Holocaust material evidence
Holocaust material evidence constitutes evidence on the Holocaust derived from examinations of and logical arguments regarding the alleged material remains (or the absent material remains) of the alleged crime. In particular, material evidence involving the alleged gas chambers, crematoria, burial places, and corpses.
Holocaust revisionists argue that this is a more important form of evidence than Holocaust documentary evidence and Holocaust testimonial evidence. Thus, if, for example, physical examinations or the laws of physics contradict allegations made in documents or testimonies, then the allegations are false.
As the discussion on material evidence closely involves general Holocaust camp functioning, some forms of documentary and testimonial evidence related to this will also be discussed below, despite this not necessarily always involving the material evidence.
- 1 Camps
- 2 Gas vans and gas chambers using diesel exhaust
- 3 Argued implausibly poor choices of alleged killing methods
- 4 Corpses
- 5 References
Zyklon B and crematoria
Revisionists argue that while the pesticide Zyklon B, which produces the poisonous gas hydrogen cyanide, was used in some Holocaust camps in "gas chambers", this was for delousing items such as clothing, in order to prevent epidemics of diseases such as typhus. Thus, the argued purpose was to save lives and not mass murder. Similarly, revisionists argue that there were crematoria in the camps, but that the purpose of these was not to hide the evidence of mass murder, but to improve camp hygiene and safely dispose of corpses from deaths due to a variety of non-genocidal causes, such as typhus.
Zyklon B derivatives in claimed gas chamber walls
A famous Holocaust revisionist argument is that measurements of the amount of Zyklon B derivatives, in the walls of delousing gas chambers and in the walls of alleged homicidal gas chambers, show that delousing gassings occurred in the delousing chambers, but that no gassings and killings occurred in the alleged homicidal gas chambers. A color pigment ("Prussian blue") originating from repeated Zyklon B use is even visible as a blue-green discoloration in delousing gas chambers in the camps, but not in the alleged homicidal gas chambers in the camps. These arguments were first presented in the first Leuchter report.
The first Leuchter report was produced under great time pressure in 1988, shortly before the second of Ernst Zündel's Holocaust trials, by Fred Leuchter who had no in-depth knowledge of the historical issues at hand. It has often been criticized by anti-revisionists. Revisionists argue that the revisionist replies and later reports, such as the Rudolf report and the Lüftl report, have often been ignored, which in effect means that the anti-revisionists attack straw men, but that is then presented as the revisionist position having been disproven.
The Chemistry of Auschwitz—Buna Rubber, Zyklon B, Prussian Blue and the Gas Chambers is a 2017 revisionist video documentary on the issue.
See Missing Zyklon B derivatives in claimed homicidal gas chamber walls argument regarding more details.
While possibly being the most well-known argument, this argument is just one of many arguments regarding the material evidence that Holocaust revisionists argue support their view. Many of these require less expert knowledge than the Zyklon B argument, which sometimes relies on technical argumentation requiring expert knowledge of chemistry. These arguments have been presented in many other books and articles than those mentioned above. The Holocaust Handbooks series of books is one example. Some examples will be discussed in the following sections.
Other argued problems with the claimed killing and corpse disposal process
Other examinations of gas chambers and other structures are argued to contradict to the politically correct descriptions, regarding aspects such as the holes allegedly used to insert Zyklon B into the claimed homicidal gas chambers.
The entire files of the Central Construction Office of Auschwitz have been found. This and other evidence are argued to show that the claimed homicidal gas chambers, the camp crematories, and other structures such as ventilation systems were not constructed for and completely unsuitable for mass killings/mass disposal of bodies and that later constructions did not change this.
The gas chamber doors found in Auschwitz are argued to be made of wooden boards, ordinary hinges and flimsy latches, opening outwards, and thus unable to withstand heavy pressure from within the room, appropriate for a gas chamber for delousing items, but inappropriate for a gas chamber with hundreds of people desperately trying to escape.
One example of criticisms of the crematoria is that they were ordinary crematoria designed to allow the collection of the remains from a single corpse. Crematoria designed for the quick disposal of numerous corpses from a very large scale mass murder, where identifying individual remains was not important, would have been designed very differently. Furthermore, the use of very expensive coke as fuel, instead of inexpensive coal, would only be necessary if wanting to have pure remains, which were not contaminated with fuel ash, again something unimportant for a mass murderer.
In addition, it is argued that for several different reasons (such as the physical/chemical properties of Zyklon B, the time required for ventilation of the gas from the chambers, and the logistics involved in moving thousands of people/corpses each day through the claimed chain of structures) it is simply physically/chemically highly implausible or impossible for mass killings or mass disposal of corpses to have occurred as described in politically corrects descriptions. See also the "Corpses" section.
See Auschwitz: Example of revisionist criticism of eyewitness claims on an example of revisionist arguments from The Rudolf Report, which is often related to the physical/chemical properties of Zyklon B and of the alleged homicidal gas chambers/crematories.
Non-revisionists have sometimes cited books by Jean-Claude Pressac as having refuted some technical revisionist arguments regarding Auschwitz. Revisionists argue that this is incorrect and that the writings presented unsubstantiated ramblings and unfounded speculations. This is argued to in effect be admitted also by some non-revisionists, who started criticizing the arguments as counterproductive. Thus, one critic wrote that "Far from signifying the defeat of the revisionists, Mr. Pressac’s book ‘The Crematories of Auschwitz: The Technique of Mass Murder’ signifies its paradoxical triumph: The apparent victors (those who affirm the crime in its whole horrible extent) are the defeated, and the apparent losers (the revisionists and with them the deniers) come out on top. Their victory is invisible, but incontestable". In addition, Pressac in his later years became increasingly critical of mainstream historiography, which he described as "rotten" and stated that "The current view of the world of the [National Socialist] camps, though triumphant, is doomed. What of it can be salvaged? Only little." This is argued to have caused him to eventually be shunned by the mainstream and his death in 2003 to be ignored by the media.
Technical arguments made by other prominent revisionists and at the Irving v. Lipstadt trial have often consisted of reusing Pressac's arguments, sometimes without naming the source, and have been extensively criticized by revisionists.
Revisionists have made many criticisms of the politically correct view on the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps, including by using material evidence, as discussed in the article on these camps.
Revisionists have made many criticisms of the politically correct view on the Auschwitz camp, including by using material evidence, as discussed in the article on this camp.
For example, the Auschwitz Museum has put on display piles of hair, boots, and eyeglasses, and so on, but there is neither evidence for the origin of these items nor for the fate of their former owners. In a videotaped interview, the Auschwitz Museum authorities admitted that the gas chamber shown to tourists is a postwar "reconstruction", based only on unverified eyewitness claims. The Museum’s tourist guides, however, have told visitors that all they see is genuine.
See the article on Holocaust demographics regarding various issues related to the demographics of the camps, which may also include some aspects of the material evidence.
Gas vans and gas chambers using diesel exhaust
The gas vans are argued to be a product of Soviet wartime propaganda. The propaganda may have been inspired by Soviet gas vans, which had been used to kill dissidents in limited numbers, by using gasoline exhaust with high carbon monoxide content. Revisionists argue that the Soviet propagandists switched the killing method to the diesel engines invented in and commonly used in Germany, in order to make the story appear more authentic. They did not realize, revisionists argue, that diesel exhaust is nontoxic short-term (long-term it may cause cancer and other problems) and that for various technical reasons it is highly implausible that large scale murders would have been committed using diesel exhaust (even if not theoretically physically impossible, the practical difficulties are argued to be enormous). Diesel engines were as early as 1928 used in mines, because diesel exhaust can be released underground without short-term danger, and there is argued to be no confirmed case of a healthy person dying in the short term due to exposure to diesel exhaust. Also, there are other argued problems, such as the alleged killing times being too long for the claimed very large scale killings and "witnesses" not reporting the victims being covered in soot.
Another argued problem with the politically correct descriptions is that the claimed witnesses did not report the cherry red skin discoloration associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.
The evidence in support for the gas vans is argued to consist of show trial "confessions" and "testimonies" (argued to be inconsistent and at times nonsensical), photos of normal German wartime vans, and documents containing alleged "code words", which revisionists argue were normal terms used for German military vehicles. The most important documentary evidence is argued to be two documents that revisionists argue have been demonstrated to be clear forgeries.
Diesel exhaust was supposedly also used instead of Zyklon B in gas chambers in some camps, such as some or all of the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps. The problems with this are argued to be similar to those argued for gas vans using diesel exhaust.
More recently, in response to the criticisms by Holocaust revisionists, some anti-revisionists have changed the claim to now instead claiming that exhaust from gasoline engines was used, and that the earlier "evidence" supporting diesel engines was based on misunderstandings by "witnesses" and "confessors" and other causes. Which arguably is an indirect admission of the unreliability of such "evidence". Furthermore, many of the revisionist criticisms continue to apply also to gasoline exhaust, such as gasoline being a scarce resource during the war, there being better alternatives, and regarding the corpse color claimed by "witnesses"/"confessors", as discussed in the sections "Argued implausibly poor choices of alleged killing methods" and "Corpses". See also Kurt Gerstein: Diesel exhaust and Erich Fuchs.
Argued implausibly poor choices of alleged killing methods
Revisionists have criticized the supposed use of the delousing agent Zyklon B and carbon monoxide from diesel exhaust in the Holocaust, since they have various argued problems as methods for mass murder of humans. See the section "Gas vans and gas chambers using diesel exhaust" regarding diesel exhaust. The delousing agent Zyklon B consisted of canisters containing adsorbent granules containing hydrogen cyanide, which was slowly released as a poisonous gas when opening the canisters. It has properties that are desirable or acceptable if delousing buildings/clothing but highly undesirable or unacceptable if intending to quickly kill millions. Zyklon B is argued to have been:
- Expensive to make.
- In short supply and desperately needed for non-homicidal delousing purposes by German military and civilian agencies.
- Releasing gas slowly.
- Releasing gas for a long time.
- Possibly requiring nonexistant heating systems (especially in the winter).
- Difficult to ventilate.
- Requiring careful disposal of residues.
- Adhering to surfaces (including those of corpses).
- Complicated to use.
- Dangerous for the alleged killers and those allegedly disposing of the corpses.
- Requiring the use of gas masks and likely additional protective clothing, which would greatly complicate the corpse disposal.
The manufacturer of Zyklon B also made the DEGESCH circulatory device, which made Zykon B safer to handle, heated the granules with hot blown air in order to quickly spread the cyanide gas, allowed the granules to be safely removed, and allowed the gas chamber to be ventilated with fresh air. In contrast, at the alleged homicidal gas chambers, this device was not used, but instead methods such as cutting holes in the ceiling and pouring the granules through the holes into the chambers, causing problems such that the granules could not be removed before removing the corpses, causing cyanide gas to be continued to be released for one hour or more, greatly complicating the alleged corpse removal.
In addition to the argued problems with the homicidal gases (Zyklon B/diesel exhaust), there are also various argued problems with the construction of the alleged homicidal gas chambers, as discussed in the section "Other argued problems with the claimed killing and corpse disposal process".
Germany is argued to have had access to much more efficient and realistic killing methods. For example, there are various non-gas killing methods:
- Shooting. Used for numerous mass killings throughout history. One example is during the Great Purge. Mass shootings were allegedly used as a method for mass killings by the Einsatzgruppen, but were supposedly seen as problematic by the Germans due to causing stress for the shooters. Despite the supposed problems with shooting as a killing method, shooting allegedly continued to be used as mass killing method even long after the alleged gas chamber killings had started. See Einsatzgruppen: 29 December 1942 report.
- Starvation. A method causing mass killings of prisoners in, for example, the Gulag camp system and in POW camps during and after WWII, such as the Rheinwiesenlager.
- Mechanical devices, such as guillotines.
- Asphyxiation, such as from simply packing many victims in a room without ventilation.
- Numerous other possible non-gas killing methods.
If demanding that poisonous gas must be used instead of a non-gas method, then, instead of carbon monoxide from diesel exhaust, a far more efficient method would have been, it is argued, to use some of the hundreds of thousands vehicles, which at this time did not use valuable diesel or gasoline fuel (strictly prohibited for non-military vehicles in 1943), but instead used solid fuels such as wood, coke, or coal, and producing a much more toxic gas, containing very high carbon monoxide concentrations. Such gas was widely used for purposes such killing rats and other pests. All the political and military heads of the Third Reich, including those involved with Jewish deportations, are argued to have been well aware of these toxic non-diesel gas generators. Such very toxic gas was also produced on an industrial scale right next to Auschwitz, but allegedly only the problematic delousing agent Zyklon B was used at Auschwitz.
Another argued more efficient alternative would have been to use the extremely toxic nerve gases Tabun and Sarin, which had been developed in the years before the war and that were manufactured on a large scale. However, nerve gases would, like Zyklon B, have been dangerous for those gassing and for those disposing of the bodies.
There were also several other available poisonous gases that could have been used at this time. However, if the Germans really wished to take the trouble to commit mass killings in the form of gassings, it has been argued that the best alternative would have been to use carbon monoxide, produced from other sources than diesel and gasoline, as described earlier.
Another implausibly poor choice is argued to be to make difficult transports from all over Europe to Poland, instead of killing more locally.
Yet another argued implausibly poor choice by the supposedly very secretive German conspirators (using secret "code words" even in already secret documents and so on) was to conduct "secret" mass killings in relatively open camps, such as Auschwitz, which had many kinds of contacts and information exchanges with the outside world. Thus, Allied air photos of Auschwitz show "that the Polish peasants worked their fields right up to the fences. This means that it would have been impossible to keep secret what went on there (cf. Ball 1992, pp. 51-53). The heavy passenger and freight traffic passing through the busy railroad hub at Auschwitz would likewise have made secrecy difficult or impossible, as would the fact that many of the prisoners were employed as workers in German plants and factories, both civilian and military. These internees had frequent contact with prisoners of war from other nations, as well as German and foreign civilians. In addition, a large number of civilian construction companies with all their employees were involved in erecting many buildings in the concentration and prisoner of war camps. Furthermore, there were constant releases and furloughs from the concentration camp. [...] According to a publication by the Auschwitz museum, for example, over a thousand of 26,200 registered inmates were released from imprisonment while around 3,000 were transferred to other camps." In addition, allegedly, the large scale open-air burning of corpses of mass murder victims (when crematories were unavailable) were openly visible and attracted attention.
Air photos of other camps are argued to show that they could be seen right into from surrounding areas, including roads. This also allegedly included buildings with alleged homicidal gas chambers and areas allegedly used for mass graves without cremation.
At Chelmno, the supposedly secret "operation of the camp was in no way concealed from the inhabitants of the town. Initially the villa grounds were surrounded merely by wire. Only after killing operations had been underway for at least a month was a broad fence put up to block the view". Thus, "the ultra-cautious German conspirators build an extermination camp in the middle of a town, where the entire populace gets a birds-eye view of the extermination process!"
Another issue is why the supposedly very secretive German conspirators allowed so many camp prisoners to survive camps such as Auschwitz when they closed down and evacuated the camps. See in particular the Sonderkommando article on these important witnesses to the alleged gas chamber killings not being killed. Similarly, why the Germans did not destroy supposed Holocaust evidence that would have been easy to destroy, such as documents non-revisionists cite as evidence, despite supposedly making enormous efforts to completely annihilate other evidence, such as all corpses. In particular, according to politically correct history, there were several months between Auschwitz's alleged gas chambers closing down and the evacuation of the camp, leaving plenty of time to completely destroy all supposedly incriminating evidence and kill all camp prisoners. See also the article on Aktion 1005.
Many Holocaust "witnesses" (including many of the most important) have stated that the corpses resulting from the alleged cyanide (from Zyklon B) or carbon monoxide gassings had blue skin discolorations. This may be related to Zyklon B also often being called "Zyklon Blue", because of the way it caused blue wall discolorations (due to the Prussian blue formation) and cyanide/carbon monoxide poisoning possibly being presumed to cause ordinary oxygen deficiency, which does cause blue skin discolorations. However, both cyanide and carbon monoxide poisoning instead cause red skin discolorations.
Revisionists further argue that there are no autopsies of bodies showing death by gassing.
Furthermore, revisionists argue that there were neither adequate industrial facilities nor sufficient fuel to cremate the huge number of claimed corpses. The capacity of the crematories are argued to be barely sufficient to cremate the bodies of those who died from starvation and epidemics.
The deliveries of coke to Auschwitz camp are fully documented for a 1942 to 1943 period. They match almost exactly the amount needed to cremate the number of prisoners who died during this period, according to the official the camp records, and that according to non-revisionists do not include those allegedly gassed. This has been argued to prove that no such alleged mass gassings occurred.
"Normal" concentration camps, such as Buchenwald, for which no genocidal mass killings are alleged today, were equipped with crematoria for the disposal of the bodies. Revisionists have argued that it is absurd that there were no crematoria in the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka "pure extermination" camps, where crematoria would have been far more urgently needed, if mass killings took place. Consequently, one and a half million corpses allegedly had to be burned with primitive manual means in the open air, nearly half a million of them in winter. The detainees charged with gathering wood are argued to have required more than 26 years to gather the necessary amount.
In some cases, the method for disposal of bodies claimed in the politically correct version (such as for the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps and the Einsatzgruppen) would leave massive remains (such as if burning the corpses on pyres). Revisionists argue that many investigations have without success searched for these massive remains, using a variety of methods, including digging up sites where some witnesses claimed the remains were buried. Some such investigations do have found small amounts of human remains, which revisionists argue is compatible with the limited numbers who did die due to non-homicidal causes according to revisionists, but not with the massive numbers claimed by non-revisionists to have been killed. Such limited findings are argued to often be greatly misrepresented by non-revisionists. See also the article on the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps regarding more details on this.
There are also other argued problems with pyres, such as the areas reported by witnesses being to small contain the claimed amount of remains, claimed burning and cleaning time is too short to be realistic, absence of expected findings on reconnaissance photos, nonsense statements about corpses being burned without any kind of fuel, and that for various reasons it being physically impossible to have had pyres of the size and description claimed.
Burning in deep "incineration trenches" at Auschwitz has been claimed. Revisionists argue that this is impossible, due a high ground water level. A drainage systems was later built, but alleged "incineration trenches" existed before this, allegedly existed a long distance way from the drained area, and the drainage is anyhow argued to only have lowered the water level slightly.
Allegedly, "Aktion 1005" was the code name for a large-scale operation that aimed to obliterate the traces of the Holocaust, and in particular the corpses from early mass killings in camps and by the Einsatzgruppen. See the article on "Aktion 1005" and the external links there regarding revisionist criticisms.
See Einsatzgruppen: Alleged destruction of the corpses regarding this topic.
What happened to the corpses of those who died in the Holocaust ghettos (supposedly around a million corpses according to some politically correct claims) is completely unexplained, even by politically correct sources.
The crematorium manager and operator Ivan Lagacé, testifying in court at the second of Ernst Zündel's Holocaust trials, stated that the crematorium that he managed and operated was similar to that in Birkenau, and described the claim of thousands of corpses being cremated each day as "preposterous" and "beyond the realm of reality." He further testified that corpses become very problematic to handle after only a day or two, due to decomposition (but many corpse burnings allegedly took place after digging up millions of corpses that had been in the ground much longer). He also testified on open air burning and stated that human corpses do not burn completely in open spaces and that open air burning requires far more fuel due to the heat escaping and less optimal burning environment (as noted above, it has been argued to be absurd that several claimed extermination camps did not have crematoria).
- Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- After the Irving-Lipstadt Trial: New Dangers and Challenges: Judge Gray’s Harsh But Predictable Ruling. http://codoh.com/library/document/2879/
- Crematoria designed for mass murder or not? https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2560
- Carlo Mattogno: The Real Case for Auschwitz—Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=22
- German Rudolf's Website. http://germarrudolf.com/
- Articles by Friedrich Paul Berg, Thomas Kues, Charles D. Provan. Skin Discoloration Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. http://codoh.com/library/series/1704/
- Germar Rudolf, Wolfgang Lambrecht. The Rudolf Report—Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects of the “Gas Chambers” of Auschwitz. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=2
- Thomas Dalton. The Great Holocaust Mystery: Reconsidering the Evidence. https://codoh.com/library/document/3331/?lang=en
- Probing the Holocaust, The Horror Explained https://codoh.com/library/document/4056/?lang=en
- Jürgen Graf. The Giant With Feet of Clay—Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the ‘Holocaust’ http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=3
- Richard A. Widmann. (2008). German Poison Gas (1914 - 1944) (2008) http://codoh.com/library/document/976/
- Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/35irving.html
- The Final Solution: A Response to Christopher Browning http://codoh.com/library/document/162/
- John C. Ball. Air Photo Evidence—World War Two Photos of Alleged Mass Murder Sites Analyzed. Holocaust Handbooks 27. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=27
- PINK not BLUE. http://www.whatreallyhappened.info/pinknotblue.html
- Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
- Chapter "Ivan Lagacé" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/26lagace.html