Kurt Gerstein and the Holocaust
Politically correct version(s)
According to the politically correct version(s) of events, as claimed by Gerstein (or one of these versions): Gerstein had already long before the war been in conflict with National Socialism, due to his Christian religious beliefs. He was involved in activities, such as Christian "anti-Nazi" pamphlets. Due to this, he was expelled from the NSDAP, civil service employment, beaten and wounded by "Nazis", and imprisoned for a period by the Gestapo for "activities against the State". When he in addition learned of the Action T4 killings, which included the killing of his sister-in-law, he decided to become an infiltrator, in order to reveal to the world what was occurring. He therefore joined the SS in 1941, despite his previous history advanced quickly, and in 1942 was named head of the Technical Disinfection Service of the Waffen-SS. He was in 1942 informed of the Holocaust and visited several extermination camps. He remained in the SS, where he had the task of supplying Zyklon B to the camps. However, he tried to contact many people during the war in order to inform them of the Holocaust and tried to sabotage the use of Zyklon B on humans. Near the end of the war, he was arrested by the French, who did not believe his statements of having been a secret dissident and treated him as a war criminal. He committed suicide in 1945 while being in custody.
Before this, in custody, he wrote the "Gerstein report" on his alleged Holocaust experiences. This report later received enormous attention and became a fundamental cornerstone for the politically correct view on several of the Holocaust camps (using very selective quoting from the report). The report is one of the few forms of support for the politically correct view on the "Aktion Reinhard" camps. After the war, several witnesses have given supporting testimonies, such as Gerstein allegedly having informed them of the Holocaust during the war.
According the revisionist views of events: The "Gerstain report" is full of grossly obvious contradictions and absurdities, such as 25 million persons gassed. While also non-revisionists have criticized the report as unreliable, they have not completely rejected it, which revisionists argue is because the report was used to establish important aspects of the politically correct Holocaust version, and the report is now of so fundamental importance that completely rejecting it is not possible. While this is sometimes denied, it was cited as evidence at the Nuremberg trials and selected quotes from the report were printed in the official trial records. There are six different versions of the "Gerstein report". Some of these have been argued to be forgeries, that were likely created in order to try to reduce the absurdities. A variety of explanations for Gerstein's allegations have been proposed (in addition to his own stated longstanding anti-National Socialism), such as fabulations made in order to not be convicted as a war criminal for having had an important role in the camp system administration, fabulations made in order cover-up illegal war profiteering by Gerstein during the war years, fabulations made while being tortured (with the death being a killing due to the torture or a cover-up), and/or mental illness.
Another theory: "One of the stories current about Gerstein is that he wrote the statement in Cherche-Midi prison, in France, and committed suicide, after which his body disappeared. It is far more probable that the statement was written in French by a German Jewish interrogator-"interpreter", and that some of the inconsistencies (such as winter occuring in August, or being in a car in one sentence, and a train in the next) resulted from imperfect transcription of the notes of interrogation into affidavit form. In minor war crimes trials and Japanese war crimes trials, unsworn "statements" of this kind are fairly common, on the theory that they possess "probative value" but less "weight" than sworn statements. It is also possible that Gerstein died of injuries sustained during "interrogation"; or perhaps he hanged himself with the typewriter ribbon. This document was later extensively quoted in the Pohl Trial, where it was "proven" that Treblinka had 10 'gas chambers' (1553-PS) and 10 'steam chambers' (3311-PS) in the same camp at the same time."
The Gerstain Report alleged that Odilo Globocnik told Gerstein that diesel exhaust was used as a murder method in gas chambers (which were implied to be the alleged gas chambers in the "Aktion Reinhard" camps and in order to cause carbon monoxide poisoning). Gerstein also allegedly witnessed a gassing at Belzec, where he stated that a diesel engine was used. Gerstein was a mining engineer and as diesel engines are extensively used in mines, due to their very low short-term toxicity, it is unlikely that Gerstein would have mistaken the engine type. Even is he did not see the engine himself, he would likely have identified it by the distinctive sound diesel engines make.
Holocaust revisionists have criticized the supposed use of diesel exhaust as a mass killing method, due to the very low short-term toxicity of diesel exhaust. Consequently, more recently in response to the criticisms, some non-revisionists have changed the alleged killing method to gasoline exhaust. See Holocaust material evidence: Gas vans and gas chambers using diesel exhaust. These non-revisionists must therefore argue that Gerstein, for unclear reasons, lied about the use of diesel exhaust and as non-revisionists it is problematic to state explanations such as a forged or forced testimony.
Regardless of if the alleged killing method was diesel or gasoline exhaust, Gerstein (and later his alleged companion Wilhelm Pfannenstiel) claimed that the corpses had a blue skin discoloration, while revisionists argue that carbon monoxide poisoning (from diesel or gasoline exhaust) produces a red skin discoloration.
Post-war statements by others
The post-war statements by others supporting aspects of Gerstein's narrative(s), such as on allegedly being contacted by Gerstein and given Holocaust information, are argued to add further absurdities and contradictions to the narrative(s). "Indeed, the available sources show that Gerstein told a different version of the presumed events to every single person he spoke to." These testimonies have been argued to have been influenced by ideological opposition to National Socialism and/or external pressure to support Gerstein's narrative(s).
See also the article on Wilhelm Pfannenstiel.
See The Holocaust: Revisionist views: Testimonies and confessions regarding general revisionist criticisms of confessions/testimonies and the "External links" regarding specific criticisms of the Holocaust allegations associated with Kurt Gerstein.
- The Gerstein Report: The Anatomy of a Fraud: A Review
- The 'Confessions' of Kurt Gerstein: Book Review
- Some Comments on the Gerstein Reports
- More Impossibilities of the "Gerstein Statement"
- How Historian Gilbert Falsifies and Invents
- The Confessions of Kurt Gerstein: An Amazon Review
- From the Gerstein Affair to the Roques Affair
- Not Guilty at Nuremberg: The German Defense Case - The section "Kurt Gerstein"
Books partially discussing Gerstsin
- The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry - pages 137-138, Appendix A: The “Statement” (reprinting one version of the Gerstein report)
- Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined - section 4.5.2. Kurt Gerstein, also page 247
- Treblinka—Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?
- Belzec—in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History
- Sobibór—Holocaust Propaganda and Reality
- The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers - on Gerstein’s alleged efforts to inform various non-German authorities of his “discoveries” during the war: pages 101-105
Note that besides the external sources listed here, an alleged Holocaust confessor/witness may be extensively discussed in the external sources listed in the articles on the particular Holocaust camps and/or other Holocaust phenomena the individual is associated with.
- The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=7
- The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
- The Gerstein Report: The Anatomy of a Fraud: A review http://codoh.com/library/document/2150/
- The 'Confessions' of Kurt Gerstein: Book Review http://codoh.com/library/document/2285/
- NOT GUILTY AT NUREMBERG: The German Defense Case http://cwporter.com/innocent.htm
- The Kurt Gerstein Report http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ar/gersteinreport.html
- Skin discoloration caused by carbon monoxide poisoning https://codoh.com/library/document/657/?lang=en