Stockholm, 17 March 1992
For 30 years, I have been looking for a Nazi gas chamber
in vain. I have visited Auschwitz and many other camps, but have
found no gas chambers. I have read thousands of documents, books
and articles but not even in such books as The Gas Chambers
Existed (Georges Wellers, 1981) or Auschwitz, Technique
and Operation of the Gas Chambers (Jean-Claude Pressac, 1989)
have I ever seen the slightest photo or drawing of any of those
fantastic chemical slaughterhouses supposed to have functioned,
most of them, with Zyklon B. Nor have I ever seen a Nazi gas chamber
on a television program.
This is strange.
Zyklon B is essentially hydrocyanic acid. I know how one should use it in order to disinfect a building, a ship, a library, a mill. I know how the DEGESCH gas chambers work with Zyklon B in order to disinfect clothes. I know about gas chambers functioning with a rather innocuous gas in order to train young soldiers in wearing gas masks. I even have a pretty good idea at how American gas chambers are used today in order to execute one person with HCN (hydrocyanic acid).
Of course, I am not making the mistake of confusing a gassing by accident or by suicide with a gassing for an execution. Poison gas, whatever its exact composition, is awfully dangerous to handle and, if I wish to kill someone with gas without killing myself, I must take hundreds of precautionary measures.
Especially with Zyklon B or HCN. Zyklon B first used in 1922 and still used todayadheres to surfaces, and ventilating it is long and difficult. You cannot enter a room full of Zyklon B or HCN without taking very special precautions. Moreover, in case of an accident or an execution, Zyklon B or HCN adheres to the skin and to the hair of human beings it penetrates the body it sticks to the body you cannot get rid of it unless you apply a difficult and special procedure. If a man has been killed in a room filled with this gas, you cannot enter the room, nor can you even touch the body : this body is more or less like the body of an electrocuted man with the electricity still functioning. You would be killed.
I wonder how the Nazis managed to gas millions of people, and I wonder how the Jews working for the Nazis could enter an ocean of poison gas and manipulate heaps of dead bodies impregnated with poison gas in order to remove them.
What kind of machinery did those damnable Nazis devise to handle
HCN with such mastery? Please tell me. Please show me.
Some of the camps I visited have alleged Nazi gas chambers. These gas chambers are supposed to be either "the original state" or "preconstructedp" or "a state of ruinsp" (ruins have much to tell). Actually, what I saw were either shower rooms, or mortuaries, or air raid shelters, or disinfection gas chambers, etc. And I noticed that no explanation could be found as to why those premises were called homicidal gas chambers. Whenever I asked for an explanation, I was told by the highest officials of these camps and museums: "We are no scientists"
I have encountered one exception. In Auschwitz-I, tourists
may see on the first floor of Block 4 a model of a crematorium,
but this model is so obviously stupid that you cannot find it
reproduced in any book, not even in the Auschwitz Museum Guide
the photo of the model is reproduced in this guide in such a way
that you cannot see what the gas chamber itself (actually a mortuary)
The maximum you might see on television, in films, in books
or in articles is, for example, a photo of a building with a caption
such as: "containing the gas chamber" Or you may find
a photo of a wall or a partition with a caption reading: "(partition)
of the gas chamber" Sometimes you are shown shower heads,
or a door, or a peep-hole, or "of gassed people" or
"of gassed people" You will never be shown the totality
of a gas chamber, with an explanation of the technique and
the operation of the alleged homicidal gassing.
Some people, like Simone Veil, a former president of the European
Parliament, venture to say that the Germans destroyed all the
gas chambers. This theory has many drawbacks. First, what are
we to think, then, about the "chambersp" "original
state" that so many visitors are shown in several camps?
Next, this theory does not exempt its authors from telling what
they mean by the words " chambers". Lastly, the theory
complicates things: instead of posing one problem (What is a gas
chamber?), it poses two problems (What is a gas chamber? What
evidence is there that the Germans destroyed the gas chambers?).
Some claim that there are plenty of proofs, testimonies, and confessions as to the existence and the functioning of the gas chambers. I do not think so at all, but all the more power to them ! They should find it all the easier to describe this extraordinary weapon.
Please spare me words and theories. Give me a material description of what is supposed to be a material reality. You know the story of the young African boy in the Sahara Desert who has never seen a rose. Someone explains to him what a rose is and the young boy says: "me words, draw me a rose on the sand!"
The same for me and this is my challenge: "you have no photo, draw me a nazi gas chamberp!" Otherwise I will think that, when you use the words "chambers", you don't even know what you are talking about, so that the sentence "chambers existed" would in fact meanp: "Bla-bla existed."
Although we are living in a "age" and belong to a
"of the imagep", we have never been shown this fantastic
object. As for the gas chambers, people seem to be satisfied with
words and seem not to care for an image or a picture.
As for me, the gas chambers have for thirty years been like a mirage in the desert. As soon as I thoughtp: " Here's one!p", it vanished as I drew near.
I am confident that finally, in Stockholm, tomorrow morning, thanks to your newspapers and to your television the mirage of the Nazi gas chambers will end and I will be presented with an image. Thereafter, within 24 hours, I shall comment on Radio Islam on how you responded to my challenge.
First displayed on aaargh: 2 April 2001.
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