Counter-Leuchter Expert Report: Scientific Trickery?[1]

The three Polish authors J. Markiewicz, W. Gubala and J. Labedz recently published in Poland a chemical study on the question of the detectibility of cyanide compounds in the delousing chambers and the reputed gas-chambers of the concentration camp at Auschwitz. These cyanide compounds are remains of the delousing agent Zyklon B with which lice were killed in the delousing chambers but with which humans were reportedly killed in the supposed killing gas-chambers. Amazingly, they used a method for the analysis that is not capable of detecting the most important highly stable kinds of cyanide known as iron blue. The reason they give for this is that they could not understand how such blue-colored substances could develop in masonry. They believe that these substances appeared in the building material due to other causes, possibly because of blue paint. In order to exclude these compounds that were possibly carried by the paint, they chose an unusual method of analysis. This confessed lack of understanding by the Poles of the chemical processes that are possible in masonry gassed with Prussic acid stands in stark contrast to the facts worked out by Revisionist researchers which explain and prove from the technical literature the formation of these kinds of substances. These facts were known to the Polish authors when they wrote their article, since they cite one of the Revisionist works. Moreover, in the meantime a case of damage to a building has been discovered that clearly proves that blue discolorations of the walls are an effect of Zyklon B gassing. The analytic results of the three Polish authors must therefore be rejected as misleading because of knowing use of a faulty analytic method. It is possible there was a deceitful intention behind this work.


Introduction

The advances of Holocaust Revisionism in the area of the physical sciences have been increasingly considered and discussed by establishment researchers since 1990 and have become almost respectable. [2] One new advance in this area is addressed by a paper by the Polish authors Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubala and Jerzy Labedz that appeared in the journal Z Zagadnien Nauk Sadowych. [3] In this article the authors take as a model for their research the analysis of masonry samples from the reputed gas-chambers and the delousing chambers of the concentration camp at Auschwitz, as it was designed and interpreted by F. Leuchter [4] and G. Rudolf. [5] In their research Leuchter and Rudolf found that the masonry samples from the supposed gas-chambers at Auschwitz did not contain significant traces of components of Zyklon B (cyanide), although the samples from the delousing chambers contained huge quantities, from which Leuchter concluded that there could not have been any gassing at all in these rooms and Rudolf concluded that gassing could not have taken place to the extent and in the manner reported by witnesses. The Polish authors on the other hand found that the supposed gas-chambers contain quantities of cyanide comparable to the delousing chambers, from which they conclude that the mass gassings at Auschwitz took place. In what follows the article of the three Polish authors will be examined with a magnifying glass and it will be demonstrated where there are weak points and where questions need to be answered before one can accept their findings.

Method of Analysis

Markiewicz and his colleagues exposed finely pulverized samples to 10% sulfuric acid in a microdiffusion chamber for 24 hours. The Prussic acid (HCN) that diffused out was captured in a lye solution. The analysis of cyanide was done by converting it to a dye that could be detected spectrometrically. For this purpose they resorted to a highly sensitive method published in 1947. [6]

The analysis institutes [7] that were hired by F. Leuchter und G. Rudolf to investigate their samples used a method that was based on the standard method for the analysis of total cyanide in fluid samples developed by the Society of German Chemists (DIN 38 405, Part D 13). In this method finely pulverized samples are heated for 1 to 2 hours in a weakly reductive, hydrochloric acid solution and the gaseous HCN that was produced is fed into an alkaline preparation by a stream of air. For small quantities the analysis was done by the above-mentioned spectrometric method, for larger quantities a titration method was used.

Markiewicz and his colleagues claim that iron cyanide compounds cannot be detected with their procedure. This statement is in agreement with the technical literature cited in my expert report on the almost complete indestructibility of this very stable family of compounds even with the use of cold, concentrated acid. The Polish authors state that the reason for their choice of method was that they could not imagine how blue iron cyanide compounds could form in masonry and that they agree with J. Bailer that the blue discoloration of the delousing chamber walls came from a coat of paint. [8] In order to exclude the paint from the analysis they decided to employ a method that was not sensitive to iron cyanide. In the case of the delousing chambers, such a procedure would be correct only when one could exclude with reasonable certainty that the effect of Prussic acid on masonry led to the formation of iron cyanide. However, the Polish authors have failed completely to clarify this question. Not only that, but they ignored altogether the arguments given in my expert report and in the paper by Gauss, [5] supported by a long list of relevant technical literature, for the fact that the formation of stable iron cyanide is more than probable. They likewise ignored the arguments that refute the hypothesis of blue paint in the Auschwitz delousing chambers. I have dealt with this absurd hypothesis of Bailer in detail in my expert report. I have asked Dr. Bailer how it is that this supposed "coat of paint" only appears as random, irregular patches and can also be found deep within the wall, but I have not received an answer so far. In addition, one can find high levels of cyanide in plaster and in inner layers of mortar even in places that appear completely white. Herr Bailer has never explained to me whether he knows about some "white cyanide" with which walls, plaster and mortar can be dyed before they are applied.

The Polish authors could have checked their unfounded hypothesis of the impossibility of formation of stable iron cyanide compounds against their own gassing experiments. If they had examined only one of these samples for total cyanide content with the internationally recognized DIN method they probably would have seen their error. Especially, it seems more than strange that the samples from locations that show no blue discoloration (supposed gas-chambers, prisoners' barracks, test gassings) were analyzed with a method insensitive to iron cyanide. In this case one would expect no interference from blue paint and one could have easily determined whether iron cyanide forms in masonry or not and whether the analytic results of the two different methods are comparable.

That the development of bluish patches on the surfaces of walls similar in appearance to those on the walls of the Auschwitz delousing chambers is the consequence of Prussic acid gassing can be shown dramatically by one reference in the technical literature. 10 years ago in the periodically published journal Bauschäden Sammlung there was a report on the effects of Prussic acid gassing on a church that had been freshly plastered a few weeks before. [9] In that case deep blue patches appeared all over after several months. The reaction did not stop for over a year. The new plaster had to be completely knocked down since the iron cyanide complex could not be removed any other way.

Therefore it is more than likely that the analytic method of the Polish authors excluded from the analysis exactly those compounds on which the dispute most depends.

Limits of Detectibility and Results of Analysis

The Polish authors state that the limit of detectibility for their analytic method is 3-4 µg cyanide per kg. of sample material. In the DIN method this limit is near 2.5 µg, and in 1947 J. Epstein stated that the limit should be less than 1 µg. [6] It should be noted that the last two limits only apply to solutions of cyanide compounds in water. Experience with the analysis of chemical compounds in highly heterogeneous, not completely soluble solids, such as masonry, is that it is an order of magnitude more difficult. Accordingly the professional analysis institutes give as limits of detectibility not 2.5 µg/kg, but at least 100 µg/kg and sometimes even 1,000 µg/kg (1,000 µg = 1 mg). Sometimes even these values can be troublesome since masonry samples usually contain large quantities of carbonate, which can hinder the separation of cyanide (cf. the DIN method). It is doubtful that the limit of detectibility given by Markiewicz and his colleagues is based on use of solid materials, since in this case one must check by verifying the analysis of building materials with known quantities of cyanide. Even if their limit of detectibility is based on use of watery solutions, total analytic results with values less than 1 mg/kg should be looked at skeptically.

In the upper table the orders of magnitude of the analytic results of the three works discussed here are given in mg/kg (ppm). [10] The environmental conditions for Rudolf's test gassings were practically the same as those of Markiewicz and party. However, the analyses of Rudolf's samples were taken only after a relatively long period after the gassing (about 2 months) whereas the maximum values from Markiewicz and party come from analyses made 48 hours after ending the gassing. (For more details on the test gassings see below.)

Comparison of Orders of Magnitude
of the Results of Analysis of different Samples

Author

Markiewicz and others

Leuchter

Rudolf

Analysis on:

Cyanide without
Iron-cyanide

Total cyanide

Total cyanide

Delousing chamber

0 - 0.8 mg/kg

1,025 mg/kg

1,000 - 13,000 mg/kg

supposed
gas-chamber

0 - 0.6 mg/kg

0 - 8 mg/kg

0 - 7 mg/kg

Prisoners' Barracks

0 mg/kg

-

0 - 3 mg/kg

Test gassings

0 - 12 mg/kg

-

50 - 100 mg/kg

Under the assumption that the several experimental results are roughly equivalent in order of magnitude, several interesting conclusions can be made from a comparison of the results of the different analytic methods:

1. 99.9% of the cyanide presently detectible in the walls of the delousing chambers of Auschwitz is bound in a way that is not detectible by the method of Markiewicz and party. Therefore these are probably complex iron cyanides such as iron blue. More precisely, the ratio of stable iron cyanide compounds to less stable cyanide compounds is 1,000 to 10,000 and more to 1.

2. The corresponding ratio in the samples from the supposed gas-chambers is at most 10 to 1.

3. While Markiewicz and party found that the level of unstable cyanide compounds in the supposed gas-chambers and in the delousing chambers are nearly equal, the analytic results of Leuchter and Rudolf show that the total cyanide level - and probably also the iron cyanide level - in the delousing chambers is a factor of 1,000 or more higher than that in the supposed gas-chambers.

First, one can exclude that this effect can be caused by the dissolution of the stable iron cyanide compounds in the supposed gas-chambers because it flies in the face of logic that there the stable compounds dissolve while the unstable ones can be detected still today at unreduced levels. If one does not attribute this phenomenon to a measurement error or to incorrect interpretation of the extremely low analytic results of the Polish authors, one cannot avoid the conclusion that iron cyanide compounds were unable to form only in the supposed gas-chambers. Looking at the formation conditions of iron blue in the above-given case of damage to a gassed church building, one is reminded of the environmental conditions that were present in the supposed gas-chambers of crematoria 2nd and 3rd in Auschwitz-Birkenau. In both cases there were cool, moist rooms whose alkaline cement-plaster had been applied just a few weeks before the (in the case of the gas-chambers, presumed) gassing. I can think of no reason why the absorbed Prussic acid should turn into iron blue only in the case of the church.

4. Markiewicz and party found nearly a 50% reduction of cyanide levels in their test gassed samples after a month's storage. Thus their analytic results are approximately 100 times less than in my tests, which were stored for over two months in a warm, dry room. Here also the Polish authors seem to have found merely 1% of the total cyanide, which may indicate that even in such a short time the preponderance of cyanide is bound in a stable iron cyanide. In the building damage case cited above it was mentioned that the reaction of the absorbed cyanide producing iron blue had completely run its course. The preliminary phase to this reaction, the formation of much paler iron cyanide (prussiate of potash), could therefore have taken place some time before.

Analytic Results from Test Samples

Apart from these problematic analytic results the test gassings done by the three Polish authors reveal more interesting details that call for more questions. In the table below the results from analysis of HCN test gassings that were carried out by the Polish authors under different conditions. The first row shows the data for Prussic acid absorption with Prussic acid alone while the second row shows the data with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air.

The results of the HCN gassing support my finding that moist walls take up considerably more Prussic acid than dry walls (ten times as much and more). Inasmuch as the delousing chambers were heated rooms with dry walls while the supposed gas-chambers of crematoria 2nd and 3rd were unheated cellars (morgues) with moist walls, I concluded that the reactivity of the supposed gas-chambers with respect to the formation of stable iron cyanide compounds must be much greater than that of the dry delousing chambers.

The second row is more interesting. Here air containing 2 vol.-% HCN was enriched with 10 vol.-% CO2. The Polish authors argue that the breathing of the people in the supposed gas-chamber had raised the proportion of CO2 in the air. This needs to be considered. Since according to witness statements the victims died within approximately 5 minutes, in this time they could have raised the proportion of CO2 to close to 1 vol.-%. This proportion is greater than that of the concentration of HCN that was supposedly used by a factor of 10. In the research they only considered a factor of 5.

Analytic results of HCN-gassed Samples from Markiewicz and others, Data in mg CN-/kg

Material:

Fresh plaster

Old Mortar

Fresh Mortar

New Brick

Old Brick

Gassing with:

dry

moist

dry

moist

dry

moist

dry

moist

dry

moist

2 vol.-% HCN

0.024

0.48

-

-

0.176

2.7

0.004

0.052

0.02

0

as above + 10 vol.-% CO2

5.92

12.8

1

0.244

0.492

0.388

0.052

0.036

0.024

0.060

These data of the three Polish authors need some critical remarks. First, it is not likely that it would be possible to kill quickly in a large room stuffed with people and with a relatively low concentration of HCN. I have made detailed studies of this in my expert report. Then one must ask, Is it reasonable in the research to raise the concentration of CO2 in a room in which it was supposedly 1 vol.-% to a concentration of 10 vol.-%? The behaviour of moist, fresh, not yet set plaster and mortar can be strongly influenced by this 10-fold difference and the absorption of Prussic acid can be greatly altered.

Looking at the influence of CO2 on the HCN uptake of stone-based building materials, we see: With fresh, dry plaster the uptake is massively increased (247 times), with fresh, moist plaster the increase is less (27 times), with fresh, dry mortar the uptake is hardly increased (barely 3 times), but with fresh, moist mortar it is decreased (by a seventh), dry brick absorbs somewhat more HCN in the presence of CO2, moist brick absorbs now more, now less. From these results Markiewicz and party conclude that the cool, moist morgue-cellars of crematoria 2nd and 3rd that were reputedly used as gas-chambers for humans have no more reactivity with respect to iron blue formation than the dry delousing chambers.

The results of the combined HCN- and CO2-gassings are anything but clear, but usually HCN absorption is increased with increased CO2. Unfortunately the Polish authors fail to apply a chemical interpretation to their results, and thus they do not answer the question why increased CO2 might have that effect in any particular case.

For example, the effect of CO2 could be due to the fact that it would lower the pH of the masonry (that is, increase the acidity) and make the material less porous by enhancing the setting process (carbonization) of the material. Both effects would be favored by a moist material and would lead to a decrease in absorption of HCN. However, it remains to explain why many times HCN absorption is greatly increased by introduction of CO2.

Actually it cannot be determined from the article by the three Polish authors what the material in their samples was composed of or what condition it was in when it was gassed. For reactivity with respect to the absorption of Prussic acid, however, the relative proportions of water, sand, cement and lime used in preparing the individual samples of building material is decisive, as is the amount of time and the conditions (temperature, humidity) under which they are allowed to set before they are gassed. For example, there could be a good ten percent difference in the absorption of HCN depending on whether one gasses a chalk plaster sample on the day it is mixed or waits a week until the chalk is almost completely set. The terms "fresh" and "old" used by the Polish authors are completely insufficient in this respect.

Interpretation of Results

Let us assume first, that the analytic results of Markiewicz and party are correct and that they can be applied to analyses of total cyanide and second, that by samples of plaster and mortar the Polish authors meant chalk mortar and cement mortar, respectively. The former material was used in the delousing chambers while the latter was used in the walls of the morgue cellars (the supposed gas-chambers) of crematoria 2nd and 3rd. Then the warm, dry, mostly CO2-free, newly in operation delousing chambers show a level of 0.024 mg cyanide per kg sample material. The moist, cold, CO2-loaded, also newly in operation supposed gas-chambers of crematoria 2nd and 3rd show a level of 0.388 mg/kg, a figure greater than that of the delousing chambers by a factor of 16. With any other combination of materials the factor is always greater than 1 (cement/cement: 2.2; cement/chalk: 72; chalk/chalk: 533). Now one may understand how the Polish authors arrived at their statement that as opposed to the delousing chambers the supposed gas-chambers had no higher reactivity with respect to binding of Prussic acid!

In face of the fact that in the analytic results of the Polish authors the maximal values of the samples from the delousing chambers are comparable to those from the morgue cellar 1st of crematoria 2nd - the supposed gas-chamber - they force themselves to the conclusion that this is hardly surprising since large areas of these rooms are protected from the weather. Therefore the bound cyanide would have as little reason to disappear from the latter as from the delousing chambers. That we can agree upon. We can also agree on the implicit conclusion that the traces of cyanide remaining in the delousing chambers would be present in the same order of magnitude as in the supposed killing gas-chambers. However, in view of the total cyanide level this is absolutely not the case. Rather, despite the higher reactivity of the supposed killing gas-chambers there is a world of difference between the analytic values - a factor of 1,000 or more.

A further point reflects even worse on the chemical competence of the three Polish authors: They say they cannot explain how the brick on the outside of the delousing chamber came to have spotty blue discoloration. The Polish authors have confirmed the relative slowness of the reaction in brick in their gassings that I had determined earlier. They seem not to have read attentively my expert report nor the book by Ernst Gauss that they cite. It should be clear that the high concentrations of soluble cyanide compounds on the inner side of the walls of the delousing chambers would slowly diffuse through to the outer side driven by ground moisture accumulating on the inside and condensing the outer surface and would at last convert to stable forms under the influence of the weather. Whoever had inspected the surface of the bricks of this building would realize that this process had set in massively, probably mostly because of acid rain which occurs frequently in Upper Silesia, one of the dirtiest industrial regions of the world. In chemical terms, iron in the brick fixed by sintering was activated by the acid medium and thereby could easily react with proliferating cyanide compounds to form iron blue.

Conclusions

Whether the influence of CO2 on the accretion of HCN in masonry determined by the Polish authors in several experiments proves true or not may be important for the interpretation of the analytical results from Auschwitz - in either direction - but with respect to the question, how one should judge the article by the three Polish authors, it is not important at all. From purely formal criteria it must be judged as insufficient to meet scientific standards.

1. With respect to decisive questions there is no attempt to undertake a technical discussion. They do mention that there have been other works on the same subject but they ignore the arguments that were made in those works. As to the technical background of the work, namely chemical processes in building materials and the chemistry of iron cyanide in general, they are deathly silent. On the questions raised they never attempt to discover if there have been pertinent results in the technical literature. No, they decide ex cathedra without any basis what is true and what is not. An example of this is the authors' declaration out of the good blue heaven that they cannot explain how iron blue can form in building material. With that, they decide to exclude iron cyanide completely from the research.

2. The documentation of the research undertaken makes it almost impossible to reproduce the procedures. Neither the composition of the samples nor their history can be determined.

3. The conclusions of the Polish authors from their experimental data are diametrically opposed to the data themselves. Actually even the researches of the Polish authors show that the supposed killing gas-chambers had a higher reactivity with respect to the formation of stable cyanide compounds than the delousing chambers of Auschwitz. The authors say the opposite.

While the exact experimental conditions used by Markiewicz and party can be figured out, the application of totally incorrect analytical methods runs into insuperable difficulties. It must be demanded therefore that the same samples should be investigated with the correct methods.

The three Polish authors from the Cracow Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych received this article by fax at the beginning of November 1994 with the request that they comment on the questions raised here. Their comment arrived shortly before the article was prepared for printing and can therefore appear in the next issue of DGG (Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart).


Correspondence with the Jan Sehn Institute - Cracow [11]

Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych
im. Prof. dra Jana Sehna,

Fax to G. Rudolf on 24.1.1995, 8:51 hours

To Herr Germar Rudolf

With reference to your telefaxes of 10.XI.1994 and 9.XII.1994 and the accompanying paper, "Einige Fragen an J. Markiewicz, W. Gubala und J. Labedz" ("Some questions for ...") we would like to kindly reply as follows:

1. In our researches [we] were interested most of all in structures or ruins of structures that could function as gas-chambers, mostly as adjuncts to the crematoria. Approximately 2/3 of all samples collected come from such structures. Our interest in the rooms in which the disinfestations with Zyklon B, particularly of clothing, took place had a lesser priority as no one doubts that the preparation was used there. We chose the former prisoners' barracks as the control for this research, where it is known there was no documented use of HCN until the general disinfestation that happened during the typhus epidemic in the camp in 1942. There were no cyanide compounds found in the materiel from these barracks.

2. The method we used to separate HCN from its compounds excludes the possibility of the decomposition of the relatively permanent Prussian blue, whose origin is unclear in many parts of the structures under investigation. In the experimental environment we used, the ion [FeII(CN)6]4- in such compounds, such as K[FeII(CN)6], dissolved with accompanying release of HCN. Not excluding other possibilities for the development of Prussian blue in the walls of the structures investigated, using our method we found other cyanide compounds than the above-mentioned dye. The real level of total cyanide compounds could therefore be higher than shown by our analysis. We should point out that in the reaction of HCN with the constituents of the walls of the structures investigated not only Prussian blue develops, but also other compounds which in many cases can persist for periods of 50 years. If only such conditions were present as allowed Prussian blue alone to develop, the walls of the delousing facilities, for example, should be completely blue.

It should be noted here that the management of the Museum in Auschwitz made available to us a small sample of kieselguhr from an old Zyklon B preparation (a museum artifact). Using our method we found 1360 µg CN-/kg, but there was no blue dyeing.

3. The materials that we - and Herr Rudolf - investigated are not homogeneous and thereby their chemical properties - particularly binding capacity and/or reaction capacity with respect to HCN - will be different from one fragment to the next. The variation of readings was, for example, in crematorium 3rd 0-640 µg CN-/kg, and in crematorium 4th 0-500 µg CN-/kg. The same phenomenon occurs in the disinfestation facilities. For example, in block no. 30 in Auschwitz the figures were 0-900 µg CN-/kg. For the bath-house in Birkenau [B5a] the figures were 0-840 µg CN-/kg. In the latter structure in addition to the dark blue discolorations there were places where the plaster is white and has low levels of cyanide compounds. It is purely a question of luck as to whether one takes a sample with higher or lower levels of cyanide compounds, or even a sample free of them (cf. the research results from F. A. Leuchter's samples).

4. The limit of detectibility of CN- in the method we used, given as 3-4 µg/kg, was verified by our experiments and is close to that determined by J. Epstein, the developer of the method. It is at once a very sensitive and a very specific method, which Herr Rudolf will not dispute.

5. In connection with and on the basis of the experiments carried out on walls of structures in the former Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau, we carried out several pilot experiments. They do not pretend to be full-fledged studies. The material that was available to us was definitely different from the material authentically from the Lager. The individual samples also differed among themselves, even macroscopically. Unfortunately it was not possible to use the same sample repeatedly under different analytical environments, since they were destroyed in the course of the analysis. Plaster and other "fresh" materials were a few weeks old and the "old" materials were approximately ten years old. Disregarding the substantial simplifications of the analyses, certain behaviours were noticeable that we shall investigate later in more extensive research. These behaviours are as follows:

a) increased binding of HCN in moist material, which is easily understood,

b) CO2, which must have been present in the chambers in considerable concentrations, can impose certain hindrances to the solution or binding of HCN by constitutents of the material being analyzed. At least one needs to be aware of this. Carbonic acid is a much stronger acid than Prussic acid. Carbon dioxide in the air can slowly dissolve the alkali cyanide. Therefore it will not favor the formation of cyanide. The samples gassed with HCN with added CO2 apparently lose HCN more easily under stronger aeration.

c) Water flushes significant quantities of the adsorbed or bound HCN, at least in the first stage after the fumigation.

6. The example given by Herr Rudolf of a church whose walls suffered extensive spotting due to Prussian blue during nearly a year after fumigation with HCN proves that the chemical composition of the plaster of this church and other factors not described favored the formation of this compound. Fumigation of buildings by use of HCN is done frequently even today and it is certainly not always the case that such spotting occurs after fumigation with Prussian blue.

7. Certain conjectures of Herr Rudolf such as those on the origin of the dark-blue spots on the outer (brick) walls of the delousing facility in the camp at Birkenau have the character of scientific speculation that may as well be incorrect as correct. One cannot assume them to be axiomatic without an empirical basis. This applies also to assertions that with our method we detect only 0.01%, 0.1% or 10% of the cyanide compounds in the subject material.

8. It brings us much pleasure to see the renewal of a technical discussion of the given problems by competent chemists, but we cannot avoid expressing our displeasure at several expressions of Herr Rudolf that came to our address and that were certainly not necessary.

9. Since we frequently visit the countryside in the vicinity of Lager Auschwitz-Birkenau near Cracow we do not intend to stop at the already completed investigations. We have been able to publish reports on their essential parts.

p. s. Many thanks for the interesting book!
[They refer to a copy of Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte]


Comment on the Cracow Institute's Response

G. Rudolf, 25.1.1995

On point 2: Detectibility and Visibility of complex iron-cyanide:
In iron blue (Prussian blue, FeIII4[FeII(CN)6]3) it is the component [FeII(CN)6]4- that distinguishes itself through unusual stability. Also, iron blue never consists of pure FeIII4[FeII(CN)6]3, but rather, depending upon formation conditions, of different proportions of Fe3+ - and alkali- or earth-alkali ions (M) (FeIIIxMy[FeII(CN)6]z). The resistance of iron blue to the analytic method of the Polish scientists can therefore be due to nothing other than the stability of [FeII(CN)6]4- ions. If CN- in iron blue cannot be detected by the method used by the three Polish scientists, the method will also not detect it in all other compounds of type Mx[FeII(CN)6]y, such as K4[FeII(CN)6]. If this is correct, there is no reason to wonder when the three Polish scientists cannot detect the biggest part of cyanides with their method, since over time cyanide compounds in masonry change into more stable components of type FeIIIxMy[Fe(CN)6]z.

The belief that the entire surface of the walls of the Birkenau delousing chambers should be blue if 0.1% to 1% of the walls consisted of the dye iron blue is not correct. A proportion of 0.1% to 1% blue material in white plaster mix (mix ratio 1:100 to 1:1000) will only cause a slight blueish hue. In view of this small proportion of blue material the question rather arises, Why are there deep blue patches at all? This can be explained as due to the process of accretion of cyanide compounds on the surface of the wall because of the migration of moisture in the walls which brings soluble cyanide compounds along with it.

The fact that kieselguhr preparations do not show blue discoloration despite high levels of cyanide can be explained as due to lack of iron as well as due to the the fact that the accretion process cannot take place in kieselguhr granules stored in cans since here there is no migration of moisture similar to that found in masonry.

On point 3: Lack of Cyanide binding in white plaster samples:
My test samples 19a and 19b show that samples that show no blue dyeing can also have high levels of cyanide. They came from the Birkenau delousing chamber BW 5b. Both samples were gray to brown-gray but had cyanide levels of 1860 mg CN-/kg in the outer layer of plaster and 3880 mg CN-/kg in a deeper layer.

It must be kept clear that the analytic results of the Cracow scientists are in no way reconcilable with the data from Alpha Analytical Laboratories, the Institute Fresenius and the Institue for Environmental and Pollutant Analysis. Since one cannot assume that these three renowned institutes would use a nonsense method to measure the same nonsense for decades, the error must lie in the analytic method of the Polish scientists which is completely unusable to professional chemical analysts and which cannot detect the large part of cyanide content. It would be advisable for the Polish scientists to allow their samples from the delousing chambers to be analyzed by an independent institute using the DIN procedure, and it would be best if they would not mention the source of the material in order to guarantee the independence of the analysis.

On point 5: Sample description and effect of CO2:
There is still no description of the composition of the samples. What do they mean by "plaster", by "mortar"?

The question, Why in six to eight cases of HCN gassing in the presence of CO2 the HCN uptake of the samples was sometimes distinctly greater than without CO2, needs to be answered. The blank assertion of the Polish scientists that CO2 can not favor the binding of HCN is contradicted even by their own data.

On point 6: Blue discoloration in the plaster of a gassed church:
In recent decades the practice of gassing with HCN has usually concerned Prussic acid treatments of buildings that had been in use a long time and whose plaster was old and well-set. The difference to the case G. Zimmermann documented of a church that displayed dark blue discolorations after a gassing may lay in the fact that in this case a fresh layer of cement mortar plaster was laid on just a month before that had not completely set and that was moist because of the environment of the church. [12]

Massive gassings with HCN, such as those that occurred in the delousing chambers at Birkenau and reportedly also in the supposed killing gas-chambers there, did not occur either before or after the 2nd World War. During the war, however, there are at least the cases of the delousing chambers (and the killing gas-chambers, according to the accepted view) of Majdanek in which, under the same conditions as the Birkenau delousing chambers (and killing gas-chambers) a similarly massive blue discoloration can be seen.

Other delousing facilities, especially those of the Dachau type (DEGESCH-circular plan), do not show this blue dyeing, since here there was a wise attempt to prevent unnecessary loss of HCN by absorption in the walls by coating them with an impervious paint.

It is a fact that compounds of the type of iron blue can arise from gassings which dye the walls with blue spots. It is also a fact that an irregular spotty discoloration cannot be explained as due to a coat of blue paint nor can the high level of cyanide found deep in the wall and also in places where the wall appears not to be dyed.

It remains a fact that in view of these considerations the application of an analytic method that cannot detect these blue compounds has the appearance of (self-)deception.

On point 7: Spotty blue discoloration of the delousing facility outer walls:
The three Polish authors have contributed nothing that would either support or contradict my well-grounded thesis on the way in which blue spots arose on the outer walls of the Birkenau delousing facility areas 5a and 5b. They label it without reason as "scientific speculation". It would be much better to discuss my reasoning critically and to knock at the weak points. I have never spoken of "axioms" that one must accept with respect to my interpretation. Also it should not be very difficult for the Polish scientists living in Cracow, almost around the corner from Auschwitz, to take samples from the outer walls of the delousing areas and to analyze them with respect to their total cyanide content (analyse with the DIN standard!), which would answer many questions all at once.

On point 8: Happiness over beginning of discussion and disagreeable expressions:
The three Polish scientists pretend that it has been Revisionists that for the last 45 years have been silent in the face of the arguments of the other side and have reviled them and ruined them by judicial and social harassment. The shoe is on the other foot. Yes, I am very glad that finally there is a discussion on the technical level, even if it means dealing with mutual sensitivities.

Unfortunately the three Polish authors do not mention which expressions in my article displeased them. Probably this relates to the suspicion of scientific deception. If the three Polish authors should be ready to subject their old samples or newly-taken samples to analysis for total cyanide content by the DIN procedure and to present the results I will gladly retract this suspicion. The explanations they have offered for their analytic method so far are not satisfactory.

If we are to discuss disagreeable expressions I would like to raise a point that I was ready to let pass, but due to the reproaches of the Polish researchers should now be addressed:

In their article the three Polish authors impute to the Revisionists the desire to white-wash the Hitler system. I have the following comments:

- Scientists should interest themselves with the scientific arguments of other scientists and not their possible intentions. That applies even between established science and Revisionism.

- Regardless of whatever intentions whatever Revisionist may have: The suggestion of presumed intentions does not weaken one single technical argument of Revisionists and therefore has no place in a technical publication.

- Whatever the outcome of the controversy over Revisionism may be, the scientist should interest himself only with the truth and not with the effect that Adolf Hitler or anybody else may have on the political-moral purity of the West.

- Whoever imputes a political intention in the research of his scientific counterpart, which he does not bother to prove, suggests to the reader that this scientific counterpart wants merely to produce wished-for results and should not be taken seriously as a scientist. In this way we leave the area of scientific argumentation and enter the area of political agitation.

- The assertion that all Revisionists want to white-wash the Hitler regime fails. Neither the founder of Revisionism, Paul Rassinier, a former member of the French resistance who was held by the National Socialists in several concentration camps, nor Dr. Robert Faurisson, who was once involved in the political left, nor Serge Thion nor the american Jew David Cole, to mention only a few, want to white-wash the Hitler regime. The same applies to me.

- He who stays in a glass house should not throw stones.


Jan Sehn Institute Cracow

Fax to G. Rudolf, 28.3.95, 12:45 hours

Honored Sir!

In consideration of the foregoing correspondence, we would like to state that we have been and are completely aware that in our researches on the structures of the former Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau the cyanide content was not completely determined. Especially we have excluded the disputed Prussian blue (chemical formulas are more complicated). However the presence of other cyanide compounds than Prussian blue which we have found in structures in which - it is claimed - Zyklon B was used shows clearly that these structures had been in contact with these compounds. That is the point of our work.

The work we have begun will be continued.

We found the expressions on the Revisionists in publications that we cited (Amoklauf ... J. C. Pressac). They were necessary for the Polish reader because this topic is completely unknown among us. Without this information the purpose of our research would not be understood.

With friendly greetings


To Messrs. Markiewicz, Gubala and Labedz

G. Rudolf, 7.4.1995

First, many thanks for your brief answer of 28.3 to my last letter. Let me comment on the points discussed:

You write that the expressions that you have taken from Exterminationist publications on the Revisionists were necessary to enable the Polish reader to understand the purpose of your work. According to this, the purpose of your research is to combat the presumed tendency of Revisionists to white-wash the Hitler system. You also want to prevent that the onus on the Hitler system might be mitigated by certain research results. This is not a scientific intention, but solely a political one. I would like to remind you that you as a researcher have an interest in finding the best-possible approach to the truth and not in blaming or lifting the blame from some long-ago disappeared system. In our time it has become a ritual to declaim the nastiness and evil of the Hitler regime over and over and to damn up one side and down the other anything that would make it less so. That does not alter the fact that this is a seriously unscientific mode of operation. If science determines that the Hitler regime is not culpable in a particular point, one should have to accept it even though one might disapprove on political grounds.

I am particularly amazed that you would pretend that the blanket political suspicions and vilifications to which the Exterminationists expose Revisionists are "information" necessary for the Polish reader. When you write a scientific article on a theme you should be capable of distinguishing between scientific arguments and political demagogy. The latter does not belong in a scientific piece.

If you should wish to enlighten the uninformed Polish reader on this topic it would have been better, for example, to discuss the following points for him, so that he could understand the problem of detection of cyanide in masonry:

1. From the '20's of this century Zyklon B was the most often used insecticide against all kinds of pests (lice, bedbugs, corn beetles, wood-borers).

2. In the 2nd World War Germany and her allies consumed many thousands of tons of Zyklon B in order to combat these pests in military as well as civilian facilities (pest control in barracks, food storage areas, ships, trains, prisoner-of-war camps, work camps and concentration camps).

3. In KZ Auschwitz devastating typhus plagues occurred often. This disease is carried by the louse. To combat the louse the prisoners' barracks and all other habitable places in Auschwitz as well as all prisoner's belongings including their clothing were repeatedly deloused with Zyklon B.

4. The Auschwitz Lager, the only one in which it is claimed that there was mass killing with Zyklon B, did not receive markedly more Zyklon B relative to its size than other camps. The established research takes that to mean that even here 95% to 98% of all Zyklon B deliveries were used for harmless delousing purposes.

5. In Auschwitz the SS spent many million Reichsmarks (many millions of DM by today's values) to erect up-to-date facilities for pest-control and prevention of epidemics - unfortunately first in 1943, so that the previously devastating typhus plagues claimed tens of thousands of victims.

This basic knowledge is absolutely necessary for the reader in order that he can correctly evaluate the significance of Zyklon B. Today all we hear about this agent is that in Auschwitz it was exclusively or principally used for killing people. Naturally, viewed from this distorted angle the detection of small traces of cyanide in the morgue-cellar 1st of crematorium 2nd in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the supposed gas-chamber - which I have found not to be reproducible -, is taken as evidence that people were killed there.

It is a fact that even with the Exterminationist premise of a 98% use of Zyklon B for pest control there is a probability of just 98% that the traces of cyanide that we find today come from simple pest control operations - apart from any quantitative considerations that I will not review here. The use of Zyklon B in Auschwitz does not in itself signify killing of people, although you have portrayed it that way in your article.

If you would like to enlighten the Polish reader, I would like to ask you to explain this one thing, how Zyklon B could have come into morgue-cellar 1st of crematorium 2nd in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the supposed gas-chamber. The witnesses describe three or four insertion hatches in the roof of the cellar. It should have been obvious to you from your researches in the ruins of this cellar that in the roof of this cellar of the supposedly most-intensively operated killing gas-chamber of the 3rd Reich, which still holds together, those holes are not there. On this point one must concede to Prof. Faurisson when he says, "No holes, no Holocaust!"


No reply ever received

  1. Appeared in Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart, yearly series 43, Nr. 1, pp. 22-26, Grabert Verlag, Tübingen 1995.
  2. Cf. for example W. Wegner in: U. Backes, E. Jesse, R. Zitelmann (ed.), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit, Propyläen, Frankfurt/ Main 1990, pp. 450ff;
    J. Bailer in: Documentation Center of the Austrian Resistance, Federal Ministry for Education and Culture (ed.), Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit, Vienna 1991, pp. 47-52;
    G. Wellers, Dachauer Hefte7(7) (1991) 230;
    D. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust. The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Free Press, New York 1993.
  3. Z. XXX, 1994, pp. 17-27.
  4. An Engineering Report on the alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, Samisdat Publishers, 206 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2L1 Canada 1988, 195pp.;
    in German: Leuchter, Der erste Leuchter Report, Samisdat Publishers, 1988;
    british edition: Leuchter, The Leuchter Report, Focal Point Publications, London 1989, 67 pp.
  5. G. Rudolf, Das Rudolf Gutachten, Cromwell Press, London 1993, obtainable from CHP, PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, United Kingdom (DM 35);
    cf. also: E. Gauss, Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen 1993;
    G. Rudolf and E. Gauss, in: E. Gauss (ed.), Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen 1994.
  6. J. Epstein, Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 19 (1947), pp. 272f.
  7. Alpha Analytical Laboratories (Leuchter) and Institut Fresenius and Institut für Umwelt- und Schadstoffanalytik (Rudolf).
  8. Josef Bailer, "Der Leuchter-Bericht aus der Sicht eines Chemikers", in: Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kultur (ed.), Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit, Vienna, 1991, pp. 47-52; J. Bailer, in: Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wolfgang Benz, Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge, Vienna: Deuticke, 1995.
  9. G. Zimmermann (ed.), Bauschäden Sammlung, vol. 4, Forum-Verlag, Stuttgart 1981, pp. 120f. Thanks are owed to Herr W. Lüftl, who discovered it.
  10. The analytic results of Leuchter's and Rudolf's samples from Auschwitz were confirmed later by J. C. Ball: Ball, Der Ball-Bericht, Samisdat Publishers, 206 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2L1 Canada 1993.
  11. Published in Sleipnir, nr. 3/1995, pp. 29-33, Verlag der Freunde, Postfach 35 02 64, 10211 Berlin.
  12. G. Zimmermann (ed.), (note 9 ), and personal communication from K. Fischer, Hochstadt a. M.;
    cf. E. Gauss, Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen 1994, pp. 401ff.

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