Missing Zyklon B derivatives in claimed homicidal gas chamber walls argument

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Book cover of The Rudolf Report showing visible Prussian blue discolorations on delousing chamber walls that are absent on the walls of the alleged homicidal gas chambers.

The Missing Zyklon B derivatives in claimed homicidal gas chamber walls argument is a Holocaust revisionist argument, which argues that missing Zyklon B derivatives in the walls of alleged homicidal gas chambers in Holocaust camps proves that these chambers were not homicidal gas chambers.


Zyklon B was the trade name of a pesticide with hydrogen cyanide (prussic acid) as the active ingredient. It consisted of adsorbent granules with hydrogen cyanide in sealed canisters. Opening a canister slowly released hydrogen cyanide as a gas.

It was historically widely used in order to kill pests such as lice in clothing and buildings. As lice may also spread diseases such as typhus, especially when many people live closely together (such as in concentration camps), Zyklon B was an important agent against diseases. Today hydrogen cyanide has in most cases been replaced by newer pesticides, but is still used, using other trade names.

"Prussian blue" is a dark blue pigment containing cyanide. It may form on surfaces after repeated Zyklon B exposure.

Zyklon B is most notorious for being the alleged mass murder method used in gas chambers in some of the Holocaust camps, including Auschwitz and Majdanek.

Holocaust revisionism and anti-revisionism

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.[1]

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.

One example is the Irving-Lipstadt trial in 2000, where the first Leuchter report was criticized in the judgment and later reports ignored.[2]

Ad hominem

Regarding the Leuchter report, a common tactic is to simply dismiss it (and illogically all later reports by others authors) by making ad hominem attacks against Leuchter. This occurred even during the 1988 trial, in which the judge prohibited the defense from using or even mentioning to the jury the report and severely limited what Leuchter was allowed to state as a defense witness. This was motivated by claiming that Leuchter was an expert only on a very limited area.[3] See also Ernst Zündel's Holocaust trials: The judge at the 1988 trial.

Wall exposure to Zyklon B criticisms

Germar Rudolf, chemist and author of the Rudolf report and other works on Zyklon B and the Holocaust, has argued that revisionists have answered the various criticisms, such as regarding the different concentrations of poison gas (hydrogen cyanide) needed to kill lice (in the delousing chambers) and humans (in the alleged homicidal gas chambers). Revisionists have thus argued that:[1]

  • Such comparisons have often been misleading, such as by comparing the high concentration needed to thoroughly eradicate all lice along with all of their resistant eggs with the low concentration threshold at which hydrogen cyanide may possibly be fatal to humans. However, in actual practice, in American execution chambers, hydrogen cyanide gas concentrations similar to those in delousing chambers have been used and this kills humans in 10 to 15 minutes. Allegedly, the killings occurred much quicker in the alleged German homicidal gas chambers, in a few minutes, which means that the alleged homicidal gas chambers must have used higher hydrogen cyanide concentrations than the delousing chambers.[1]
  • Zyklon B releases only about 10% of its hydrogen cyanide during the first few minutes when the killings allegedly occurred, so Zyklon B containing at least ten times as much hydrogen cyanide would have to be used and that would eventually be released over several hours. In the delousing chambers, there would not have been a need to use such an "overdose" of Zyklon B in order to kill very quickly.[1]
  • The alleged homicidal gas chambers had no or only very limited ventilation systems (designed for morgues), unlike the delousing gas chambers, meaning prolonged exposure.[1]
  • Some of the alleged homicidal gas chambers were very damp, unlike the delousing chambers, which would have increased Zyklon B derivatives in the walls.[1]

There is a difference between the hydrogen cyanide concentration that may kill a single human under ideal conditions and the much higher concentration needed to very quickly kill a large room full of people in a few minutes. Even the (at first) anti-revisionist Jean-Claude Pressac calculated that under such conditions the amount of cyanide gas that would have been used would have to be 40 times the theoretically lethal dose.[4]

Holocaust revisionists have also criticized claims such as only a low hydrogen cyanide concentration of "300 ppm" being required to kill humans. This claim is stated to actually be based on a very old experiment on rabbits, with the researcher explicitly stating that "I can make no quantitative statements about men."[5] Other research has shown that humans are less sensitive to hydrogen cyanide than small mammals.[6]

One exposure factor favoring the delousing chambers is that the time that the gas was in contact with the walls may have been shorter during the alleged homicidal gassings than during the insect gassings. However, the alleged homicidal gas chambers were allegedly used almost daily, sometimes several times daily, with the corpses allegedly removed quickly, with no or little time for venting and with ventilation systems absent or very limited, since they were designed for morgues. Even if the exposure time was longer in the delousing chambers, this is argued to be offset by factors such as the alleged homicidal chamber being cool and damp, while the delousing chambers were warm and dry.[6]

Furthermore, Holocaust revisionists are not necessarily arguing that Zyklon B exposure in the alleged homicidal chambers must have been exactly equal to or higher than that in the delousing chambers, but instead that if the alleged large scale killings by Zyklon B occurred as claimed, then this large scale exposure to Zyklon B in the alleged homicidal gas chambers should have caused high concentrations of Zyklon B derivatives in walls, but that are absent.

Traces criticisms

Another criticism is that sometimes very small trace amounts of Zyklon B derivatives appear to be found in the alleged gas chambers. Revisionists argue that such very small traces are found also in structures never argued to be exposed to Zyklon B, are not replicable, and even when found are impossibly small compared to the homicidal gas chamber allegations. Possible explanations for such traces include measurement errors, general camp delousing activities, and/or generally found traces of the very stable Prussian blue.[1][7][8]

1/10 of a human hair penetration and water hosing criticisms

Yet another criticism has been that cyanide/cyanide derivatives could only have penetrated the walls to a depth of one tenth of a human hair, which would cause problems such measurement errors. This was seen as an important argument in the judgment at the Irving-Lipstadt trial. Revisionists have argued that this is technically incorrect and that massive discolorations can be seen by the human eye even on the outside walls of delousing chambers, demonstrating penetration of the entire wall.[9][2][10]

A related argument is by claiming that the walls of the alleged homicidal gas chambers were hosed with water between gassings. Revisionist have stated that even decades of rain and other forms of weather exposure have not removed the discolorations seen on outside walls of delousing chambers. Furthermore, as stated earlier, higher wall dampness is a factor increasing the formation of discolorations.[11]

Polish investigation

Still another example of a criticism is an often cited Polish investigation headed by Jan Markiewicz, which revisionists argue was openly politically biased and used a flawed technical procedure. Revisionists have further argued the same group had earlier instead found results supporting the revisionists, did not publish these results, but that they were released to the public through an indiscretion.[1][12] See the article on Jan Markiewicz and the external links there on this discussion.

Richard J. Green

One debate on Zyklon B has involved arguments between the Jewish-American chemist Richard J. Green and the chemist Germar Rudolf as well as other revisionists. See the article on Richard J. Green and the external links there on this discussion.

Judicial and extra-judicial punishments for politically incorrect views

Many of the more recent technical experts stating support for Holocaust revisionism have been subjected to extensive judicial and extra-judicial punishments for this. This applies to both Leuchter and Rudolf. Another example is the engineer Walter Lüftl, author of the Lüftl Report. Yet another example is Wolfgang Fröhlich, an engineer and a specialist in constructing gas chambers for purposes such as pest control. He has been convicted many times for "Holocaust denial" and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The Chemistry of Auschwitz—Buna Rubber, Zyklon B, Prussian Blue and the Gas Chambers

The Chemistry of Auschwitz—Buna Rubber, Zyklon B, Prussian Blue and the Gas Chambers is a 2017 revisionist video documentary on the issue.

Other Zyklon B, gas chamber, and material remains arguments

Revisionists have made many other arguments related to Zyklon B and the alleged homicidal gas chamber. For example, already before the publication of the Leuchter report in 1988, "Dr. William B. Lindsey, a research chemist employed for 33 years by the Dupont Corporation, likewise testified in a 1985 court case that the Auschwitz gassing story is technically impossible. Based on a careful on-site examination of the "gas chambers" at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, and on his years of experience, he declared: "I have come to the conclusion that no one was willfully or purposefully killed with Zyklon B [hydrocyanic acid gas] in this manner. I consider it absolutely impossible."[13]

While possibly being the most well-known argument, the missing Zyklon B derivatives in claimed homicidal gas chamber walls argument is just one of many Holocaust revisionist arguments regarding the alleged homicidal gas chambers and other material remains from the alleged mass killings. See Holocaust material evidence regarding this.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 After the Irving-Lipstadt Trial: New Dangers and Challenges: Judge Gray’s Harsh But Predictable Ruling. http://codoh.com/library/document/2879/
  3. The secton "Fred A. Leuchter, Jr." 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/33leuchter.html
  4. Denial, “A Battle to Defend the Veracity of Historical Facts” http://codoh.com/library/document/4101/
  5. Richard Green and the Toxicology of Auschwitz https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7664
  6. 6.0 6.1 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined. Third edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
  7. Fred A. Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Germar Rudolf. The Leuchter Reports: Critical Edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=16
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Some Technical and Chemical Considerations about the 'Gas Chambers' of Auschwitz and Birkenau. https://codoh.com/library/document/925/
  11. In Defense of Holocaust Revisionism: A Response to Shermer and Grobman's Denying History http://www.vho.org/tr/2002/1/tr09denyhist.html
  12. The Chemistry of Auschwitz: Video Documentary: Buna Rubber, Zyklon B, Prussian Blue and the Gas Chambers http://codoh.com/library/document/4730/?lang=en
  13. http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/auschwitz.shtml Auschwitz: Myths and Facts