Answer to Jean-Claude Pressac
on the Problem of the Gas chambers

Robert Faurisson

Note to the Reader



1. Evidence that Pressac can not hide

2. Realities that Pressac never mentions

3. Tricks that Pressac borrows from other historians

4. Deceptions that are Pressac's own

5. Divagations of the novelist


Annex: Document NI-9912

Note to the Reader

Jean-Claude Pressac's book Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz. La Machinerie du meurtre de masse (The Crematories of Auschwitz, The Machinery of Mass Murder), to which the present work is an answer, unquestionably falls foul of the Fabius-Gayssot Law as it is formulated in the Penal Code and also as it has been applied by the judges of the 17th Correctional Court and those of the 11th Appeals Court of Paris and by the judges of Caen, Fontainebleau, Amiens, Nice and others. Notwithstanding there is no legal requirement to do so, they have held liable the least suggestion, hidden intention or tendency signifying the possible existence of a Revisionist heresy with respect to the dogmas decreed in 1945-1946 by the judges of Nuremberg.

In Pressac's brief introduction alone (pp. 1-2) there are four causes for prosecution.

The author affirms or lets it be understood that at the Nuremberg Trials the judges failed to obtain "unambiguous technical information on the machinery of mass murder"; that their understanding of the facts was "hardly sufficient"; that their reconstruction of the history of the genocide and the homicidal gas chambers was not "free from oral or written witness testimony, which is always fallible" and that, to take only one example, the date they had given to the "unleashing of the industrial phase of the 'Final Solution'" was so far wrong that it needs to be put one year later. A hundred other causes for prosecution could be picked out from the two hundred or so pages of his book. The statements he has made to the media can only aggravate his case (cf. especially the article by Laurent Greilsamer in Le Monde, 26/27 September 1993).

If Pressac escapes judicial prosecution based on the Fabius-Gayssot Law or any other law, it should be the same for those who respond to him on his chosen ground.

On the other hand, if the latter are prosecuted, so should Pressac be brought before the bar of the 17th Correctional Court of Paris together with the management of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) who published his work, irrespective of any statute of limitations.


Who are the Revisionists? And what do they say?

People have talked about them since the end of the decade of the '70's. However, for all practical purposes, one never sees or hears them, and their arguments are always presented by their adversaries, if at all. There is no chance to read them. The law prevents that. They are condemned, beaten and imprisoned. Why?

There was a special law passed against them: the Fabius-Gayssot Law. Another law against them is being drafted: the Méhaignerie-Pasqua-Goldenberg Law.

At the same time, we are told they are dead, dead and buried!

In his recent work, Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz. La Machinerie du meurtre de masse, the pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac makes a reply that is at once new, scientific and definitive to the leader of the Revisionists in France, which is to say, Professer Faurisson — whom he never mentions but to whom he refers indirectly. At least, that is what we are told in a deafening media campaign that is being conducted throughout the Western world.

J.C. Pressac presents himself as a careful, exacting researcher. In the media, he affects the icy reserve of the man of science coming to grips with the "problem of the gas chambers" of Auschwitz. His book swarms with technical data — at least, that is how it appears.

Robert Faurisson is the one who should respond to such a work. He knows the author, who came to him during the decade of the '80's to confess his doubts on the existence of the gas chambers of Auschwitz. J.C. Pressac even went so far as to offer his services. His offer was tentatively accepted. However, the professor dismissed him due to his lack of aptitude for scientific research, his difficulty in expressing himself, "his confused mental state, his panicky fears, his aversion to clarity and frank speaking" (cf. Revue d'histoire révisionniste no. 3, November 1990/January 1991, p. 130).

No journalist has taken the trouble to contact Robert Faurisson to ask him his opinion of a book which, if one were to believe their own announcements, wipes out, as it were, so many years of research. Could it be that the journalists know or suspect that in reality there is nothing new about the book by J.C. Pressac, that it is scientific in appearance only and that, once more, willy nilly, the soundness of the Revisionist position has been demonstrated?

At the end of 1978 and the beginning of 1979, during a period when Le Monde published the views of Professor Robert Faurisson on the "rumor of Auschwitz" or the "problem of the gas chambers" (the latter expression is that of Olga Wormser-Migot, a historian of Jewish extraction), a powerful media counter-offensive was unleashed to convince the public that Revisionism had been nipped in the bud. In June 1982, an international colloquium at the Sorbonne, announced in the media with much fanfare, apparently confirmed the death of Historical Revisionism. Numerous other colloquia in the following years (particularly one held at Oxford in 1988, organised on a large scale by press magnate Robert Maxwell) propagated the news that sensational new documentary or deductive evidence was sufficient to bury Revisionism forever. In 1986 in France and elsewhere the "affair of the Nantes doctor's thesis" aroused great excitement. Henri Roques, the author of the thesis, was publicly pilloried, his doctor's degree was withdrawn and the public was assured that his thesis had disappeared down the memory hole of history. In 1990 there was another media mobilisation, this time with the purpose of hounding University of Lyons researcher Bernard Notin. A series of spectacular trials in Lyons, Israel, Germany, Austria and Canada resulted in ever newer and more definitive pretended triumphs over the Revisionists, whose voice in the meantime could never be heard — which no doubt proved that they were dead and doubly so. Anti-Revisionist works were launched with great fanfare at frequent intervals, such as, in 1980, Filip Müller, Trois ans dans une chambre à gaz d'Auschwitz; in 1981, the book by Georges Wellers, Les Chambres à gaz ont existé, and, in 1984, the book by Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein, Adalbert Rückerl and twenty-one other authors, Les Chambres à gaz, secret d'état. Every year there are new Holocaust museums, expositions, films such as Holocauste or Shoah and documentaries serving to demonstrate the defeat of the Revisionists.

The book by J.C. Pressac has its place in this continuing series of theatrical productions.

It is only fair to acknowledge that, unintentionally, J.C. Pressac has struck a blow at the prohibitions that bar the freedom of historical research. His book constitutes, in effect, a challenge to the Fabius-Gayssot Law, a law of which he states that it "prohibits one from speaking freely" in historical matters, but which he, for his part, violates at will (Le Monde, 26/27 September 1993). The way is thus open ...

In May 1992 the Revue d'Histoire Révisionniste was compelled to suspend publication after the sixth issue appeared. Our charter has never been to publish books. We are thus unable to publish this Answer to Jean-Claude Pressac either as a series of articles nor as a book. But we undertook to distribute it. For two years, Faurisson was the scientific advisor of our journal and we have published numerous articles or studies under his name. Despite the prohibitions decreed against us by Pierre Joxe, Minister of the Interior (decree of 2 July 1990), and despite the provisions of the Fabius-Gayssot Law enacted to criminalize Historical Revisionism ("disputation of crimes against humanity", such as those condemned by the Nuremberg Trials), we have thus provided a forum for the outlaw.

Fifteen years ago, Faurisson proposed publicly that the "problem of the gas chambers" should be addressed on a scientific and physical basis. He was the first to do so. For some time his audacity has appeared sacrilegious. At present, the adversaries of the Revisionists are constrained to do battle on the ground that Faurisson has chosen. It is normal that one should oppose to the work of J.C. Pressac, which presents itself as a work of a technical nature, an answer that is equally technical. Professor Faurisson — whose specialty is officially defined as "analysis of texts and documents (literature, history, media)" — has done exactly that.

By way of Professor Faurisson's analysis, this Answer to Jean-Claude Pressac constitutes a discourse on the proper method of examination of a historical problem. It illustrates how false facts can be given the appearance of truth by false science — here in the person of the pharmacist J.-C. Pressac — with the help of the media. At the end of 1993, it allows a review of the concessions that historical science has had to make to Historical Revisionism; finally, it helps the factual truth to reclaim its rights over the distortions of war propaganda that have lasted too long. As long as people have faith in these distortions, they will not be able to see that the true war crime, the true "crime against humanity", is war itself and the train of horrors it brings.

The editors of the Revue d'Histoire Révisionniste
24 December 1993


Jean-Claude Pressac's recent work bears the title, Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz and the subtitle, La Machinerie du meurtre de masse (The Crematories of Auschwitz, The Machinery of Mass Murder), (CNRS éditions, August 1993, viii-156 pp. and 48 pp. photographic collection). The book is true to its title, but not to its subtitle. In this work there is a striking contrast between the plethora of evidence and documents demonstrating, on the one hand, the existence of the crematories — which no one disputes — and, on the other hand, the absence of evidence and documents demonstrating the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz — which are highly disputed.

Neither photograph nor drawing

>From an author who pretends that the Nazi gas chambers were real one has a right to demand a physical description of these extraordinary chemical slaughterhouses. However, Pressac's book contains neither a photograph, nor a drawing, nor a sketch, nor a model of a homicidal gas chamber. In the 48-page photographic collection there are 60 "documents", but none of them have anything to do with the homicidal gas chambers and include, as we will see below, the only "document" (no. 28, on the ten gas detectors) presented falsely as evidence. The author has not even dared reproduce a photograph of the gas chamber of crematory I, the one that visitors see at Auschwitz. He also has not shown the interior or the exterior of the — very revealing — remains of the supposed gas chamber of crematory II at Birkenau. The model imprudently displayed by the Poles in Block 4 of the Museum of Auschwitz is not reproduced. The motive of these omissions is easy to understand: the least attempt at a physical description of one of these pretended homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz would immediately expose the physical and chemical impossibility of gassing with hydrocyanic acid in these structures [1].

Practically nothing new

This work whose contents appear so modest, offers practically nothing new. It is merely a shortened version of the tedious compendium that Pressac published in 1989 with the misleading title Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers [2], which I have reviewed in articles entitled "Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (1989) ou Bricolage et 'gazouillages' à Auschwitz et Birkenau selon J.C. Pressac (1989)" [3] and "Improvised Gas Chambers and Casual Gassings at Auschwitz and Birkenau According to J.C. Pressac (1989)" [3a]. At the risk of seeming presumptuous, I must declare that it was my review in 1990 that caused Pressac to shorten his discussion of the gas chambers considerably, down to a pair of windy, confused pages, and to choose a title for the work in French that was much less ambitious than that of his work in English.

Auschwitz: 800,000 dead instead of nine million

The single important novelty of this work in French is Pressac's figure for the number of dead at Auschwitz. In the film by Alain Resnais, Nuit et Brouillard ("Night and Fog"), the figure nine million was given ("Nine million dead haunt this countryside", was stated at the end of the film.) At the Nuremberg Trial, a document of which the Tribunal took "judicial notice" (doc. URSS-008) set the figure at four million. Until April 1990, the same figure had been inscribed in nineteen different languages on nineteen flagstones at the memorial at Birkenau. In that month the authorities of the Museum of Auschwitz discreetly replaced the markers with new ones inscribed with the figure one and a half million. In France, historian François Bédarida estimated 950,000 (Le Monde, 22/23 July 1990, p. 7). Now here is Pressac come to tell us that he has decided the figure should be 775,000, rounded up to 800,000; he has estimated the number of Jews gassed to be 630,000 (p. 148) [4]. The true figure is probably 150,000 dead from 1939 to 1945, counting both Jews and non-Jews. The great majority of the deaths were due to natural causes, especially epidemics of typhus and typhoid fever.

Pressac doesn't believe in "Wannsee" anymore,
but he still believes in Hitler

There is one more new thing: Pressac no longer believes that the Germans decided on the physical extermination of the Jews on 20 January 1942, at the Wannsee conference presided over by Heydrich (cf. below). It appears that he no longer even believes that there was a policy to exterminate the Jews (what is called "genocide"). In any case, he never implicates Adolf Hitler [5]. The name of the Führer appears in the book only four times: first, with respect to the topic of Hitler's "architectural projects", "which were intended to glorify the new German and reduce unemployment" (p. 6), then with respect to one of his secretaries (p. 10) and his diatribes against the Jews (p. 65), and finally on the subject of "the revival of [economic] activity following Hitler's arrival at the Chancellory" (p. 137).

The theory of the "casual gassings"

Pressac's theory on Auschwitz is bizarre: it is that of "casual gassings", of "handiwork", of "blunders" and "bungles". Certainly, Pressac never uses the phrase "casual gassings" except in private conversation, but this expression summarizes the theory in question.

According to Pressac, the Germans improvised the crime as well as the instrument of the crime. They gassed groups of different sizes here and there until they had killed close to a million people, and never carried out a systematic program of mass gassing. At the beginning, according to Pressac, the Germans HAD NOT EVEN CONSTRUCTED HOMICIDAL GAS CHAMBERS. He admits, for example, that the crematories II and III at Birkenau, finished in 1943, had not been designed in August 1942 for killing but were solely to incinerate the corpses. He recognizes that innocuous cold rooms (which he calls morgues) were attached to the crematories for the preservation of corpses waiting to be incinerated, but he adds that the Germans decided to transform the cold rooms into homicidal gas chambers under uncertain conditions and at an uncertain date. The Germans involved were certain captains, lieutenants and non-commissioned officers and also a handfull of civil engineers and technicians whose specialty was cremation, isolation and ventilation, and not, as one might expect, highly-placed politicians or chemists, toxicologists or medical doctors. The one most implicated was a former mason who had become an expert in the construction of crematory ovens and worked for an Erfurt company, Topf and Sons (p. 10). This genius of evil was named Kurt Prüfer. After the war the Americans imprisoned and interrogated him, but they decided that he had done nothing other than build crematories and they let him go. Prüfer returned to Erfurt, which was in the Soviet occupation zone. This was a mistake: The KGB arrested him and interrogated him and in April 1948 he was sentenced to twenty-five years hard labor [6]. Four years later he died in prison.

According to Pressac, the work of Prüfer and his co-workers was so sloppy that the transformation of the cold rooms into gas chambers was nothing but slap-dash handiwork. For example, the direction of air flow was in from above and out from below, which would be normal for a cold room used for the laying up of corpses, as Pressac himself admits. However, hydrocyanic acid gas, the principal component of Zyklon B, has a lower specific weight than air; therefore the ventilation system needed to be constructed the other way around in order to lead the gas out from above after the mass murder of the victims — otherwise the use of hydrocyanic acid gas would have been "technically insane" (p. 71). However, instead of reversing the direction of flow, the ventilation specialists left it the way it was. They contented themselves with insuring "the ventilation power" (ibid.). They ventilated much in the gas chambers. The author stupefies us with details of the direction and movements of currents of air as well as of the power of the ventilators. Not without reason, certain facetious Revisionists have reproached him with having transformed the gas chambers into air chambers and of putting too much wind in his words.

Pressac tells us that the slap-dash methods of these German small-scale technicians would not leave any visible traces or proofs of their criminal doings. For this reason, he warns us not to expect unambiguous and solid proofs for the existence of the execution gas chambers. Instead we must satisfy ourselves with slight indications, the beginnings or parts of proofs, or distinctive details that in his jargon he calls criminal "blunders" or "bungles". Of course, it requires a particular kind of sagacity to detect the tiny traces of a crime without precedent in history and naturally, it is Pressac, pharmacist by day and historian by night, who is able to bring this sagacity to bear.

Pressac's promises and the reality

In his introduction he promises us a "rigorous history" of Auschwitz, "an almost perfect comprehension of criminal engineering" and an "historical reconstruction free from oral or written witness testimony, which is always fallible and becomes less certain over time" (pp. 1-2).

We will see that this is nothing but bluster and that, quite the contrary, the book is filled with confusions, incoherencies and approximations; there is nearly constant recourse to witnesses when the discussion concerns the pretended homicidal gassings. Even on the question of the crematory ovens his words are unconnected and frequently obscure.

To judge such a work, one should apply the simplest criterion: if the author can show us a photograph or a design of a Nazi gas chamber, we should pay attention; otherwise not. Pressac, a good photographer and a good draftsman and probably a good model builder, has carefully avoided the acid test, which would be to give us a physical description of one of these monstrous chemical slaughterhouses. Consequently, one should not spend too much time with this product of a scrambled brain. I am going to do it nevertheless so that the reader can take the measure of the catastrophe that this book constitutes for the adepts of the exterminationist theory.

Proceeding in five stages, I demonstrate one after the other the evidence that the author can not hide, realities that he never looks at, tricks that he borrows from other "Holocaust" historians, deceptions that are his own and, finally, his novelistic divagations.

To close, I renew the proposal of the American Fred Leuchter and propose to our adversaries to establish an international commission of experts which should go to Auschwitz and Birkenau to examine the weapon of one of the most atrocious crimes that history has ever known; the locations and facilities at which hundreds of thousands of Jews (or millions, as was once claimed [7]) were killed by hydrocyanic gas should be studied by forensic experts.

For historians who pretend they are busy with the scientific history of Auschwitz, there is no longer any excuse not to make such a technical study.

1. Evidence that Pressac can not hide

Due to fundamental discoveries on the part of Revisionists, there are embarrassing evidences that the Exterminationists can not hide anymore. Pressac follows along with the rest.

"Wannsee" is no longer "Wannsee"

For decades, historians of the supposed "Holocaust" of the Jews have repeated that on the 20th January 1942 at the Wannsee conference in Berlin the Germans decided on the physical destruction of European Jews. It took until 1984 for the Exterminationists gathered in congress at Stuttgart to quietly abandon this thesis (Eberhard Jäckel and Jürgen Rohwer, Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg, DVA, 1985, p. 67).

It was not until 1992 that Yehuda Bauer, Professor at the University of Jerusalem and a leading Israeli "Holocaust specialist", declared publicly that this thesis was "silly" (The Canadian Jewish News, 30 January 1992; cf. as well, "Wannsee: 'Une histoire inepte'", R.H.R. no. 6, May 1992, pp. 157-158). In conformance with the new official version, Pressac writes:

On the 20th January the conference called "the Wannsee Conference" took place in Berlin. Even if an operation to remove the Jews to the east was planned which might entail the "natural" elimination of some through labor, no one there spoke of industrial mass-liquidation. In the days and the weeks that followed, the construction office at Auschwitz received no call, telegram or letter requesting the planning of an installation intended for this purpose (p. 35).

In his "chronological summary", he put: "20th January [1942] — Wannsee Conference in Berlin on the removal of Jews to the east" (p. 114). He wrote "removal", not "extermination".

In Auschwitz little could be kept secret

We had been told that the location of Auschwitz was chosen because its remoteness helped maintain secrecy. However, Pressac is obliged to recognize that the camp was established in a neighorhood of the town of Auschwitz, which was itself situated on a railway network which provided connections to Berlin, Vienna and Warsaw (p. 9). It should be mentioned that travellers in the trains passed close to the camp every day.

Today there is no longer any dispute that the camp at Auschwitz swarmed with civilian laborers of German, Polish and other nationalities who were busy with many different tasks, including the building and operation of the crematories, except that during periods of typhus epidemics these laborers mostly stayed home. By itself alone, this fact is incompatible with the necessity to wrap with secrecy the existence and the operation of the chemical slaughterhouses where victims were swallowed by the hundreds of thousands (by millions, it was once claimed). These civilians wore a green arm-band (p. 62):

For the building of the crematories of Birkenau, twelve civil firms were involved [...]. On every construction project [...] there were a hundred or a hundred and fifty workers, of which two thirds were inmates and one third were civilians, under the direction of the foremen of the firms concerned (p. 56).

The author does not explain the anomaly which the massive presence of civilian strangers on the site of the crime should have presented him, nor the fact that work which one might suppose would be the most secret of any in the Reich was directed by foremen from civilian firms from outside the camp.

The archive has mostly been recovered

We have been told, in 1945 the Germans destroyed nearly all the archives of the camp. However, Pressac admits that the count of documents from the archives of Auschwitz runs to tens of thousands, if not to hundreds of thousands, both in Auschwitz itself and in Moscow. Those of the central construction office (Zentral-Bauleitung) are intact. One might suppose that, these documents being the most compromising in Pressac's eyes, their destruction would have had a high priority. Why were they not destroyed? The answer of good common sense is that, not needing to conceal any trace of a large-scale crime precisely because there was none, there was no need to destroy such archives. Our author has another explanation as to why the SS did not destroy these archives: The SS did not understand the "explosive" nature of their contents (p. 1). This is his modus operandi: if he can not understand a phenomenon, he usually blames it on the stupidity or ignorance of the SS.

In 1972 both chief architects had to be acquitted

I have frequently pointed to the decisive significance of the innocent verdict for Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, the two chief architects of the crematories of Auschwitz, on trial in Vienna in 1972. The Soviet and Polish Communists had put the documents they had in the hands of the court. The conclusion that one would normally come to is that these documents did not provide proof of any crime; they must have all had ordinary technical significance for architects, engineers and technicians. Our pharmacist Pressac, however, tells us all these people were incompetent:

[...] no-one, neither the judges nor the so-called technical experts, at that time possessed the ability to evaluate the excellent historical material that had been provided by the Poles and the Soviets (p. 96).

The papers and documents from the Dejaco-Ertl trial, in the possession of the Austrian judicial system, are kept inaccessible to Revisionists. Why not release them?

Typhus epidemics fought through use of Zyklon B

Typhus — always endemic among the populations of eastern Europe — ravaged Auschwitz. In the eastern part of the Soviet Union, the Germans confirmed "one hundred and fifty thousand cases of typhus in the Summer of 1941" (p. 32). Pressac, compelled to acknowledge certain truths that have been asserted by the Revisionists for some time, writes,

The SS medical doctors knew that the Auschwitz region was marshy. They had already been confronted with the problem of untreated water which had led to typhoid fever caused by Eberth's bacillus. At the end of May 1942, because of numerous cases of typhoid appearing among the inmates, the consumption of tap water was forbidden to the SS and to the employees of the seventeen civilian firms operating in the camp. It was replaced with mineral water provided for free in abundance. The medical doctors feared that it was nearly certain that there would be fatalities due to malaria in the Summer, caused by mosquitoes from the marshes. To counter this danger, the SS planned to open an institute of hygiene in Raisko; this happened in October. But the typhus took them by surprise. They thought that that their prophylactic measures (quarantine, haircuts) and hygiene measures (local disinfestation of the hair, showers) applied to new inmates on their arrival would prevent the outbreak of the plague in the camp by eradicating the vector, the flea. This was true as far as it went, but the trouble came from those who had not had to submit to such a treatment, the civilians, who were in close company with the inmates daily [8]. Soon, the latter were infected, and, since the hygienic conditions in the camps were lamentable, the death count skyrocketed. >From May to December 1940, the monthly death count was estimated at 220; from January to July 1941 it tripled; from August to December 1941 it reached a thousand; in July 1942 it passed 4,000. The sanitary situation became uncontrollable. It was necessary to keep typhus from spreading to the neighboring area. The whole camp was closed off and no one was allowed to leave. On the 10th July a partial quarantine was ordered [1942] (p. 43).

He adds,

But when the ravages of the typhus epidemic continued unabated and the situation became catastrophic, the total isolation of the camp was decreed on the 23rd July [1942] (p. 46).

The epidemic reached levels of 250 to 300 deaths per day among the inmates, the civilians and the SS (p. 50). Pressac omits to mention that the head medical doctor, Dr. Popiersch, himself died of typhus [9]. >From the 7th to the 11th September 1942, the first epidemic reached its peak with 375 deaths in one day (cf. the table on page 145).

A second epidemic and then a third broke out during the first half of 1943 (p. 82).

Disinfestation, particularly by means of Zyklon B, was a vital necessity:

The week of the 5th to the 11th July [1942], the building where the SS guards lived and which swarmed with vermin was gassed [with Zyklon B] (p. 16).

The central sauna at Birkenau,

was a high-performance sanitary complex due to be equipped with four rooms for disinfestation by hot air (document 23), three industrial autoclaves (document 24), a room for hair cutting, a room for medical examinations and fifty showers. With this complex the SS intended to deter the resurgence of typhus in Birkenau "definitively". The inmates were to be shaved, examined, disinfested and showered while their effects were disinfected. Unfortunately, the installation was not operational until the end of January 1944 (p. 69).

Document 23 and especially documents 24 and 40 illustrate the degree to which the Germans were concerned about hygiene, especially in a part of the camp occupied by the Gypsies at one time. Documents 42 and 43 show interior and exterior views of a battery of nineteen gas chambers for disinfestation with Zyklon B (this construction was not finished).

Auschwitz was equipped with

the most recent disinfestation technology developed in Germany. It was a stationary ultra-short wave disinfestation unit (decimeter- or centimeter-waves) (pp. 82-83).

Already in 1946 Marc Klein, professor on the faculty of medicine at the University of Strasbourg and a former inmate of Auschwitz, mentioned the "disinfestation by short-wave" and the impressive number of measures taken by the German medical doctors to care for the inmates in the conditions of close proximity of a forced labor camp ("Observations et réflexions sur les camps de concentration nazis", Études germaniques no. 3, 1946, p. 18).

Cremation: a hygienic measure

Pressac writes:

To prevent typhus and other uncontrollable epidemics, the corpses resulting from the war and the microbes they carried needed to be burnt to ashes. That was Prüfer's job [so far as Auschwitz was concerned] (p. 32).

Initially the Germans buried the corpses, but Auschwitz was situated in a marshy area. Sometimes the water table rose almost to ground level. Therefore it was necessary to disinter the corpses and incinerate them.

[...] the putrefaction products from the corpses began to infect the ground water, which could have become thoroughly infected if the water table rose. There was nothing left to do but disinter the corpses and incinerate them in open air before winter came (p. 57).

The major part of the book is devoted to the history of the crematories, which is to say, the buildings called crematories, and in them, to the ovens of these crematories. The recital is tiresome, unconnected and hardly comprehensible. It turns out that the ovens were subject to frequent breakdowns (pp. 22, 81, note 108, etc.), which necessarily correspondingly reduces the delirious output capacities that have been generously attributed to them by the Exterminationists, including Pressac (300,000 cremations in 70 days (p. 148), more than 4,285 per day!).

Crematories designed without gas chambers

Here we come to the most important concession the author has made to the Revisionists: the four crematories of Birkenau, designed in August 1942, which is to say at a considerable remove from the date the official historians give to the policy of extermination of the Jews, were "planned without gas chambers" (p. 53). One searches in vain for the precise date at which these crematories, finished between the 31st March and the 25th June 1943, were "planned with" gas chambers.

His concession is significant: in 1982, at a time when historians affirmed that all the crematories were planned and constructed with gas chambers, in a moment of audacity our author dared to write that the crematories IV and V were designed without gas chambers. Then, in 1989, making amends, he wrote that the two crematories had been designed with gas chambers. Today he reverts to his position of 1982: the crematories were designed without gas chambers. He said nothing in 1982 with respect to crematories II and III, but in 1989 and today he asserts that they were planned without gas chambers. On crematory I in the main camp, which predated the other crematories, one can not quite determine in the midst of Pressac's constantly changing theories whether he thinks it was planned with or without a gas chamber. We are faced with the same uncertainty with respect to the mysterious Bunkers 1 and 2. For references to these diverse changes of position, see R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 74-79 (cf. equally my Réponse à Pierre Vidal-Naquet, La Vieille Taupe, 1982, 2nd edition, pp. 67-83).

Other evidence that he can not hide

If we limit ourselves to the collection of photographs, other evidence appears that the author can not hide. Far from working quietly and secretly, as one would expect of those engaged in criminal activity, the staff of the central construction office at Auschwitz complaisantly let themselves be photographed (doc. 12). Pressac could have shown other photographs in which one can see these engineers, architects and technicians working in their offices where they have proudly posted their crematory designs on the walls. Among the photographs in the collection we see a heating plant at some distance from the camp (doc. 44), stables where inmates were kept busy (docs. 45 and 46), armories and factories for the production of synthetic motor fuel where the inmates worked (docs. 47 and 48), enormous potato warehouses (doc. 49) whose presence could be considered surprising in a place the Allies called an "extermination camp", a water treatment facility located near the crematories (doc. 50), one of the piggeries where the inmates worked (doc. 51), fields and greenhouses for vegetable cultivation (doc. 52).

At this point, under the heading of evidence the author can not hide, one should note how everything so far discussed contradicts the thesis of extermination at Auschwitz. It has required the great pressure exerted by the work of the Revisionists to make the representatives of the official version of history recognize these facts.

2. Realities that Pressac never mentions

The author passes silently by a large number of facts which show that Auschwitz and Birkenau could not have been "extermination camps" (an expression devised by the Allies), but were rather concentration camps, labor camps and transit camps. He has also been silent on many documents of great importance. I will limit myself to a few examples.

No photograph and no plan of crematory I

Here we have a book devoted to the "crematories of Auschwitz" which paradoxically does not contain a single photograph or plan of crematory I and its gas chamber among the sixty photographs and reproduced documents it contains. However, it is this first crematory with its pretended homicidal gas chamber which, I repeat, is shown to every visitor as the irrefutable proof of the crime. Pressac shows us the photograph of an oven located at Dachau (doc. 7) or at Buchenwald (doc. 60) but he won't let us see the ovens of Auschwitz!

He does this purposely because he knows that this crematory with its "gas chamber" is a complete fraud. He could hardly remind his readers that I discovered that fact at the site in 1976 and described the proof thereof in a book I wrote in collaboration with Serge Thion: Vérité historique ou vérité politique? (La Vieille Taupe, 1980, pp. 316-317). Pressac could not apprise his readers that I was the first in the world to discover — with much difficulty — the plans of all the crematories of Auschwitz and Birkenau in the Museum of Auschwitz, to publish some of them and to demonstrate the physical and chemical impossibility of any homicidal gassing operation in these buildings.

No photograph of the "gas chamber" of crematory II

No more does he dare to show us a photograph of the ruins of what he dares to call the gas chamber of crematory II at Birkenau which was, in reality, a cold room set partly in the ground (Leichenkeller). THE CONCRETE ROOF WHICH HAS COLLAPSED QUITE CLEARLY POSSESSES NO BUILT-IN OPENING THROUGH WHICH ONE COULD POUR ANYTHING AT ALL. The only two holes which one can see today are punctures which were made after the war: the proof of this is that the rebar of the reinforced concrete is twisted and bent back. Consequently, Pressac's theory that the SS poured granules of Zyklon B through four openings built-in for that purpose is unsustainable for reasons of pure physical evidence which anyone can see today who will go and look.

Not a word about the expert reports

The author does not breathe a word on the successive expert reports by the American Fred Leuchter or the German Germar Rudolf or the technical study by the Austrian Walter Lüftl, all of which came to the conclusion that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz or Birkenau [10].

Above all, he is silent on the expert report from Cracow. Intending to counter the report by F. Leuchter, the authorities of the Museum of Auschwitz commissioned an expert report from the Criminological Institute of Cracow; this expert report, dated 24 September 1990, did not please those who had requested it and it has been suppressed [11]. What right does Pressac have to withhold from his readers the scientifc elements of the Auschwitz record? If the expert reports do not please him, he should tell us so in his book and propose an expert report to his liking. Moreover, it is high time that we insist to those who criticize the Revisionists that they please provide us with an expert report on the weapon used in the crime supposedly committed at Auschwitz and Birkenau. A scientific examination of the buildings or the ruins of buildings which are only a half-century old would be easy. How can one stubbornly refuse such an expert report or examination and at the same time pretend to be making a scientific study of history, as the Revisionists are?

No complete photograph from The Auschwitz Album

The most valuable document that we possess on the realities of Auschwitz is a collection of 189 photographs which is usually called The Auschwitz Album. It constitutes a solid refutation of the fairy tales on the fate of Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. It has been embarrassing enough for the Exterminationists that they waited thirty-six years after it was discovered in 1945 to finally publish it in its entireity. Up to that date only a few of the photographs had popped up here and there in various published works. In 1981 these people could not forego to follow up this publication of the whole collection with a novel on the "miraculous" discovery of said album, written by Serge Klarsfeld. Two years later this same S. Klarsfeld entrusted to Pressac the task of publishing a "complete and stable version" through Editions du Seuil, one of the largest French publishers [12] (cf. R.H.R. no. 3, Annex 3: "Les Tricheries de Pressac dans L'Album d'Auschwitz", pp. 149-152).

Aside from the photograph of the Jewish woman on the cover (cut out from one of the photographs of the album), Pressac does not reprint a single photograph from this valuable collection!

Not a word about the air reconnaissance photos

Pressac does not reprint any of the air reconnaissance photographs of Auschwitz and Birkenau published in 1979 by the Americans Dino A. Brugioni and Robert G. Poirier [13]. Certainly these photographs deliver proof that there was never a crowd gathered near the crematories, that the chimneys did not belch clouds of smoke (cf., in Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz, "two squat chimneys spitting flames", p. 91), and that the "incineration ditches" are imaginary.

Not a word about the cold room register (Leichenhallenbuch)

We had to wait until 1989 for the Museum of Auschwitz to resign itself to unveil the existence of the mortuary register of Auschwitz crematory I, the "Leichenhallenbuch" (this should not be confused with the camp death registers in which all deaths were recorded, the Sterbebücher or Totenbücher).

In her new edition of the calendar of events at Auschwitz-Birkenau Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939 — 1945 published in 1989, Danuta Czech tells us something she curiously "forgot" to tell us in the first edition of the same calendar divided into seven parts (Hefte von Auschwitz no. 2 in 1959, no. 3 in 1960, no. 4 in 1961, no. 6 in 1962, no. 7 and no. 8 in 1964, no. 10 in 1967): the existence of the important register recording the persons whose corpses were kept in the cold room (Leichenhalle) of the crematory I between 7 October 1941 and 31 August 1943 (Kalendarium, 1989, p. 10 and elsewhere). Even if some of these dead persons might have been buried and not incinerated when the camp first opened, here we have a document which gives an understanding of the real number and not a theoretical number of incinerations carried out.

Pressac ignores many other documents concerning the incineration of the dead. For example, the death notices recording that there had been an incineration, telegrams and telexes announcing a death, the shipping receipts for urns, the reports summing the number of corpses incinerated or laid up in the cold rooms (cf. for example, for Buchenwald, the death notice (Totenmeldung) reproduced by Reimund Schnabel, Macht ohne Moral, Frankfort, Rödenberg-Verlag, 1957, p. 346).

The myth according to which those destined to be gassed were not registered should not exempt Pressac from providing us with that information in a book entitled Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz.

Other documents not mentioned

Other documents are ignored, for example, those concerning requests for allotments of wood, coal and coke and those concerning requests for delivery of fuel to the crematories, not to mention other documents which prove that the ovens could not have operated 24 hours per 24-hour day (cf. the operating manuals reproduced in A.T.O., p. 136).

Other things Pressac does not mention

I will not revisit here what I have enumerated with respect to his previous work (A.T.O.) under the titles, "Trois petits secrets de J.C. Pressac" (Three little secrets of J.C. Pressac) (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 134-135) and "Omissions délibérées" (Deliberate Omissions) (ibid., pp. 137-140) [14]. A whole chapter could be written on the variations of Pressac's ideas on Auschwitz in the last eleven years, which include complete 180° turnarounds. Pressac is silent on these changes, and, in particular, on his own experiment to incinerate a rabbit's corpse in a hole in his garden to see if he could give any credence to stories that the Germans had burnt thousands of corpses in "incineration ditches". The experiment was unsuccessful despite his repeated efforts. The author concluded that it was impossible to incinerate corpses in a ditch due to lack of oxygen, especially at Auschwitz where, as I have already noted, the water table sometimes rose almost to ground level. As we will see below, this does not stop him from asserting that at Auschwitz the Germans sometimes burned their victims in "incineration ditches"; sometimes they even pushed them still living "into the burning ditches". (p. 91)!

Not content to pass by in silence so many realities and so many documents of such importance, Pressac has used other means to hide the truth about Auschwitz: he has used tricks that are common in the literature as well as some of his own.

3. Tricks that Pressac borrows from other historians

Whether we are dealing with evidence that Pressac can not hide or realities that he never mentions, it all leads to the conclusion that we can not find any trace of genocide or of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau. If one stubbornly intends to pursue the Exterminationist thesis, one must necessarily resort to subterfuge. This is what our handy historian does: following his illustrious predecessors Léon Poliakov, Georges Wellers, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Raul Hilberg and Christopher Browning, and certain French courts, he resorts to the same box of tricks they habitually use (cf. R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 204-205, as well as no. 4, pp. 192-193). There are four of them: unproven assertions, resort to unverified witness statements, decoding of a pretended code and, finally, an assembly of what are less proofs than an irregular bundle of scraps of proofs, of traces of "blunders" and "bungles" left behind inadvertently by the SS.

Unproven assertions

In A.T.O., Pressac takes note at least five times (pp. 115, 313, 464, 501, 533) of "Himmler's order on the 26th November 1944 to destroy the crematories II and III of Birkenau, thereby terminating the gassing". In my review of this book I wrote, "Our autodidact merely repeats here without verification the assertions of eminent Jewish authors (with variations on the dates)." (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 83-84). What does our autodidact do in his new book? He writes, "At the end of November [1944], the homicidal gassings were terminated by verbal order of Himmler" (p. 93), but naturally, he does not give any proof of the existence of this order, now described as "verbal" and whose date has suddenly become uncertain. Equally arbitrarily he writes that on 17 July 1942, Himmler "attended a homicidal gassing at Birkenau" (p. 115). He asserts that the physical extermination of the Jews,

was not decided on by the SS authorities in Berlin [which?] before May/June 1942, and was subsequently [exactly when?] technically realized by the SS construction office Auschwitz and the engineers of the firm of J.A. Topf and Sons of Erfurt (p. 2).

He dispenses with any need for proof or testimony when he asserts that human beings were gassed in Bunker 2 (p. 42), that "on 4 July, a convoy of Slovakian Jews were 'selected' [meaning partly gassed] for the first time" (p. 43), that "in November 1942 the SS construction office decided to equip the crematories with homicidal gas chambers" (p. 66), that ventilation specialist Karl Schultze was "informed by Prüfer of the particular purpose of the inflow and outflow ventilation systems of morgue 1 [of crematory II]" (p. 71). By "particular purpose" Pressac means gassing of humans. In the same way, he affirms that "the SS could annihilate up to 300,000 people in 70 days" (p. 148), that two foremen climbing down from a scaffolding or the roof "told foremen belonging to another firm that the heat of the flames turned the green forest in the forbidden zone red-yellow" (p. 58), and that at the "end of October 1942 the obvious idea presented itself to transfer the 'gassing activity' [sic] of Bunkers 1 and 2" to a crematory (p. 60).

True to his routine of assertions without proof, he adopts as his own the most traditional of the lies of the anti-German propaganda: the history of the pretended gas chamber of Dachau that was "fortunately, never put into operation" (p. 68).

The list of the assertions of this kind that Pressac never takes the trouble to supply with a proof or even a witness statement would be a long one. The relative brevity of his work should not excuse such absence of proofs, witness statements or exact source references for his assertions, especially when they involve accusations of such gravity.

Resort to unverified witness statements

In a hurry to forget the specific promise made in his preface, he makes use of witness statements throughout his work. For example, those of SS-men Pery Broad and Rudolf Höss, of inmates Henryk Tauber and David Olère and other witnesses whom he fails to name — in the latter case he refers to the Kalendarium of Danuta Czech, which is itself replete with witness testimony.

He has the audacity to invoke the testimony of SS-man Pery Broad, which he proceeds to manipulate (p. 18) [15]. In 1989 Pressac said of this testimony that it raised "problems" and that in form and in content it had a "false ring". He added that the version we have is "clearly colored by a somewhat too flagrant Polish patriotism", that we do not have the original manuscript and that the Poles had "reworked" P. Broad's statements (A.T.O., p. 128) [16].

The testimony of SS-man Rudolf Höss which Pressac invokes frequently (cf. his name in the index of Crématoires d'Auschwitz), is totally discredited today. In 1989 Pressac himself explained that the "errors" committed by Höss "throughout his biography" had an explanation: "he was present without seeing" (A.T.O., p. 128), a somewhat surprising observation to make about a man described as an "eye-witness". In 1993 he disposed of his own witness in the long note 132 (pp. 102-103) where he spoke of Höss' statements in the following terms: "gross improbability", "pure anachronism", "chronological errors", "imaginary visit", "death-counts [...] regularly doubled or tripled". He concluded, "despite his essential role in the 'Final Solution', Höss can not be considered a reliable witness with respect to dates and numbers".

With respect to the Jewish shoemaker Henryk Tauber (notes 203 and 223), in 1989 Pressac enumerated his serious "errors" and "contradictions" and concluded that he never was a witness to homicidal gassings. His explanation was that Tauber permitted himself substantial exaggerations under the "political climate of the times" (A.T.O., pp. 483-484, 489, 494).

Let us turn to David Olère. Pressac presents this man's chinese ink drawings as "documents" (cf. docs. 30 — erroneously labelled 33 —, 31, 32, 35). However, in 1989 he judged that this witness suffered from "crematory delirium" (A.T.O., p. 556). His drawings are nothing but grotesque fairy tales. In 1989 Pressac said about one of them: "Whether the picture is entirely imaginary or is based on what the artist saw, it is the only one which shows a homicidal gassing" (A.T.O., p. 258). One observes that in this picture or drawing, the pellets of Zyklon B are spread out around a box lying on the floor of the "gas chamber", a detail which contradicts Pressac's thesis that the pellets were introduced from outside through a "grilled duct for pouring in Zyklon B" (doc. 31: drawing by David Olère).

With respect to other witness statements, for which we are told neither the source nor the name of the witness, in his notes Pressac always refers to the Kalendarium of Danuta Czech. However, if we are to believe him, this Kalendarium, its author and the witnesses cited have little value as references. He writes that,

In retaining without explanation certain witness statements at the expense of others and in giving witness statements priority over documents, Danuta Czech lays herself open to the attack of critics. This unusual historical orientation persists in the third and newest version of the Kalendarium [...] by Czech, actually published in Polish and not utilizing the store of the Bauleitung documents from the Central Archives of Moscow, appreciably diminishing the veracity of this fundamental work, which suffers too much from a political viewpoint owing to the decade of the '60's (note 107).

If this is so, why refer so frequently to a source one considers so questionable?

One notes with surprise that in 1993 Pressac does not mention anymore two witness statements of which he had made the greatest use four years earlier in his book in English (A.T.O.): that of Nyiszli (the presumed author of the best-seller Médecin à Auschwitz), and that of Filip Müller (presumed author of the best-seller and winner of the LICRA prize (of the League against Racism and Anti-Semitism), Trois ans dans une chambre à gaz d'Auschwitz). Is it possible that he was able to learn something from my remarks on the way he had abused these witness statements (cf. R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 126-130, "Drôlerie [involontaire] de Pressac à propos de M. Nyiszli" and p. 123)?

Without daring to name F. Müller, he uses his testimony in a furtive manner. Recall the episode of the "incineration ditches":

Toward the end of the summer, as the supply of Zyklon B began to run short, the ones from the convoys who were unfit for work, who were still sent to Auschwitz, were thrown directly into the burning ditches of crematory V and Bunker 2. — n. 293 (p. 91).

Note 293 refers us to the following text: "Hermann Langbein, Der Auschwitz-Prozess, eine Dokumentation, Band I, Europa Verlag, Vienna, 1965, p. 88". If one turns to the book and the page indicated (in fact, pp. 88-89), one discovers that this testimony on the victims thrown still living into the incineration ditches comes from F. Müller, who added details that Pressac prefered to omit: the ditches had a depth of 2.50 m. (which would have been impossible in water-soaked terrain and which would have aggravated the shortage of oxygen) and

[...] they scooped the fat dripping from the burning corpses and poured it back over the corpses in order to accelerate the burning (!).

Decoding the code

Many historians have asserted that the Germans used a "code" to describe their alleged policy of extermination of the Jews. These historians made another assertion: they pretended to have the key to the code. Consequently, their work consisted in "decoding", which means, to find in the documents that which they themselves had put there. It should be noted that they "decoded" a lot. In 1989 Pressac denounced the "myth" of the "code", or the secret language (A.T.O., pp. 247, 556).

In 1993, he himself takes up the abuse that he once condemned. Now it is he who decodes with abandon. According to him, in the end the "final solution" of the Jewish problem signified the liquidation of the Jews (sense of page 29) and "special commando" (Sonderkommando) supposedly indicated a squad of Jews given the task of carrying the corpses of the gassed victims to the incineration ditches (p. 43). The expressions "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung) or "transfer of the Jewish population" hid the meaning "liquidation by gas of unfit Jews at Birkenau" (p. 46). The expressions "special actions" (Sonderaktionen) or "treated" (behandelt) had the same horrible implication (pp. 64, 77).

But at moments Pressac has his doubts. He admits that the expression "special action" had to mean an intervention or police mobilization at Auschwitz on the occasion of a spontaneous strike of civilian workers (p. 63) and that "special measures" must have signified some kind of sanitary measure (p. 82 and note 256).

On "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung), he should read his own references more carefully. When he tells us that an official of the camp requested the sum of 60,000 RM to build "four barracks for the special treatment of the inmates of Birkenau" (p. 46), the purpose is to house inmates in barracks, as the text clearly says, and not to dispatch the new arrivals to the gas chambers.

The "blunders" and "bungles" of the SS

The author's definition of "criminal blunder" is

any indication in a document of any kind (writing, design, photo) relative to a non-normal usage of the crematories which can not be explained except by the massive gassing of human beings (p. 60).

Sometimes, instead of the word "blunder" he uses the word "bungle".

In practice, what this definition amounts to is that if Pressac — and he alone — finds a detail concerning the use of the crematories (the crematory ovens?) which he, the pharmacist, considers unusual, and which he, the pharmacist, can not explain, the only conclusion can be that this is an indication of a ghastly crime. When one reflects that even the most qualified man of science can be perplexed by a problem in his own discipline and that the beginning of wisdom consists in saying nothing when one knows nothing, one must be awe-stricken at the artlessness and presumption of our pharmacist. The author should recall his own experience. In his work of 1989, he devoted a whole chapter (chapter VIII) to a description of ... thirty-nine "blunders". Today, he has apparently retained only five or six of these "blunders", which should indicate that he has been able to explain thirty some details that could have constituted an indication of a ghastly crime four years before. In my review of 1990, I discussed these thirty-nine "blunders" (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 89-104) and I refer my reader there. Here I will only revisit a few of them and I will also comment on a few new "blunders" that Pressac thinks he has found.

The "disappearance" of the body ramp (pp. 64-65)

This ramp never disappeared in order to make way for a stairway by which the designated victims could enter on foot the "disrobing room" next to the "gas chamber". If it does not appear on a partial design dated 19 December 1942, this is probably for the simple reason that the architect's design only concerned the stairway leading to the street and there was consequently no need for the inclusion of a ramp, which in any case appeared nine months later in a design dated 24 September 1943 (A.T.O., p. 327). Even today the remains of this inclined surface (Rutsche) are visible in the ruins of crematory III; it was made for a cart used for moving the corpses. In 1989 Pressac said this himself and showed a photograph of the remains (op. cit., pp. 544-545)! As for the narrow stairway of the supposed "disrobing room", it obviously would have not been suitable for use by crowds of people.

Vergasungskeller (p. 69)

Because the plans that are available to us today are so imprecise, no one can situate the "Vergasungskeller" (gassing cellar?) exactly and say exactly what its function was. It could have been a cellar where disinfestation material was stored: cases of Zyklon, gas masks, filter detectors, sheets for laying out Zyklon pellets, tools for opening the boxes, and so on. But there are other possibilities (cf. R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 100-103).

A gas-tight door and fourteen fake showers (p. 80)

I refer to my review where I discussed the ordinary significance of the presence of gas-tight doors and showers in a crematory (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 95-99). Also note that in the German document there is no mention of fourteen (false) showers, but of fourteen true shower-heads.

The heating of the "gas chamber" (p. 73)

I refer to my review (R.H.R. no. 3, p. 104) and add that the proposal to install a heating system was abandoned several days after it was made, which Pressac himself says (p. 77). There is no point to further discussion.

The Zyklon B insertion apparatus (p. 79)

I refer to my review (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 99-100). I repeat that the roof of the supposed gas chamber does not contain any opening for such an apparatus. Moreover, the Italian Revisionist Carlo Mattogno has alerted me to the fact that Pressac has made an error in translation: "Drahtnetzeinschiebvorrichtung" has the meaning of an apparatus for "inserting" (einschieben) and not for "pouring". It is possible that this German word refers to iron rebar mesh disposed in the concrete so as to permit the insertion or the installation of some component.

The wooden blower (pp. 70-71 and doc. 26)

There is nothing more ordinary than a blower made of wood. Pressac explains that the blower was made of wood because a blower made of metal would have been corroded by the gas drawn from the gas chambers. Six pages later (p. 77), he tells us that several days later the SS decided to "replace the wooden blower for the outflow ventilation of the gas chamber with a blower made of metal". The explanation that Pressac has devised for this is that the SS believed that Schultze had "exaggerated the corrosion danger". Note that this commentary on the blower is characteristic of Pressac: windiness, incoherence and SS incompetents to whom he attributes a train of thought that he has created himself in all parts.

The "normal" and "nonnormal" gas chambers (p. 89)

A confused passage is devoted to the "extraordinary blunder" which an ordinary civilian employee made in composing a letter to the "Testa" firm, distributors of Zyklon B. This "blunder" consisted in the fact that in the letter the term "normal gas chamber" was used and in the answer "Testa" had used the same expression. Pressac deduces from this that there must have existed "nonnormal", that is, homicidal, gas chambers! He does not reproduce the text of this correspondence, but gives us a rather confused summary from which he appears to conclude that the "normal" gas chambers were planned for use with Zyklon B and the "nonnormal" gas chambers were planned for use with Zyklon B but underwent "an adaptation by refitting" to operate with another agent, Areginal, due to the shortage of Zyklon B in May 1944.

The ten hydrocyanic acid gas detectors (pp. 71-72)

With the hydrocyanic acid gas detectors we leave the domain of "blunders" and "bungles", of "criminal indicia" and "indications of proof" to come upon, finally, a "definitive proof", and even "the definitive proof".

What's this about?

It is about the "existence of a homicidal gas chamber in crematory II" (p. 72). One is astonished to see the immense construction entailing the most serious accusation that one could make against the German people built upon an ordinary commercial letter.

On 2 March 1943, the firm Topf and Sons of Erfurt sent a letter to the central construction office of Auschwitz concerning an order for ten hydrocyanic acid gas detectors for crematory II. There is nothing strange in that. The letter is commercial and contains nothing secret. The words "Gasprüfer/Krematorium" (gas detectors/crematory) are in the header. The apparatus were called "Anzeigegeräte für Blausäure Reste" (hydrocyanic acid trace detectors). These are what I called the "trace gas detection apparatus" in my Mémoire en défense [...] (La Vieille Taupe, 1980, p. 171), which is the translation, in the circumstances, of "Gasrestnachweisgerät" [17]. This apparatus could be found everywhere gassing (Vergasung) material was stored and everywhere disinfestations with Zyklon B were carried out. In view of the ravages caused by typhus at Auschwitz and the accumulation of corpses of typhus victims in the crematories, disinfestation operations at such locations would have been necessary and the use of such paper detectors normal. Since 1922 [18] and continuing to today, Zyklon has been used to disinfest dwelling places, silos, libraries, ships and so on.

In many of the tricks that Pressac has borrowed from other historians, one can detect a mixed dose of ignorance and bad faith, but, as we shall see, the pharmacist has his own deceptions which he adds to the mix.

4. Deceptions that are Pressac's own

Several times in the past I have pointed out that Pressac does not hold back from trickery. As I have mentioned above, one of the annexes to my review of his book in English had the title "Les Tricheries de Pressac dans L'Album d'Auschwitz" (Pressac's Trickeries ...) (R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 149-152). In that review I noted two particularly crass examples of fraud: In the first case, Pressac altered a map of Birkenau by deleting a road to make it appear that Jews who followed the road would have to end up at the crematories. In the other case, he fraudulently manipulated the classification of the source of the photographs, their arrangement and the titles of the different sections on a grand scale.

In Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz Pressac makes a sort of admission on these two points: on page 48 he discreetly restores the road on the map that I reproached him for removing. As to the manipulated photographs, they have disappeared completely, including the one which he classified last in his publication of L'Album d'Auschwitz in 1983 and presented as a decisive proof of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber.

Improper insertions

The deception that Pressac resorts to most frequently is the insertion in an otherwise inoffensive context of one or more words which distort the meaning of the context and indicate an abomination perpetrated by the Germans.

As we have seen, where one document (p. 80) mentions "fourteen showers" (or shower-heads), the author discusses "fourteen (false) showers". In slipping in the parenthesized word "false" he distorts the sense of the document he cites and insinuates that we are in the presence of a true homicidal gas chamber equipped with false shower-heads to lure the victims.

Here is a context with three sentences concerning a visit by Himmler to Birkenau:

Next, he visited all the areas of interest of the camp and of Birkenau (document 19). Then, he attended the sorting of a convoy of Dutch Jews and the gassing of the unfit ones in Bunker 2. Finally he toured the "Buna" [works] at Monowitz, which at the time was nothing but a large goods yard. — n. 142 (p. 44).

The first sentence, duly supported by reference, tells a true fact. The third sentence, also duly supported by reference, tells another true fact. But the sentence inserted between the two others reports a fictitious event. The episode of the sorting and the gassing, which Himmler supposedly witnessed, has been invented, but when presented between two facts true and supported, it acquires the appeareance of a fact true and supported.

Tying a big lie to a small true fact

Sometimes the big lie comes at the beginning and the (referenced) small true fact follows. That is the case in the following passage:

The victims, numbering between 550 and 850, were incinerated in the two double-chamber ovens of the crematory in one or two weeks of intensive labor which caused damage to the second oven. — n. 108 (p. 34)

If one refers to the referenced document — whose text Pressac does not provide — one discovers that the only thing true about this passage is that a certain oven was damaged on a certain day.

Sometimes the small true fact comes before the big lie. That is the case in the following passage concerning Dr. Wirths, the chief of medicine of the camp:

[In his report on the lack of means for delousing] he expected a return of typhus if "special measures" (Sondermassnahmen) to ameliorate the situation were not taken immediately. He explained that it was useless to require SS medical doctors to sort out the new arrivals while those fit for work were being wiped out by typhus, and that it would be better to send them all off to the gas when they got off the train (p. 82).

Here the big lie is in the phrase, "and that it would be better to send them all off to the gas when they got off the train". The result of this deception is that Dr. Eduard Wirths, a chief medical officer concerned about the hygienic situation in the camp, is presented by Pressac as a man who "knew" that there were homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.

This method of tying the true and the false could easily permit one to write that one day at the Berghof, Adolf Hitler decided on the extermination of the Jews of the 3rd Reich and then received such and such a dignitary for tea, or that just before tea, he took the decision on the genocide of the Jews. A footnote would contain a reference to a source that, on inspection, would only mention that there had been a tea party.

The deception in these two forms can be quickly exposed, but the deception in his inventions on Himmler, Höss or the SS at Auschwitz is less easily seen.

Retouching plans and maps

Many of the maps that Pressac presents have been retouched. The map of Birkenau shown on page 48 is one such. Near the crematory area there is a large rectangular zone designated "B II f" on the maps. The left part contains a sports field and the right part contains a hospital for men. The sports area and the hospital were for the use of inmates, Jews and non-Jews alike. Their existence was completely normal. The line separating the sports field and the garden of crematory III was marked only by a simple barbed wire fence which could not conceal any part of the crematory from the view of players or spectators. But the existence of a sports area and a hospital designated for the use of inmates is not consistent with the Exterminationist thesis that the camp was an "extermination" camp. In particular, how do we explain that the SS permitted crowds of inmates to have a direct view of a crematory where supposedly ultra-secret events transpired and near which, we are told, thousands of victims were crowded every day?

Instead of concealing the existence of the hospital, now too well known, Pressac uses the device of making the neighboring sports area with its view of the crematory disappear. In his map on page 48 he proceeds as follows: on the right part of the area containing the hospital, he has decided to write nothing and leave it blank, but in the left part where he should have written "sports field" he has put the inscription, "B II f: camp hôpital" [19] - a pathetic sleight-of-hand.

Other plans, such as the one on page 90, contain a similar deception: the label "gas chamber" has been given in block letters though nothing of the sort appears in the original plans.

Misleading wording even in the titles

Pressac's habit of tacking a truth onto a lie or a lie onto a truth is so deep-rooted that he even practises it in the titles of some chapters and even in the pair of the title and sub-title of his work.

Chapter VI is entitled: "Le Contrat Mogilew et le Premier Gazage Homicide à Auschwitz" (The Mogilev Contract and the First Homicidal Gassing at Auschwitz) (p. 31) while the following chapter has the title: "Le Début du Meurtre de Masse des Juifs et L'Épidémie de Typhus" (The Beginning of Mass Murder of Jews and the Typhus Epidemic) (p. 41). As we will see, in the first case the truth comes before the lie and in the second case the truth follows the lie. In the first case, the fact of a contract concerning the construction of crematory ovens is used to support a lie of the execution gas chambers in Auschwitz, in the second case the lie of the execution gas chambers in Auschwitz is supported by the reality of the devastating typhus epidemics. It should be noted that here Pressac makes his own sly use of the confusion in many reader's minds between crematory ovens and "gas chambers" and also their confusion of the corpses of typhus victims with the corpses of gassing victims.

The title and sub-title of this work illustrate this style of deception: in Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz. La Machinerie du meurtre de masse the title is true and the sub-title is false. Pressac's cards are marked: here he plays on the widespread association of "concentration camp crematories" and "murder".

Use of "gas chamber" (meaning: homicidal gas chamber)
for "cold room"

The author's most frequently used cheat is to substitute the expression "gas chamber(s)" for "cold room(s)", when the opportunity presents itself. For example, he writes:

On 10th March [1943], Schultze and Messing tested the inflow and outflow ventilation systems of the gas chamber of crematory II for sixteen hours. Apparently there were problems, because Messing worked there another eleven hours on the 11th and another fifteen hours on the 13th. — n. 227 (p. 73).

Note 227 refers to a document whose text he does not provide. This document quite clearly reveals that the work of the two men took place not in a homicidal gas chamber but in a cold room that Pressac has decided to baptise a homicidal gas chamber. He dares to add, "There were preliminary experiments on the introduction of Zyklon B." He makes no reference of any kind for this assertion, probably because the proximity of note 227 suffices to give a serious appearance to a pure invention.

Use of "gas chamber" (meaning: homicidal gas chamber)
for "disinfestation chamber"

A variation on the former method of cheating is to refer to documents on the disinfestation gas chambers and let the reader believe that it must mean homicidal gas chambers. On the subject of a foreman, he writes:

In his daily work report, he noted: "Place gas-tight windows". On 2 March, having to lay a concrete floor in the area where the gas-tight windows had been placed, he wrote: "Lay concrete floor in gas chamber". — n. 233 (p. 76).

As is frequently the case with Pressac, the reference note is there to impress and contains no source text. Only the expert would know to look, for example, in the register of the Auschwitz locksmith (Schlosserei) to see that here we are merely dealing with a disinfestation gas chamber. The Pole Jan Sehn, investigating judge in the Rudolf Höss case, compiled extracts from this register. Quite by accident, by copying document no. 459 of 28 May 1943 he shows us that the Germans of Auschwitz called this type of gas chamber "Entwesungskammer" (delousing chamber) or, more simply, "Gaskammer" (gas chamber). The document in question states:

Entwesungskammer K.L. Auschwitz [...]. 1. Die Beschläge zu 1 Tür mit Rahmen, luftdicht mit Spion für Gaskammer
(delousing chamber for concentration camp Auschwitz [...]. 1. Fittings for 1 door with frame, gas-tight with spy-hole for gas chamber)

In 1989, Pressac wrote — for once in complete honesty — that he had discovered the inscription "GASKAMMER" (GAS CHAMBER) right above the words "WASCH- und BRAUSEBAD" (WASHROOM AND SHOWERROOM) in a disinfestation barracks in Birkenau and he added, "The association of showers and gas chambers could have caused the prisoners to think: 'The showers are gas chambers'" (A.T.O., p. 549).

In his book of 1993, far from attempting to dispel this confusion in his readers, he pursues a deception which consists in inducing them to believe — without directly saying so — that when the Germans used the expression "gas chamber" they meant homicidal gas chamber.

Documents without connection to the essential facts

On the subject of supposed "incineration ditches" (a physical impossibility, especially in the marshy terrain of Birkenau), Pressac wrote:

The oven of [crematory] V rapidly overflowed and small ditches were dug beside the gas chambers to incinerate the victims in the open air (document 57) (p. 90).

Document 57 does not prove nor even illustrate anything with respect to the passage. It concerns a photograph which has circulated among books and articles about the extermination of the Jews for a half century. This photograph is sometimes believed to prove the existence not of incineration ditches but of homicidal gas chambers. It is impossible to say when or where or from whom this picture came. It shows civilians in the midst of what appears to be a pile of naked corpses scattered on the ground. In the distance billows of bright smoke rise, as though it were not from the corpses, but from brushwood (perhaps, if the photograph is genuine, it is the smoke of a fire for the purpose of reducing the odor or repelling insects?). In any case, there are no ditches.

Use of fictitious references

One of Pressac's other kinds of cheat consists in giving the prestige of a fact examined and determined to be true to something that he has just thought up. Instead of writing, "I have changed my mind and now I think that ...", he will write, "Now it is thought that ...".

In 1989 he asserted with great assurance that the first homicidal gassing at Auschwitz took place on the 3rd September 1941 exactly (A.T.O., p. 132).

Four years later, in the present work he prefers to write:

Today the first killing with poisonous gas is placed somewhere in the period between the 5th [December] and the end of December [1941] (p. 34).

He does not justify the new dating just as he did not justify the old one. He ascribes to anonymous persons — who do not exist — his personal change of opinion that it is painful for him to admit. With this dodge he escapes the task of telling us why his opinion has changed and why it has become vaguer. I am inclined to believe Carlo Mattogno who, in 1992 in an unpublished article on the Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz, tells how he showed Pressac that these first gassings could not have taken place, especially not on 3 September 1941. (cf. Carlo Mattogno, Auschwitz: la prima gasazione, Padua, Edizioni di Ar, 1992, 190 pp.).

Using the same subterfuge, Pressac also writes:

Today it is estimated that only a relatively few killings by poisonous gas took place in this crematory [I], but that a larger number was reported because of the deep impression they made on the direct or indirect witnesses (p. 34).

Behind this "it is estimated" that seems to point to many, there lurks the "I estimate" of a single observer.

In 1989 Pressac set the number of homicidal gassings at crematory I at 10,000. (A.T.O., p. 132). Today, he estimates that there were "very few" such gassings, without being more exact. Here again, he has changed his opinion without telling us, and here again, he has taken refuge in vagueness.

One should pause to enjoy the explanation, not to say the justification, for the lie: the direct witnesses (which?) or indirect witnesses (what does this mean?) had such a vivid impression that they "reported a larger number" of gassings.

This "very few homicidal gassings" is similar to the dissimulation of the adjoint directoress of the Museum of Majdanek, who when interviewed by Pressac on the subject of a gas chamber in that camp, responded to him "that gas chamber was little used, really very little used", which our author cheerily tells us, meant that they were "not used at all" (Jean-Claude Pressac, "Les carences et incohérences du 'Rapport Leuchter'", La Lettre télégraphique juive, 12 December 1988, p. IX).

Tangled thinking deliberately nourished

Our author is confused by nature. But he knows how to use his own confusion to mislead his readers, embroil them in multifarious incoherences and dupe them. He piles it on, like the donkey who plays the donkey because it serves his purpose. Numerous pages, such as those he devotes to "the first clear 'criminal blunder'" need to be particularly clear because they deal with an important event (pp. 60-61) — but no, they seem to be inextricably tangled by design. Elsewhere simple phrases such as "these official numbers are lying propaganda but are valuable nonetheless" (p. 80) permit our author to escape responsibility and take refuge in equivocation.

The beginning of page 47 is an example of a kind of confusion which can only be deliberate. Here, Pressac describes the supposed "sneaky way" used by the SS at Auschwitz to conceal from Berlin that they were not in control of the typhus fever. These SS members decided to explain the "frightful quantities of gas consumed" by the disinfestation as being required by their effort to exterminate the Jews! According to Pressac, they devoted 97 to 98% of the gas to the disinfestation of lice and 2 to 3% to the gassing of Jews (the pharmacist will not say where he has gotten his figures), the SS members then decided to "make Berlin believe that most of the Zyklon B delivered was used in homicidal gassings in Bunkers 1 and 2"; but in Berlin, the SS authorities did not know about the methods of "treatment" of the Jews, they only knew "result of the treatment"! One can not think of anything more confused.

The rest of the description is no more clear nor coherent. Such a smorgasbord has the advantage of entertaining us with the myth of the gas chambers without giving us arguments which are distinct and substantial enough to be criticized.

The rope dancer and the flim-flam artist

Another form of confusion that serves to disguise his deceptions is to impute to the stupidity of the SS an absurdity that he has concocted as an explanation for some phenomenon. For example, in attempting to describe the gassing procedure in crematories IV and V, because of the configuration of the buildings, he is forced to invent the story of the SS-man who parades from one building to the next carrying a ladder which he successively props up near the different Zyklon hatches of the gas chambers, where he opens the hatch with one hand and pours in the pellets of Zyklon B with the other; the SS-man performs this stunt six times in a row. In 1989, in A.T.O., p. 386, he tells us the SS-man climbed the ladder three times at each stop, which means, he tells us, the SS-man had to climb up the ladder eighteen times and climb down the ladder eighteen times, thirty-six ascents or descents in all. Pressac calls this procedure "irrational", "ridiculous" and worthy of "a circus act", but, he tells us, "the camp authorities thought that a little physical exercise would do a world of good for the soldiers of the health service responsible for the gassings". The "task [of the SS-man] resembled that of a rope-dancer" he wrote in Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz (p. 76). But the rope-dancer is none other than our flim-flam artist in one of his favorite numbers.

A heavy load of fraudulence:
the two descriptions of gassings of humans

The descriptions of homicidal gassings should constitute the core of Pressac's present work. Instead, they occupy only a very peripheral place. A part of page 34 describes a homicidal gassing in Block 11 and a homicidal gassing in crematory I, and a part of page 74 describes a homicidal gassing in crematory II. That's all there is!

To determine the number of deceptions, the reader need only count occurrences of two cases: in one case, the grave assertions which are not accompanied by proof nor name of source or of some work referring to the source, and, in the other case, assertions that seem to be supported by proof or name of source or of some work referring to the source. In the latter case the reader can verify that Pressac has cheated every time: he uses either anonymous witnesses, or witnesses that he admits elsewhere that one should be wary of, or witnesses whose names are concealed (in this case, he refers to the Kalendarium), or documents in which "the little truth" has nothing to do with "the big lie". One can confirm cases of the first kind in notes 106 to 109 and cases of the other kind in notes 228 to 230 and in the references to documents [sic] 30 to 35.

Let us take a document and a note as examples.

"Document" 30 is nothing but a photograph of a box of Zyklon B! As for note 228, it states simply, "Kalendarium ..., op. cit., p. 440". However, if one takes the trouble to consult said work at the given page, he will discover that it is from this calendar — which he has thoroughly criticized in note 107 — that Pressac has borrowed the fiction of the 1,492 gas victims (Jews from Cracow); Danuta Czech, the editor of the calendar, herself borrowed the story from the infallible Henryk Tauber, who, she explains, admitted that he had never really seen anything during the gassing because the Germans locked the Sonderkommando to which he belonged in the dissection room of crematory II!

A flash flood of fraudulence

Let us stay for awhile with the story of the gassing of the 1,492 Jews in crematory II.

In most of the deceptions that I have enumerated, it should also be noted that Pressac has ignored all material circumstances that embarrass him. The SS could not have poured Zyklon B through four openings in the roof for the simple reason that no such openings existed — a fact which can be confirmed even today.

Moreover, Pressac knows very well, since he has read the documents that I published in 1980 (in particular, Nuremberg documents NI-9098 and NI-9912 [20], pertaining to Zyklon B and its use), that the members of the Sonderkommando could not have entered the gas chamber "after fifteen or twenty minutes" and, working in a space of 210 sqm. (30 m. x 7 m.) [21], undertaken the gigantic task of cutting the hair of the victims, pulling gold teeth, removing finger-rings and jewelry, dragging 1,492 corpses to a small hoist and incinerating the corpses in "two days" (p. 74). He knows that hydrocyanic acid, the principal component of Zyklon B, adheres tightly to surfaces, that it is difficult and time-consuming to draw off (it takes nearly a day of aeration for a room with windows situated at ground level), that it is absorbed by the hair, the skin and the mucuous membranes and penetrates the body to the degree that it would make any handling of cyanide-poisoned corpses dangerous (poisoning can occur through simple contact). The Sonderkommando would never have been able to enter a cloud of hydrocyanic acid gas to remove — with much huffing and puffing — 1,492 cyanide-poisoned corpses. Even with a mask and special filter (filter "J"), any physical effort is proscribed because it accelerates respiration and in the case of an effort such as this gas would leak through the filter. Pressac could have let his ventilators run as much as he wanted, no ventilator system would have been able to drive off in a few minutes the poison molecules adhering to the floor, the ceiling, the walls and the door, saturating the corpses or trapped in pockets among the piles of corpses. I make reference to the method used in American execution gas chambers to execute a single person with hydrocyanic acid gas (S. Thion, Vérité historique ou vérité politique?, La Vieille Taupe, Paris, 1980, pp. 301-309).

As to the incineration of 1,492 corpses in two days in a set of fifteen ovens (coke-fed and probably only operated 12 hours out of 24 hours), Pressac knows that this is impossible because it would involve almost fifty cremations per day per oven (today in France, a crematory oven fed with gas, and therefore considerably more efficient, can complete only three to five cremations in an eight hour day).

Also, where would one have put the 1,492 gassed corpses before they were cremated? The author, to whom this question has been posed many times, knows that there is no answer.

There is another question which needs to be answered.

According to Pressac, the four crematories of Birkenau were transformed into slaughterhouses. For example, in the crematories II and III, the two rooms intended for the reception and storage of the corpses of the dead from ordinary causes were surreptitiously transformed, one into a disrobing room where the Jews undressed (Leichenkeller 2), and the other into a gas chamber where the same Jews were gassed (Leichenkeller 1). If this were so, there is no way the Germans would have been able to receive and store the corpses of the one hundred or so persons, on average, who died every day, due mostly to the epidemics which were the very reason that they were planned and built [22]. (the argument that applies to crematories II and III applies for the same reasons and in the same way to crematories IV and V) [23].

The problem is the following:

If the buildings called crematories were really nothing but slaughterhouses for the reception, execution and incineration of Jews, where at Birkenau could the corpses of those who died of ordinary causes, and, in particular, those of the victims of the epidemics which ravaged the camp, have been received, stored and incinerated?

In other words, where are the true crematories of Birkenau?

Pressac bridles at the restraints of submission to the facts and of rejection of fantasy or falsification which every historian must impose on himself. He is much more at ease in fiction, in particular that of the novel.

5. Divagations of the novelist

When one examines a study of a historical nature, it is not usual to bother much about the question of style. An historian who does not express himself well may be more appreciated than one who is known for his elegant style. But Pressac is in a class by himself. His conception of narrative, his vocabulary, his turn of phrase are without parallel in their slovenliness, crudeness and clumsiness. Anyone who thinks this is not so should name me a single book of history — or even of fiction — where one could come across such poverty of language, such an abundance of hackneyed, maladroit and dull-witted expressions as can be found in the excerpts to follow. Pressac's style is wooden and flat, especially when he tries to make it appear elevated or flowery or colorful.

Here are a number of samples from a "rigorous history" (p. 1), on which I shall refrain from comment. I only suggest to the reader that he should bear in mind the following question as he reads: "Where in the blazes did Pressac, who claims to be the discoverer of a 'rigorous history', uncover proofs for the things he says here?"

The conversation turned sour and the SS-man hung up (p. 24).

Naumann was obviously not a "normal" SS-man, because a real SS-man would never apologize, whatever his conduct might have been (ibid.).

That request made the engineer very happy [...] His colleague Shultze, however, was anything but happy (ibid.).

Good news usually comes in pairs (p. 25).

Naumann [...] humbly demanded [...] (ibid.).

At this point Prüfer made a bad mistake, trying to push his luck. Naumann's refusal was firmly blocked. He intrigued so cleverly [...] (ibid.).

[...] a certain SS adjutant Heider [...] (ibid.).

Now a secret battle was begun [...] to sabotage this imposed business deal.

[...] thanks to a clever administrative blockage [...] and the unanticipated assistance of a fire possibly caused by an Allied bombing [...] (ibid.).

[...] he was answered dryly [...] (ibid.).

[...] without good relations with Party bigshots [...] The personnel of the firm sympathised with Ludwig because he was quite affable, as opposed to his aggressive, pretentious, strict and married younger brother (p. 30).

Of course, this was a pure lie [...] (ibid.).

But that he still owed them anything became a servitude and a mortal snare to Ludwig as the events to follow would show [end of chapter] (ibid.).

Prüfer did not say any more in the — probably only — personal letter he wrote to Bischoff. In effect, an incredible burden had been placed on Prüfer which left him panting for commercial relief (p. 31).

But Prüfer fell into his troublesome error again, in continuing [...] raged in vain, thinking it useless to put the blame on Kammler [...] (p. 37).

The SS members of the political section feared for their precious lives [...] (p. 40).

Himmler had unloaded an abominable criminal task on Höss, who, hardened jailer though he was, did not appreciate the doubtful "honour" bestowed upon him (p. 45).

[...] the inane passion of the Reichsführer for his prima donnas, his Waffen-SS divisions (ibid.).

[...] unexpected windfall [...] that the Jews' undressing in the open was disorderly [...] (ibid.).

They found a sneaky way out: make it seem the Jews were to blame for the frightful quantities of gas consumed (p. 47).

[On inmates who died of typhus] civilians and SS members accompanied them to the beyond [...] (p. 50).

[...] while chatting with SS members he found out something he was not sensed [sic, means "supposed"] to know [...] (p. 52).

Actually, Prüfer had bad luck, because Ertl was severely scolded by Bischoff [...] (p. 53).

[...] whatever was not too extravagant [...] (ibid.).

The project was crazy [...], but none of these brilliant Topf engineers recognized that they had just crossed the boundary between the normal and the abnormal, which left them swaying in criminal complicity (p. 55).

The three SS-men were back in Auschwitz for lunch. We do not know if they were able to swallow it (p. 58).

[...] hell opened its reddened maw day and night in the middle of the birch forest (ibid.).

[SS general Pohl showed up suddenly] at Auschwitz to learn what was happening there and where the consignments of tons of Zyklon B were disappearing. [...] When he asked about the Zyklon B, he was told that they used it to destroy lice and Jews at the same time. Pohl, impressionable and sympathetic, asked nothing more. [...] As soon as he returned to Berlin, he informed Ernst Grawitz, the SS chief of medicine, a pretentious and aggressive fool, who debarked the 25th at Auschwitz, where his idiotic advice [etc.] (p. 59). Holick and Koch's return to Erfurt certainly provoked a disturbance in the firm. Belonging to Prüfer's department, they made their report to him and mentioned the blaze at Birkenwald. If the engineer knew what was going on from hear-say, he never saw the result. Embarrassed by their story, he must have counselled them to be quiet and to stay at home to enjoy the Noel season. Holick, who had already made acquaintance with the world of the concentration camps at Buchenwald, which he perceived to be hard and implacable, could not imagine that Hitler's diatribes against the Jews could take the form of the horrors which he had witnessed with Koch. A letter of Topf from the beginning of March 1943 hints that the two men talked. Possibly in the factory, after having been questioned by the Topf brothers on their stay at Auschwitz, or at home with family members or friends, who quickly "confided" their statements to the officers of the firm. As soon as the story leaked out, Prüfer was duly summoned by the Topfs and ordered to explain himself. That interview would occur at the beginning of January 1943. It was easy for Prüfer to inquire politely of Ludwig Topf if he had had as good a Noel season as the one the year before with the charming Mademoiselle Ursula Albrecht, to add that the young woman was relieved and happy that the Director was no longer a soldier, then to convince Ernst-Wolfgang Topf, who had approved the first sales sent to Auschwitz and proudly signed the contracts for the sale of ten triple-chamber ovens for crematories II and III, that if the "crematory construction" division had not landed these sales, the competition, Heinrich Kori or the Didier-Werke of Berlin would have gotten them. In addition, the Topf ovens had not been part of the Birkenwald atrocities and only had a health purpose, the destruction of pathogenic germs by fire. If Ernst-Wolfgang Topf accepted Prüfer's biased explanations, Ludwig Topf, neutralized, did not object to them, since, having signed off on the specification for the ventilation of crematory III since his return from the army, he condemned himself by signing nine months later that for the exhaust system of crematoria IV and V, which were criminal pure and simple (p. 65). [Prüfer] confirmed with a pretended sadness that the guarantee of the oven of crematory IV had expired [...] (p. 79). Topf opposed the detachment of vaults furiously [...] (p. 81).

[...] he denied it vehemently (p. 82).

[During a visit by Himmler] The convoy of cars crossed the bridge crossing over the railway lines, stopped at a goods dock to look at the new potato warehouse which adjoined the ramp where the Jews were sorted (document 49), and departed at high speed towards Birkenau. The passage on Birkenau in the report stated, "The 1st and 2nd stages of construction of the KGL as well as the crematories and the troop quarters were inspected in detail. The interior of the inmate quarters in the 2nd stage of construction, which were nearly ready for occupancy, were particularly praised." The SS passed by the water treatment station (document 50), the two potato warehouses in the KGL yard, and then dashed toward Harmense where there were duck and poultry farms and a fish hatchery near the new dike on the Vistula. A slight car collision did not moderate the crazy speed of the inspection, which ended at the recent camp of the female inmates of Budy, with its piggeries (document 51), its stables and its forestry school. At a high speed, they covered the "Reichsstrasse" leading to Raisko, where they explored the SS Institute of Hygiene and the SS Establishment for Agricultural Research with its out-buildings from top to bottom (document 52). They toured the vegetable greenhouses almost at a run [...] (p. 85).

[...] which provoked an outcry of disappointment, barely hiding the general shameful relief (p. 86).

They had a lavish feast (ibid.).

[Title of chapter XI:] Horror, shabby business and final debacle (p. 87).

[IG Farben] begged a thousand tons [of cement] [...] (p. 91).

The "chief" [Pohl] was generous, too generous [...] knew that he'd promised the wind [...] (ibid.).

[...] the gypsy children, stricken with "noma", with necrotic cheeks and feverish eyes, smiling through the fetid gangrene, shook Pohl deeply. Having in front of him the radiant gaze of these small tattered creatures, unmoving in front of the doors of the black barrack-stables, and having behind him to the left in the azure sky, two squat chimneys spitting flames, and on his right a whitish cloud rising from the Birkenwald, Pohl must have understood that his administration had transgressed the ethical norms and would be marked by it for a long time. He remembered Monday, the 22nd May 1933, the day when he had encountered Himmler in the gardens of the casino of Kiel, and he cursed that day. But worse was yet to come. (ibid.).

In his youth, Pressac was vividly impressed by a novel by Robert Merle (La Mort est mon métier (Death is My Business), 1952) inspired by the story of Rudolf Höss, one of the three successive commandants of concentration camp Auschwitz. (A.T.O., p. 539). He dreamed of writing a novel himself someday where he could "describe the world resulting from a German victory in 1945 or 1946" (A.T.O., p. 541), a world where he could evoke the extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz. Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz. La Machinerie du meurtre de masse is to some extent the novel he dreamed of [24].


Pressac claims that he has found a middle way between the Exterminationist and the Revisionist theses. As we have seen, his thesis is actually hybrid and bizarre: at Auschwitz lower level engineering staff members and civilian and military technicians surreptitiously refitted the innocuous cold rooms used for the preservation of corpses to be homicidal gas chambers, whose technology and method of operation the author is unable to describe to us in scientific terms.

Pressac's method of proceeding consists in ignoring material realities: structures and rooms that one can still see today at Auschwitz and at Birkenau and which he has the nerve to baptise as "homicidal gas chambers", dangers in the use of Zyklon B, substantial difficulties with the drawing off of the gas, lack of any place to keep the gassed corpses waiting to be incinerated, absence of any facility to receive, store and incinerate the corpses of those who died of ordinary causes (since the crematories intended for that purpose had been transformed into chemical slaughterhouses reserved for the reception, gassing and incineration of the Jews), inability of the crematoria ovens to incinerate so many corpses. His method also includes dissimulation and trickery, especially in the handling of documents and of sources and references.

The result of his work is miserable. The single item worthy of interest that one could take away from his work is that, according to Pressac, the number of Jews gassed at Auschwitz and at Birkenau should be set at 630,000 and the number of all victims (from 1940 through 1945) should be set at 775,000, or 800,000 in round numbers. Even this information has no scientific value because there is nothing to support it. It only demonstrates the habitual need to lower the estimated numbers; there will no doubt be further reductions in the same way in the more or less distant future [25].

Of the 80,000 documents in the archives in Moscow that were consulted or that could have been consulted, Pressac has really only used one: an insignificant commercial letter concerning gas detectors (Gazprüfer). I have reasons to suspect that he has suppressed documents that would have supported the Revisionist thesis. In particular I suspect that he has discovered detailed plans of the cold rooms (Leichenkeller) of crematories II and III, as well as detailed plans of the rooms in crematories IV and V that he has baptised "homicidal gas chambers". The Germans never contented themselves with simple rough plans: the extraordinarily precise and detailed plans of the Leichenkeller at Sachsenhausen that I personally discovered in 1986 show this (cf. R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 106-107).

At Auschwitz, we are told, the Germans committed a crime of gigantic proportions. An expert study of the weapon which they used to perpetrate such an abomination is indispensable. Today there are expert studies of ruins thousands of years old. Why should there not be an expert study of buildings and ruins that are only a half-century old? If crematory I has been "partially reconstructed", as we are told, why should that hinder an expert study, if only to determine which parts are original and which reconstructed? [26] As for the supposed "gas chamber" of crematory II, under the collapsed roof it is almost completely intact — a windfall for experts. Instead of making an expert study of some hair, some metal objects and mortar, as was done after the war (Criminological Institute of Cracow, 12 July 1945, report signed by J. Robel), why not demand an expert study of these premises?

With the publication of Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz the management of the CNRS have painted themselves into a corner. The introduction to the work called for a "historical reconstruction at last free from oral or written witness testimony, which is always fallible and decreases over time" The time has come to put this requirement into effect. If these officials believe they need to repudiate all expert reports from specialists and independent laboratories that have confirmed the Revisionist thesis since 1988 and if they have reasons — which they have not made public — to keep secret the results of the expert report undertaken in 1990 by the Criminological Institute of Cracow at the request of the Museum of Auschwitz, the solution that remains for them is to undertake their own expert study or to assign the task to an international commission of experts.

The presumed greatest crime of human history cries out for an official study. The judges of Nuremberg quietly did not bother to undertake one and many other judges since then have done the same, particularly those of the Auschwitz guards trial (Frankfurt, 20 December 1963 — 20 August 1965); during two visits to Auschwitz the German judges did not even inspect the presumed weapon of the crime. There were reasons for this absence of curiosity, just as there were reasons for prohibiting the Revisionist Paul Rassinier from observing the trial.

It is true that the legend that has wrapped itself around the name Auschwitz would be in danger from such a study, but there is no doubt that science, history and justice would benefit.

Here, as well as elsewhere, the Revisionists have shown the way. What needs to be done is to imitate them and set to work, seriously.

December 1993

Annex: Document NI-9912

Document NI-9912: it demolishes without exception any so-called "eye-witness testimony" on the use of Zyklon B to kill humans. [27]

The reader will note that document NI-9912 mentions in six places the use of an apparatus for the detection of traces of hydrocyanic acid (cf. the terms "Gasrestnachweisgerät" or "Gasrestnachweis") [28]. Without this apparatus, disinfestation with Zyklon B would have been impossible. It is therefore incomprehensible that Pressac could have the effrontery to offer as a definitive proof of the existence of homicidal (!) gas chambers the mention in a purely commercial letter of an order for ten units of this type which were widely used with disinfestation gassings. At the beginning of 1943, the central construction office of Auschwitz (Zentral-Bauleitung) had trouble procuring these units from the usual distributor. At that time it was more and more difficult to obtain delivery of almost any product. Therefore, there is nothing strange in the fact that the construction office turned to the firm Topf and Sons. Even in times of peace and prosperity it happens that a firm orders a product from a third party that it can not obtain from the manufacturer. This applies even more in times of war and rationing. Moreover, in his book Pressac mentions other orders addressed to third parties (on page 57, there is an order for bitumen, and on page 70, we see that the Zentral-Bauleitung turned to the same firm Topf and Sons to order ... lifts!).

Document NI-9912 comes from the archives of the Nuremberg Trials. It was registered by the Americans at a late date, 21 August 1947, with the reference code NI (Nuremberg Industrialists). It comes from the archives of Degesch [29] and is listed in four catalogs, including one called "Atrocities" [sic].

The original is in the form of four large pages which can be posted on walls. It is essentially a bulletin which was meant to be distributed in many copies — in the present case in the midst of war by the Health Authority in Prague. Its contents consist of directives for the use of Zyklon (prussic acid or hydrocyanic acid) to exterminate vermin in buildings, which could be either civilian or military buildings (apartment buildings, barracks, and so forth). This document reminds us opportunely of a truth won from hard experience: of all deadly weapons, gas will undoubtedly remain the one most difficult to handle. When it kills, it kills so thoroughly that it can easily be fatal to the one who applies it.

As easy as it is to kill oneself with prussic acid, it is correspondingly difficult to kill one's neighbor without running great risks.

The document at hand describes the characteristics of Zyklon B, including its explosive danger and toxicity. Only a person possessing a certificate given at the completion of a special training course could use the product. The planning and preparation for a gassing operation involves measures and labor that may require many hours, if not days. Then the operation happens. Among the numerous details one will notice that Zyklon B pellets are not simply dumped in a heap or thrown carelessly. For the best effect, it must be spread in a thin layer on paper sheets, none of it should be allowed to wander unnoticed into a corner and all of it should be collected at the proper time. It takes 6 to 32 hours to kill vermin (21 hours on average). Then the most critical phase occurs, the aeration. The text states: "Aeration presents a great danger for both participants and non-participants. Therefore it should be carried out carefully and gas masks should always be worn." The aeration should last "at least 20 hours". The building must be closely guarded during the whole period, and also afterwards. To be certain that no trace of gas remains, the specialists, always wearing gas masks, enter the site with paper strips used as trace gas indicators. Twenty hours before, simply opening doors and windows and other sealed or closed off openings (this work is nothing in comparison to the work of dragging away thousands of bodies!) presented sufficient danger that after aerating each floor they had to come out into the fresh air, remove their masks and breathe fresh air for at least ten minutes. Everything here speaks to the danger of the gas. I leave it to the reader to discover from every line of this document, how in comparison the stories of the witnesses of the "homicidal gassings" offend the laws of physics and chemistry.

Document NI-9912

Guidelines for the Use of Prussic Acid (Zyklon)
For Destruction of Vermin (Disinfestation).


I. Properties of Prussic acid:

Prussic acid is a gas that is released by evaporation.

Boiling point: 26° C.
Freezing point: -15° C.
Specific weight: 0.69.
Vapor density: 0.97 (Air = 1.0).
Liquid form evaporates easily.

Liquid form: clear and colorless as water.
Smell: unique, bitter-sweet.
Powerful ability to penetrate.
Prussic acid is water-soluble.

Danger of explosion:

75 g. Prussic acid in 1 cbm. air. (Normal application is ca. 8 - 10 g. per cbm., so not explosive). Prussic acid should not be brought into contact with open fire, glowing metal wire, and so forth. It burns slowly and loses its potency completely. (It produces carbonic acid, water and azote.)

Toxicity to warm-blooded animals:

Prussic acid acts without notice, therefore it should be considered highly poisonous and highly dangerous. Prussic acid is one of the most powerful poisons. 1 mg. per kg. - body weight is enough to kill a man. Children and women are usually more sensitive than men. A very small quantity of Prussic acid does not harm men, even with constant breathing. Birds and fish are very sensitive to Prussic acid.

Toxicity to insects:

The effect of Prussic acid on insects depends less on temperature than is the case with other gases; that is, it even works at cold temperatures (even down to -5° C). For many species, particularly bedbugs and lice, the eggs are more sensitive than the imagos.

Toxicity to plants:

The degree of toxicity depends on the the amount of vegetation on the plant. Plants with hard leaves are less sensitive than those with soft leaves. Mold and dry rot are not killed by Prussic acid.

Prussic acid does not kill bacteria.

II. Forms in which Prussic acid is used:

Zyklon is a mixture of Prussic acid and an irritating agent absorbed in a substrate. The substrate may be wood disks, a granular red-brown material ("Diagriess") or small blue cubes ("Erco").

The irritating agent is used as a warning method, and has the additional advantage that it stimulates the breathing of insects. Release of Prussic acid and the irritating agent by simple evaporation. Zyklon will keep for 3 months. Use damaged cans first. Always use up the contents of a can completely. Liquid Prussic acid harms polish, varnish, paints, and so on - gaseous Prussic acid will not. The toxicity of Prussic acid is not affected by the irritating agent, but the danger is reduced.

Zyklon can be made harmless by burning.

III. Symptoms when poisoned:

1. Slight poisoning:

Dizziness, headache, vomiting, discomfort, and so on. These symptoms will disappear if one quickly goes out into fresh air. Alcohol reduces the resistance to Prussic acid gassing - do not drink alcoholic drinks before gassing.

Administer: 1 tablet Cardiazol or Veriazol to prevent heart trouble, another tablet 2 to 3 hours later if need be.

2. Severe poisoning:

The victim collapses suddenly and is unconscious. First aid: fresh air, remove gas mask, loosen clothing, assist breathing.
Lobelin intramuscular 0.01 g.
Camphor injections are forbidden.

3. Poisoning through the skin:

Symptoms as for 1. Treatment also the same.

4. Stomach poisoning:

Treat with:
Lobelin 0.01 g. intramuscular
iron sulfate vitriol
calcinated magnesia.

IV. Protection against gas:

When gassing with Zyklon use only special filters, such as filter insert "J" (blue-brown) made by the Auergesellschaft, Berlin, or the Drägerwerke, Lübeck.

If gas gets into the mask, leave the building immediately and change filters, then test the mask and mask seating for tightness. The filter insert is exhausted when gas can get into the mask. With filter "J", first go into the open air for about 2 minutes, so that moisture from the breath can build up in the filter insert.

The filter should never be changed in a gas-filled room.

V. Personnel:

For every disinfestation, a disinfestation team will be used, consisting of at least 2 men. The gassing leader is responsible for the gassing. His duties include particularly inspection, aeration, giving the all-clear and safety measures. The gassing leader should appoint a deputy in case he is absent. The orders of the gassing leader should be obeyed without hesitation.

Untrained personnel or trained personnel without a certificate should not be used for gassing operations. Such persons also should not be allowed to enter a room filled with gas. The gassing leader should know where his personnel are at all times. All personnel should be able to prove at all times that they possess official authorization to use Prussic acid for disinfestation of pests.

These guidelines should be followed exactly in all cases.

VI. Equipment:

Every man should have with him at all times:

1. His own gas mask.

2. At least 2 special packets for use against Zyklon Prussic acid.

3. The manual "First Aid for Prussic Acid Victims".

4. A copy of the work order.

5. Authorization certificate.

Every disinfestation team should have with it at all times:

1. At least 3 additional special packets.

2. 1 Trace gas detector.

3. 1 Lobelin injection device.

4. Lobelin, 0.01 g. ampules.

5. (Cardiazol), Veriazol tablets.

6. 1 prybar or spike-hammer to open Zyklon cans.

7. Warning posters of the prescribed kind.

8. Sealing material.

9. Paper sheets on which to lay out Zyklon.

10. A flashlight.

All equipment should be kept clean and in working condition. Damage to equipment should be repaired immediately.

VII. Planning a gassing:

1. Will the gassing work?

a) Type and situation of the building.

b) Nature and condition of the roof.

c) Nature and condition of windows.

d) Presence of heating shafts, air shafts, holes in the wall, and so on.

2. Determine the kind of pests to be exterminated.

3. Calculate the volume of the space. (Do not rely on plans, make your own measurements. Only measure exteriors, include masonry in the calculations.)

4. Prepare the occupants (Remove house animals, plants, food, undeveloped photographic plates, drinks and tobacco, gas mask filters).

5. Determine openings difficult to seal. (Air shafts, drains, large openings with wooden planking, roofs).

6. Determine necessary safety measures. (Guards, work gangs for sealing).

7. Set the date for the operation and the time needed for evacuation.

8. Make plans for the safety of the neighborhood, if necessary.

9. Notify the authorities.

VIII. Preparation for a gassing:

1. Sealing.

2. Open all doors, wardrobes, drawers, and so on.

3. Spread bedding out.

4. Remove open liquids (left-over coffee, wash-water, and so on).

5. Remove food.

6. Remove plants and house animals (aquariums, and so forth).

7. Remove undeveloped photographic plates and film.

8. Remove dressings for wounds, medications whether open or in packages (especially charcoal).

9. Remove gas mask filters.

10. Prepare to inspect the result.

11. Evacuate the occupants.

12. Collect keys. (All entry door keys.)

IX. Gas concentration and treatment period

depend on
- the type of pest,
- the temperature,
- the degree to which the space is filled,
- the air-tightness of the building.

For inside temperatures of over + 5° C one should ordinarily use 8 g./cbm. Prussic acid.

Treatment period: 16 hours, when no other conditions, such as a closed-in method of construction, permit a shorter period. In warm weather one may reduce the period to 6 hours. When the temperature is under + 5° C the period should be extended to at least 32 hours.

The strengths and treatment periods given above apply to: bedbugs, lice, fleas and so forth, and to eggs, larvae and pupae.

For clothes moths when the temperature is over 10° C, 16 g./cbm. and 21 hours application time.

Flour moths, as for bedbugs.

X. Gassing a building:

1. Check to make sure all persons have left the building.

2. Unpack the Zyklon cases. For each floor, prepare the necessary quantity.

3. Distribute the cans. One man goes into the building, receives and distributes the cans brought to him by the work gang (He puts them by the sheets of paper.)

4. Dismiss the work gang.

5. Deploy the guard; the leader of the gassing team gives them his orders.

6. Check that the sealing and evacuation are complete .

7. Put on all gas protection gear.

8. Open the cans and pour out the contents. Spread the contents out thinly, so that the Zyklon evaporates quickly and the required concentration of gas is reached as soon as possible. The treatment should begin on the highest floor, the cellar should be treated before the first floor if the former has no exit. Rooms already treated should not be entered again, if possible. The treatment should be carried out slowly and methodically. Go slowly on stairways especially. The treatment should be interrupted only in case of emergency.

9. Lock and seal the entry doors (Do n't forget the keyholes) and give the keys to the gassing team leader.

10. On every outside door put up a placard with the inscription: "WARNING: Poison gas — deadly danger — entry forbidden." If necessary, the warning placard should be multilingual. It should show at least 1 clearly visible death's head.

11. All gas protection gear, resuscitation equipment and trace gas detectors should be handy. Every member of the gassing team should know where these items can be found.

12. At least 1 member of the gassing team should remain near the building being gassed. The guard should be notified of his position.

XI. Aeration:

Aeration presents a great danger for both participants and non-participants. Therefore it should be carried out carefully and gas masks should always be worn. Aeration should be done in such a way that 1) gas-free air can be reached in the shortest possible time, 2) gas flows off to one side, where there is no danger to non-participants. When the aeration is difficult, one man with special training should remain with the building to observe the flow of gas.

1. Make sure that no persons not involved with the gassing remain in the vicinity of the building.

2. Post the guards such that they can observe the entrances to the building without being in the way of the flowing gas.

3. Put on gas masks.

4. Enter the building, shut the doors but do n't lock them.

5. First open the windows on the side of the building away from the wind. Aerate one floor at a time. Begin with the first floor and allow a rest of at least 10 minutes after each floor.

6. In each room of the building the hallway doors, connecting doors and windows should be opened. If any windows are difficult to open, wait to open them until after most of the gas has blown away.

7. Planking and other seals that cannot be easily handled should only be removed after most of the gas has blown off.

8. When there is freezing or danger of freezing, be sure that heating systems and water lines do not freeze.

9. Rooms with valuable contents such as clothes storage may be closed as soon as the windows are opened.

10. Make sure that open doors and windows do not close on their own.

11. Seals on chimneys should be removed after the provisional all-clear.

12. Aeration should last at least 20 hours.

13. The guard should remain near the building throughout the aeration.

XII. Provisional all-clear:

A gassed room can be provisionally opened to access as soon as the paper strips used as trace gas detectors show a lighter blue than the middle of the reference color scale — windows and doors being kept open. Only aeration and clean-up work can be carried on in provisionally opened rooms. Under no circumstances should anyone rest or sleep in a provisionally opened room. The windows and doors of such rooms should be kept open.

XIII. Clean-up after the provisional all-clear:

1. Removal of remnants of Zyklon from the gassed rooms. Usually they should be sent back to the manufacturer along with cans and cases. The inscription "Poison" should be removed from the cases before they are sent. Moist, wet or dirty remnants, and damaged cans should never be returned. They can be thrown in the trash or on the cinder heap, but should never be dumped into drains.

2. Mattresses, straw mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and other such objects should be shaken or beaten in the open for at least one hour under the supervision of the gassing team leader or his deputy (in rainy weather at least two hours in the hallway).

3. The stuffing of straw mattresses should be replaced, if possible. The old stuffing need not be burned - it can be reused after further aeration.

4. If chimney upper openings were covered, the seals should be removed carefully, otherwise there is danger that the fires in ovens and fireplaces will not have enough draft and that carbon monoxide poisoning could result.

5. After the final all-clear a gassing report in the prescribed form should be completed, in two copies. In particular, it should include:

a) Volume of space gassed,

b) Quantity of Zyklon used,

c) Name of the gassing team leader,

d) Names of the other personnel involved,

e) Duration of treatment,

f) The date and hour of the final all-clear for the disinfested rooms.

XIV. Final all-clear:

1. Never before 21 hours after aeration was begun.

2. All objects removed for shaking out should be brought back.

3. Windows and doors should be closed for one hour.

4. Heated rooms should have their temperature restored to at least 15° C.

5. Trace gas detection. The paper strips should not be a brighter blue than the bright end of the reference color scale even between sheets or mattresses laid together, and in places difficult of access or difficult to aerate. If this is not the case, the aeration should be continued and trace gas detection should be repeated after a few hours.

6. In buildings in which people will soon sleep trace gas detection should be done in every room separately. People should never sleep in a room that has been gassed the night following the gassing. The windows should remain open the first night the room is in use again.

7. The leader of the gassing team or his deputy should not leave the building until the final all-clear has been given for the last room.

Published by the Health Authority
of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Prague


1. With respect to the photographic documentation, and in particular for photographs of the Polish model, the reader is referred to 25 pages which I added to Wilhelm Stäglich, Le Mythe d'Auschwitz, Étude critique, traduit et adapté de l'allemand (The Auschwitz Myth, a critical study, translated and adapted from the German), La Vieille Taupe, 1986, pp. 485-510, under the title "Illustrations. Le mythe d'Auschwitz en images".

2. Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, New York, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989, 564 pp., 45 x 30 cm., subsequently referred to as A.T.O.

3. Revue d'histoire révisionniste, no. 3 (November 1990/January 1991), pp. 65-154, subsequently referred to as R.H.R..

3a. The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1991, pp. 25-66; Summer 1991, pp. 133-175.

4. I have been informed by a reliable source that I can not reveal that Pressac intends to reduce the total of deaths at Auschwitz to 700,000 — when he thinks the public is in the mood to accept a new reduction. In 1989, speaking only of those gassed, he put the figure at "one to one and a half million (A.T.O., p. 553).

5. Pressac has such a predilection for Adolf Hitler that he has a bust of him in his house, at the top of a stairway leading to his attic. He has made the room sound-proof so that he can listen to military music there (for confirmation, see Pierre Guillaume, Droit et histoire, La Vieille Taupe, 1986, p. 124).

6. Pressac, who considers the Soviets and the KGB as rather more clever than the Americans, writes Prüfer "was sentenced to only 25 years forced labor" (p. 137).

7. Cf., for example, the statement "Auschwitz, where more than five million men, women and children died, of which 90% were Jews" ("Manifestation du souvenir à Paris devant le Mémorial du martyr juif inconnu" (Memorial ceremony in Paris at the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr), Le Monde, 20th April 1978). According to this statement in Le Monde, therefore, over four and a half million Jews died in the camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau alone!

8. On the other hand, the Polish resistance deliberately spread typhus and typhoid fever; this revelation comes from Revue d'histoire révisionniste no. 1, (May 1990, pp. 115-128): "Le rapport Mitkiewicz du 7 septembre 1943 ou l'arme du typhus" (The Mitkiewicz Report of 7th September 1943 or the typhus weapon). This report notes that in the period January to April 1943 there were "several hundred cases" of "propagation of the typhoid fever microbe and typhus-infected lice" (p. 127). The French Resistance used the same method (ibid, p. 116, n. 1).

9. Cf. Comité international d'Auschwitz, Anthologie (blue), French Version, vol. I, 2nd part, (Warsaw, 1969), p. 196. Among the many other German victims of typhus in Auschwitz one could name Dr. Siegfried Schwella (successor to Dr. Popiersch), the wife of Gerhard Palitzsch, the Rapportführer of the camp, and the wife of Joachim Caesar, overseer of agricultural works. Other well-known Germans contracted typhus without dying from it, such as Dr. Johann-Paul Kremer, Dr. Heinrich Schwarz, Dr. Kurt Uhlenbrock and Dr. Josef Mengele. Well-known inmates who died of typhus include Dr. Marian Ciepilowski, who cared for the Soviet prisoners of war, Professor Zygmunt Lempicki and the dentist Danielle Casanova, whom legend held to have been killed by the Germans. Germans living in the east lived in constant fear of typhus; Adolf Hitler himself was vaccinated against this disease on the 7th and 14th of February 1943 in Rastenburg (on this, cf. the memoirs of his medical doctor, Dr. Theo Morell, in David Irving, The Secret Diaries of Hitler's Doctor, New York, McMillan 1983, p. 109).

10. F. Leuchter, specialist in gas chamber execution technology widely utilized in American penitentiaries (Boston); G. Rudolf, chemist working for the Max Planck Institute (Stuttgart); W. Lüftl, president of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Engineers (Vienna).

11. Revisionists have managed to get hold of a copy of this report, for the text of which cf. "Crise au Musée d'État d'Auschwitz/La Contre-expertise de Cracovie" (Crisis at the Auschwitz-Museum: The Counter Expert Report of Cracow), R.H.R. no. 4, February 1991, pp. 101-104).

12. For comparison, one should first consult the American edition, which is relatively honest (The Auschwitz Album, New York, Random House, 1981, XXXIII-167 pp.), and then Pressac's edition, which is very dishonest (L'Album d'Auschwitz, French edition, compiled and completed by Anne Freyer and Jean-Claude Pressac, éditions du Seuil, 1983, 224 pp.).

13. The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex, Washington, CIA, February 1979, 19 pp.

14. It is significant that Pressac does not breathe a word of the abundant Revisionist bibliography. Nowhere does he cite the fundamental work of the American professor Arthur Robert Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, which has appeared in numerous editions since 1976 from the Institute for Historical Review (P.O. Box 2739, Newport Beach, Calif. 92659, USA). He omits to mention the work of the Canadian attorney Barbara Kulaszka, Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian "False News" Trial of Ernst Zündel — 1988, (with a preface by Robert Faurisson, Toronto, Samisdat Publishers (206 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A-2L1), 1992, 564 pp., 28 x 21 cm.). He ignores the erudite studies of the Italian Carlo Mattogno, the Spaniard Enrique Aynat and the Americans Mark Weber and Paul Grubach, who have reduced to nothing his work in English, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers.

15. One should compare the text which Pressac mentions in his note 55 with the text of the "declaration" of Pery Broad in Auschwitz vu par les SS (Auschwitz in the eyes of the SS), State Museum of Auschwitz, 1974, p. 166. Pressac has removed all the points which prove that there was false testimony, especially Broad's mention, in the passage cited, of "six holes for ventilation closed with lids"!

16. Even P. Vidal-Naquet, protector of the one he calls the "suburban pharmacist" concedes, "In the documentation on Auschwitz there are witness statements that give the impression that they have adopted the language of the victors. This is the case, for example, with the SS-man Pery Broad [...]" (Les Assassins de la mémoire, La Découverte, 1987, p. 45).

17. See below in the annex, the text of document NI-9912 on the use of Zyklon B; the "trace gas detection" was such an ordinary necessity of disinfestation gassings that it is mentioned there six times.

18. Law promulgated on 17th July 1992 by the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture (Reichsgesetzblatt, Jahrgang 1922, pp. 630-631).

19. There is an exact representation of Sector B II f in Hefte von Auschwitz, No. 15, Verlag Staatliches Auschwitz-Museum, 1975 (outside the text, between pages 56 and 57). The sports area is called Sportplatz and the hospital area is called Krankenbaulager für Männer; there were many other hospital areas.

20. A translation of Document NI-9912 is given in the annex. It is of fundamental importance in evaluating the degree of danger of the use of Zyklon B.

21. The area occupied by seven strong concrete pillars should be subtracted from this 210 sqm.

22. The four crematories began operating between the 31st March and the 25th June 1943; Pressac confirms that, for the year 1943, the death-registers (Sterbebücher) permit an estimate of 100 as the daily mortality of "non-gassed" persons (pp. 145-146).

23. With respect to crematories IV and V, Pressac stubbornly avoids the question I put to him fifteen years ago: "How can one possibly designate as execution gas chambers the two rooms in these crematories which each contain a coal-fired oven?" Also, the arrangement of the rooms is such that the first thing the future victims would see on entering the crematories would be the large hall used as the cold room, a room Pressac wants to make us believe served to store the corpses of the gassed victims!

24. A novel which is disfigured by so many misspellings and typographic errors that it is astonishing that it should have been published by éditions CNRS.

25. Pressac and the Exterminationists had high hopes for the archives in Moscow and in other great cities in the East. But they have been disappointed: neither Pressac nor Gerald Fleming have discovered anything worthwhile in Moscow, and Shmuel Krakowski has not found anything in Prague, Budapest, Riga or Vilna that would confirm the thesis of the "Holocaust" ("Neue Möglichkeiten der Forschung/Die Holocaust-Forschung und die Archive in Osteuropa", Antisemitismus in Osteuropa, Vienna, Picus Verlag, 1992, pp. 115-129).

26. The lame explanation of the Auschwitz Museum, that the reconstructed "gas chamber" of crematory I is "very similar to the one which existed in 1941-1942", is of long standing. It did not originate in September 1992, as David Cole thought. This young American Revisionist of Jewish birth believed he had made a sensational discovery when he heard this explanation from the mouth of Franciszek Piper, the director of the Museum archives, in a televised interview. However, I had received that response myself seventeen years before, on the 17th March 1975, from another Museum official, Jan Machalek. I have told that story many times, because, unlike David Cole, I was not satisfied with this lame explanation, but demanded to see the plans so that I could understand what had been reconstructed and what had not been reconstructed. At that time I discovered that which I have labelled "the swindle of the gas chamber in crematory I", which I have tirelessly described in my books, articles and recorded interviews and in testimony before courts in France and Canada, with proof in hand. See especially Storia Illustrata, August 1979, p. 26; Serge Thion, Vérité historique ou vérité politique?, La Vieille Taupe, 1980, pp. 185, 314; The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1980, p. 109; Winter 1981, p. 335; Summer 1990, p. 187; Spring 1991, pp. 33-35; R.H.R. no. 3, pp. 75-77; the transcript of my testimony at the first Zündel trial in Toronto, Canada in 1985, pp. 2364-2366; also see my videofilm on "Le Problème des chambres à gaz" (1982) and my cassettes on the same subject. Already in 1968 the historian Olga Wormser-Migot had admitted that Auschwitz I had been "without a gas chamber" (Le Système concentrationnaire nazi (1933 - 1945), P.U.F., 1968, p. 157). At the first Zündel trial in Toronto in 1985 Raul Hilberg spoke of a "partially reconstructed gas chamber" (transcript of trial, p. 774). The same year Pierre Vidal-Naquet said of the same crematory I that it had been "reconstructed by the Poles after the war [...]; there is no doubt as to the remaking" (L'Allemagne nazie et le génocide juif, Gallimard/Le Seuil, 1985, pp. 510, 516). In 1989 Jean-Claude Pressac insisted three times on the fact that this crematory, far from being "a faithful reproduction of the original state", had been "restructured", "reconstructed" and "reconstituted" and "transformations had been made" (A.T.O., pp. 108, 123, 133). It is unfortunate that in September 1992 D. Cole was satisfied with F. Piper's stereotypical explanation and that, not being familiar with the research on the subject, he did not confront his interlocutor with the plans which I had published thirteen years before in which I had demonstrated the blatant fraud of the pretended "partial reconstruction".

27. This annex is mostly taken from Robert Faurisson's book Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'histoire (Note in defense against those who accuse me of falsifying history), La Vieille Taupe, 1980, pp. 165-178.

28. The word "Gasprüfer" (gas detector) is a general term. It applies to any device for the detection of any gas. In the commercial letter cited by Pressac the ten detectors were designated as "Anzeigegeräte für Blausäure-Reste" (detection apparatus for traces of prussic acid) (doc. 28).

29. Abbreviation of "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung" (German Company for Pest Control), who produced Zyklon B.

First published under the titel Réponse à Jean-Claude Pressac. Sur le problème des chambres à gaz, R.H.R., Colombes 1994

Back to Table of Contents
Next Contribution
Previous Contribution