialist in execution gas chambers at American penitentiaries, to
publish a 193-page report on "the alleged execution gas chambers at
Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek."  Ernst Ziindel, a German resident of
Toronto, Canada, had hired Leuchter to examine those gas chambers and to
gather samples there.  The result was spectacular:  there had never been
any homicidal gas chambers in these camps.  Only the sample taken from a
gas chamber at Birkenau--officially recognized by the present camp
authorities as having been used for disinfection with Zyklon B--contained
meaningful, and even considerable, traces of cyanide; moreover, this
chamber had the blue blotches which reveal that a gas containing
hydrocyanic or prussic acid had been used in the past.

     Pierre Vidal-Naquet dared to state in 1980 that an expert report had
been "accomplished in June 1945 on the ventilation orifices of the gas
chamber at Birkenau [Krema II], on twenty-five kilos of women's hair and on
the metallic objects found in the hair" (re-edited in _Les Juifs, la
memoire et le present_, Maspero, p. 222, n. 41).  I replied to him:

          I am familiar with the expert reports ordered by examining
     magistrate Jan Sehn and carried out by the laboratory located on
     Copernicus Street in Cracow.  They are not reports establishing
     specifically that such and such a building was a homicidal gas chamber
     (_Reponse a Pierre Vidal-Naquet_, op. cit., p. 35).

     I shall not deal here with the explanations that I have advanced for
the possible presence of traces of hydrocyanic gas in the vents, in the
hair or in other objects.  S. Klarsfeld knew of this expert report but he
knew its limitations as well, since, in his 1986 interview (see above, p.
50-51), he admitted that up to that time real proof had never been
published; but an expert report would have constituted real proof Pressac
mentions the expert report of 1945 but is a long way from sharing
Vidal-Naquet's views since he points out that, while scrapings from certain
metallic objects described as galvanized plates originating from
Leichenkeller I of Krema II were analyzed, this analysis, which revealed
the presence of cyanide compounds, is only QUALITATIVE (Pressac's own
emphasis--p. 233), although to serve as proof the analysis would have had
to have been qualitative and QUANTITATIVE.

     Pressac informs us that the German association for "reconciliation
with the Jews" and for "repentance," Suhnezeichen (Sign of Atonement), had
in 1968 begun excavations in the ruins of the "gas chamber" of Krematorium
II; I would be curious to know why these excavations were almost
immediately broken off.  In 1987 I received a revelation from French
journalist Michel Folco.  During a trip to Auschwitz organized together
with Pressac, the two of them had met with Tadeusz Iwaszko, chief of the
Auschwitz Museum archives, with whom I became personally acquainted in
1976.  Folco asked him why the Poles had never resolved to carry out
excavations and an expert examination, the results of which would have
enabled them to silence the Revisionists.  Iwaszko's response was that if
proof of the crime were not discovered, the Jews would accuse the Poles of
having suppressed it.  Pressac wrote that in 1980 Iwaszko had already told
him that excavations would have been of no value because in any case,
whatever the results, the Poles would be accused of having "arrange[d]" the
site (p. 545).

     That's where the shoe pinches the accusers:  they dread the results of
excavations and analyses.  The Revisionists, for their part, have risked
undertaking such researches; their reward for doing so has been the
Leuchter Report, which proves that there were no homicidal gas chambers at
Auschwitz, at Birkenau, or at Majdanek ("The Leuchter Report: The How and
the Why," _The Journal of Historical Review_, Summer 1989, p. 133-139).


1.   See Appendix 1 below (to be published with Part II of this article in
     the Summer 1991 issue of _The Journal of Historical Review_).

2.   Our druggist is used to making blunders.  In order to illustrate that,
     I recommend page 558.  There he recounts how no one was willing to
     give credence to his first thesis (Krema IV and V were planned WITHOUT
     criminal intent) but that fortunately one man came to his aid, a man
     who "launched" him and who allowed him to present his thesis at the
     Sorbonne Colloquium in 1982, a man who, he wants to confide, found his
     expose "clear and remarkable."  This individual, who in 1982 supported
     a thesis whose exact opposite Pressac sustains today, was none other
     than ... Pierre Vidal-Naquet!

3.   On page 500 he presents us with three "gas-tight wooden shutters, the
     provenance of which he doesn't indicate but which probably were part
     of the disinfection gas chamber.  He points out that the fixing bar is
     "attached to the shutter by two nuts and bolts.  The bolt heads are ON
     THE INSIDE and the nuts are ON THE OUTSIDE" [original emphasis].  And
     he adds:  "an arrangement that calls for no further comment...,' thus
     giving to understand, without saying so expressly (Pressac makes
     frequent use of preterition), that these shutters were part of a
     homicidal gas chamber and that, had the bolts been "on the inside,"
     the victims would have unscrewed the fixing bar and made their escape!

4.   In a bombing attack, the door to an air-raid shelter is supposed to
     guard against two effects, among others, caused by exploding bombs:
     suction of the oxygen out of the shelter and penetration of CO into
     the same shelter.

5.   This observation, which destroys his thesis, he makes three times.  On
     page 224, he writes:  "The ventilation system of Leichenkeller 1 [the
     homicidal gas chamber] had initially been DESIGNED FOR A MORGUE, with
     the fresh air entering near the ceiling and the cold unhealthy air
     being drawn out near the floor.  Its use as a gas chamber really
     required the reverse situation, with fresh air coming in near the
     floor and warm air saturated with hydrocyanic acid being drawn out
     near the ceiling.  But the SS and [engineer Prufer] chose to maintain
     the original morgue, ventilation system in the gas chamber, hoping
     that it would be efficient enough."  On page 289, he recalls this
     "technical reality" of a ventilation system "inappropriately designed
     for a gas chamber."  On page 489, he finally writes:  "The levels of
     the air inlets (above) and extraction holes (below) prove that the
     system was designed for an underground morgue and not for a gas
     chamber, where the extraction of the WARM noxious air should be in the
     UPPER part."

6.   See "die Vergasung der Koks" (coke gasification) in a technical study
     of the crematoria which appeared in 1907:  _Handbuch der Architektur_
     (Heft III:  Bestattungsanlagen), Stuttgart, Alfred Korner Verlag,
     1907, p. 239.  In this work I found much information on
     "Leichenkeller," "Leichenkammer," "Sezierraum" (dissecting room), on
     hygienic rules, aeration, disinfection, on particular precautions for
     infected corpses (separate room with special aeration and lower
     temperature), on showers, on the doctor's office, on the washing room,
     on the length of time for cremation.  When all is said and done, Krema
     II and III were simply classic types.

7.   Pressac is right to recall, regarding this practice (commonplace
     during wartime where "recovery of non-ferrous metals" is carried out
     everywhere), that the "recovery of gold from corpses is current
     practice, even though it may be considered repugnant" (p. 294);
     medical students know that it isn't an activity peculiar to the SS!

[end of part 1 of article; concluded in part 2]

[Reprinted by permission from _The Journal of Historical Review_, P.O. Box
1306, Torrance, CA 90505, USA.  Subscription rate: $40 per year, domestic.
$50 per year, foreign.]

     This article was scanned by the System Operator of the "Banished CPU"
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