The Self-assisted Holocaust Hoax

By Friedrich P. Berg

On The Learning Channel on American television, some recent programs have described in graphic detail the horrible execution of one prisoner, David Lawson, who had refused to help his executioners.[1]  Lawson was executed on June 15, 1994 in Raleigh, North Carolina. In one of the last executions by gas, Lawson repeatedly held his breath for as long as possible and took only short breaths in between.[2] By some accounts, the prisoner was also feebleminded. Perhaps for that reason he did something else which was unusual; he appealed to his executioners and to the witnesses during his execution. Again and again, as he was taking his short breaths, he cried out "I am human!" At first his cry was clearly audible but as the minutes went by he became less and less understandable and finally, more than ten minutes into the execution, there was just a mutter. He was dead only after eighteen minutes. The witnesses to the execution were horrified. The warden of the prison who had also supervised the execution was so shaken that he resigned. Because of this execution fiasco, executions with poison gas have been generally abandoned in the USA and replaced with lethal injections.

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It is now clear to the experts, especially those still waiting on death rows, that a quick and painless execution by gas requires the cooperation of the intended victim. Prisoners about to be gassed were usually encouraged to inhale deeply as soon as the cyanide was released in order to make their deaths come easily. However, if an intended victim was uncooperative, the execution could easily become a fiasco. By simply refusing to take the deep breaths needed to quickly ingest a lethal dose of cyanide, the agony--even under the most ideal conditions--could last for more than eighteen minutes.

Various U.S. publications prove that execution times between 10 to 14 minutes are more a rule rather than an exception.[3-5] Regarding the quantity of poison used, the article on the gas chamber in Raleigh (North Carolina) reports that some 454 g of KCN were put into half-concentrated sulfuric acid, which leads to an instantaneous development of the gas, which is even visible for the spectators outside the chamber for a brief moment and which reaches the victim within seconds.[3] 454 g KCN result in some 180 g of HCN, which corresponds to 150 liters of gas, of which roughly 50% remain dissolved in the aqueous solution of sulfuric acid.[6] The remaining 75 liters  of HCN gas develop right underneath the victim in North Carolina's gas chamber. Hence, the victims is quickly engulfed by high concentrations of HCN, probably at the beginning as high as 10 vol.-%, although this high percentage decreases as the gas dissipates throughout the chamber.[7]

Assuming a normal breathing volume of the victim (15 to 20 liters of air per minute) and an average HCN concentration the victim is exposed to of only 0.75 vol.-%, the victim would have inhaled some 1.35 to 1.8 grams of HCN within 10 minutes (150-200 ltrs of inhaled air). This is ten to twenty times the lethal doe for an average human, which lies at around 1 mg HCN per kg of body weight.[8] Hence, a fast and certain death of all victims within 15 minutes obviously requires a ten-fold overdoes of the poison.

   An execution procedure using the most modern execution chamber technology with a lethal gas concentration that should have killed in only a few seconds was thwarted by at least one intended victim simply holding his breath. An execution procedure which should have been painless and quick had proved to be so impractical that it had been fought legally by its opponents for years and is now generally abandoned.[9]  An execution procedure which dispersed an extremely lethal concentration of cyanide within seconds and which theoretically should have killed within a few additional seconds, nonetheless took eighteen minutes to kill a single, feebleminded victim.

   It should now be obvious that the Jewish Holocaust claims of mass gassings with Zyklon B and CO are rubbish. The sketchy and error-riddled bits of evidence for those claims show that Nazi gassing methods were primitive at best.[10]  Rather than dispersing a lethal concentration in seconds, those methods could have only dispersed marginally lethal concentrations after many minutes.

   Most of the Holocaust executions, more than three million, were supposedly inflicted with Diesel exhaust. If the Diesels had been running at idle, even at fast idle, the exhaust would not have been lethal at all regardless of how long the exposure was; the exhaust would have contained less than 0.1% CO and about 18% oxygen. But, even with the engines operating under heavy loads, which in itself is only possible with the attachment of cumbersome equipment to the engines, the exhaust would have only been marginally lethal; the exhaust would have contained less than 0.4% CO and more than 6% oxygen.

   For the alleged gassings with cyanide at Auschwitz and possibly Majdanek, but nowhere else according to the Holocaust story, the cyanide supposedly arose from granules of Zyklon-B dumped either on the heads or among the feet of the intended victims or into perforated columns. For any of those scenarios, the cyanide would have arisen from the granules slowly; that was after all the whole purpose of Zyklon-B: to release a measured quantity of cyanide slowly. Under normal conditions a layer of Zyklon-B 1/2 to 1 centimeter thick would have required half-an-hour to release half of its cyanide.[11]  The presence of a tightly packed crowd of intended victims or screening would have slowed the process even more. Although many might have died within the execution times that are claimed,[12]  many others would have survived--and that would have been a fiasco. What would the executioners have done with the survivors--return them to barracks where they could describe what happened or send them back in for a second gassing? After separating the obvious survivors from the dead, how would the executioners identify and dispose of those who were merely groggy or unconscious or feigning death? The answer is that any realistic mass gassing arrangement would have had to kill everyone. Otherwise, one would have had the same emotional strain on the executioners that supposedly led to mass gassings in the first place as an alternative to mass shootings.

   The American experience with simple gas executions under ideal conditions proves that mass gassings of Jews would only have been possible if the Jewish victims--not just some of the Jews, but all-- had assisted in their own mass executions; that is too unbelievable. The self-assisted Holocaust story is a hoax indeed.


Updated version as published in German in Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung, 1(1) (1997), pp. 6-8.

[1] A detailed description of the execution was published: Bill Krueger, "Lawson’s Final Moments," The News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 19, 1994, p. A1.
[2] Newsweek, Nov. 8, 1993, p. 75; The New York Times, Oct. 6, 1994, p. A20; ibidem, June 16, 1994, p. A23.
[3] The News & Observer, Raleigh (NC), June 11, 1994, p. 14A (Acc. to the warden usually 10 - 14 min.).
[4] C.T. Duffy, 88 Men and 2 Women, Doubleday, New York 1962, p. 101 (13 - 15 min.); C.T. Duffy was warden of San Quentin Prison for almost 12 years, during which time he ordered the execution of 88 men and 2 women, many of them executed in the local gas chamber.
[5] Stephen Trombley, The Execution Protocol, Crown Publishers, New York 1992, p. 13 (approximately 10 minutes or more); Amnesty International, Botched Executions, Fact Sheet December 1996, distributed by Amnesty International USA, 322 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10001-4808 (more than 7 min)..
[6] See the experiences of G. Rudolf, in: The Rudolf Report, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2003, p. 265.
[7] Assuming a chamber volume of 10 m³, 75 ltrs of HCN equal 0.75 vol.-%.
[8] W. Wirth, C. Gloxhuber, Toxikologie, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1985, pp. 159f.; W. Forth, D. Henschler, W. Rummel, Allgemeine und spezielle Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Wissenschaftsverlag, Mannheim 1987, pp. 751f.; S. Moeschlin, Klinik und Therapie der Vergiftung, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1986, p. 300; H.-H. Wellhöner, Allgemeine und systematische Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Springer Verlag, Berlin 1988, pp. 445f.; F. Flury, F. Zernik, Schädliche Gase, Dämpfe, Nebel, Rauch- und Staubarten, Berlin 1931, o. 405; cf. also M. Daunderer, Klinische Toxikologie, 30. Erg.-Lfg. 10/87, ecomed, Landsberg 1987, pp. 4ff.
[9] See note 2 and Amnesty International, note 5.
[10] See the compilation by Jürgen Graf, Auschwitz. Tätergeständnisse und Augenzeugen des Holocaust, Neue Visionen Schweiz, Postfach, 8116 Würenlos 1994; see also the quotes and critique in J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York 1989, pp. 124ff., 161f., 174, 177, 181, 229, 239, 379ff., 459-502.
[11] R. Irmscher, "Nochmals: 'Die Einsatzfähigkeit der Blausäure bei tiefen Temperaturen,', Zeitschrift für hygienische Zoologie und Schädlingsbekämpfung, 1942, p. 36.
[12] With relation to the killing times, see in, for example: Schwurgericht Hagen, verdict from July 24, 1970, ref. 11 Ks 1/70, p. 97 (5 min.); Final Trial Brief of the Prosecution, quoted acc. to U. Walendy, Auschwitz im IG-Farben-Prozeß, Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, Vlotho 1981, pp. 47-50 (3 to 15 minutes in extreme cases); E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. Rückerl et al. (eds.), Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1983, ubiquitous (immediately up to 10 min., more rarely, up to 20 min.); J. Buszko (ed.), Auschwitz, Nazi Extermination Camp, Interpress Publishers, Warschau 21985, in cooperation with the Auschwitz State Museum, pp. 114 + 118 (a few minutes); H.G. Adler, H. Langbein, E. Lingens-Reiner (ed.), Auschwitz, Europäische Verlagsanstalt, Cologne 31984, pp. 66, 80 + 200 (a few minutes, up to 10 minutes); Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (ed.), Die Auschwitz-Hefte, vol. 1, Beltz Verlag, Weinheim 1987, pp. 261ff. +294 (instantly, up to 10 min.); C. Vaillant-Couturier, in: IMT, vol. VI, p. 242 (5 to 7 min.); M. Nyiszli in: G. Schoenberner (ed.), Wir haben es gesehen, Fourier, Wiesbaden 1981, p. 250 (5 min.); C.P. Bendel in: H. Langbein, Menschen in Auschwitz, Europaverlag, Vienna 1987, p. 221 (end of screaming of victims after 2 min.); P. Broad in: B. Naumann, Auschwitz, Athenäum, Frankfurt/Main 1968, p. 217 (4 min.), opening of doors after 10-15 minutes: A. Rückerl, NS-Verbrechen vor Gericht, C.F. Müller, Heidelberg, 21984, pp. 58f.; K. Hölbinger in: H. Langbein, Der Auschwitz-Prozeß, Europäische Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt/Main 1965, p. 73 (1 min.): R. Böck, ibid., p. 74 (screaming victims for 10 minutes following closure of doors, followed by opening of doors, cf. note 297); K. Höblinger, ibid., p. 73 (1 min.); H. Stark, ibid., p. 439 (screaming victims for 10-15 minutes); F. Müller, ibid., p. 463 (8-10 min.); E. Pyš, ibid., p. 748 (ventilators switched on after only a few minutes); K. Lill, ibid., p. 750 (a scream a few seconds after the introduction of Zyklon B, pall of thick smoke exiting the chimney a few minutes later); transcript of the expert opinion of Prof. Dr. G. Jagschitz, 3rd-5th hearing days of criminal proceedings against Gerd Honsik, April 4., April 30, May 4, 1992, ref. 20e Vr 14184 and Hv 5720/90, District Court Vienna, p. 443 (2-3 min); Dokument 3868-PS, IMT volume 33, pp. 275ff., quoted according to L. Rosenthal, “Endlösung der Judenfrage”, Massenmord oder “Gaskammerlüge”?, Verlag Darmstädter Blätter, Darmstadt 1979 (2 to 15 minutes in exceptional cases); R. Höß, M. Broszat (ed.), Kommandant in Auschwitz, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1958 (30 minutes for the entire procedure, including ventilation); Hans Münch, in G. Rudolf, “Auschwitz-Kronzeuge Dr. Hans Münch im Gespräch”, Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung, 1(3) (1997), pp. 139-190 (2 to 5 min. in winter) (online:; Salmen Lewenthal, Hefte von Auschwitz, Sonderheft 1, Handschriften von Mitgliedern des Sonderkommandos, Verlag Staatliches Museum Auschwitz, 1972, p. 155 (sudden silence); Dov Paisikovic, in: Léon Poliakov, Auschwitz, René Julliard, 1964, pp. 159ff. (3-4 minute), Franke-Gricksch Report, in: J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, Beate-Klarsfeld-Foundation, New York 1989, p. 238 (one minute to kill the victims, another until the doors were opened); Rudolf Vrba alias Walter Rosenberg, Alfred Wetzler, ref. M 20/153, Yad Vashem (acc. to War Refugee Board, “German Extermination Camps—Auschwitz and Birkenau”, in David S. Wyman (ed.), America and the Holocaust, volume 12, Garland, New York/London 1990, p. 20 (everyone in the room was dead after three minutes); Jerzy Tabeau, in: The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau in Upper Silesia (10 minutes, quoted according to Enrique Aynat, Los protocolos de Auschwitz. i Una fuente historica? Garcia Hispan, Alicante 1990); André Lettich, Trente-quatre mois dans les Camps de Concentration, Imprimerie Union Coopérative, Tours, 1946 (a few moments). Janda Weiss, in David E. Hackett, (ed.), The Buchenwald Report, Beck, Munich 1997, p. 394 (3 min.). If longer killing times appear in the eyewitness testimonies, they refer not to crematoria II and III, but rather to crematoria IV/V, bunkers 1-2, or crematorium I in the Main Camp. The killings in crematoria II and III are therefore alleged to have been committed very quickly.