[back] Auschwitz-Birkenau [back] Holocaust revisionism
by Germar Rudolf
The Journal for Historical Review (http://www.ihr.org)
March/April 2001 Support the IHR
The Moral Obligation of Forensic Examination
A Definition of Forensic Science
Forensic Science and Auschwitz
The 1946 Krakow Auschwitz Trial
The 1964-1966 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial
The 1972 Vienna Auschwitz Trial
In Search of Mass Graves
Faurisson Pulls the Trigger
Reaction of the Jan Sehn Institute
A Short Chemical Introduction
A Lack of Understanding
More Lack of Understanding
Disregard of Key Questions
Excluding the Unwanted
Suppressing Unwanted Results
Krakow Guidelines: Not Scientific Truth, but a Political Agenda
A German Corroboration of Leuchter
Other Forensic Approaches
'No Holes? No "Holocau$t"'!
The Future of Auschwitz Forensics
"Auschwitz" has come to symbolize the greatest crime in human history. The significance of the alleged murder of a million or more persons, most of them Jewish, by gassing at the German concentration camp of that name has elicited endless discussion among philosophers, theologians, and litterateurs as well as jurists and historians, and evoked numberless platitudes from journalists and politicians. The focus of this article, however, is on the following questions:
In late spring 1993, the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart issued an internal memorandum informing its employees that a doctoral candidate there had been dismissed for research he had done on Auschwitz. The institute explained that in view of the horror of the National Socialists' crimes against the Jews, it was morally repugnant to discuss the specific manner in which the victims had been killed, or to try to determine the precise number of the dead. That one of the world's leading scientific research institutes stated to its personnel that to determine accurate quantities is not only unethical, but reprehensible, and cause for dismissal, is not without its own irony.
Does it really matter just how many Jews lost their lives in the German sphere of influence during the Second World War? Is it so important, after so many years, to attempt painstakingly to investigate just how they died? After all, it is surely morally correct that even one victim is one too many; and nobody seriously denies that many Jews died.
To affirm these things, however, is not to raise a valid objection -- moral or otherwise -- to the scientific investigation of a crime held to be unique and unparalleled in the history of mankind. Even a crime that is alleged to be uniquely reprehensible must be open to a procedure that is standard for any other crime: namely, that it can be -- must be -- subject to a detailed material investigation. Further: whoever postulates that a crime, alleged or actual, is unique must be prepared for a uniquely thorough investigation of the alleged crime before its uniqueness is accepted as fact.
If, on the other hand, someone sought to shield so allegedly unparalleled a crime from investigation by erecting a taboo of moral outrage, the creators of that taboo would, at least morally, themselves commit a singular offense: imputing an unparalleled guilt, beyond any critique and defense, to an entire people, the Germans. To demonstrate just what kind of double standard is being applied to "the Holocaust" (the definition of which usually includes the purposeful annihilation of millions of Jews by the Third Reich), let us note the international reaction to several recent examples of "crimes against humanity." After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, numerous mass graves, containing hundreds of thousands of victims of the Soviets, were discovered and investigated. Not only was the number of victims determined, but in many cases the specific cause of death as well. In the same regions where many of these mass graves were found, one million or more Jews are said to have been shot by the Einsatzgruppen: yet no such grave has ever been reported found, let alone dug up and investigated, in the more than half a century during which these areas have been controlled by the USSR and its successor states.
During the conflict in Kosovo in 1999, rumors about mass killings by Serbs spread around the world. After the fighting was over, an international forensic commission arrived in Kosovo, searching, excavating, and forensically investigating mass graves. These graves proved to be not only fewer than the Serbs' Albanian opponents had alleged, but to contain small fractions of the numbers of victims claimed.
Did the Allies attempt, during the war and in the years immediately following, to find and to investigate mass graves of persons said to have been victims of the Germans? So far as is known, only once: at Katyn. But the findings of the Soviet forensic commission, which blamed the mass murder of several thousand Polish officers buried there on the Germans, are today generally considered a fabrication. The report of the international forensic commission invited by the Germans in 1943, on the other hand, which found that the Soviets had carried out this mass murder, is today considered accurate even by the Russian government.
Forensic science is generally seen as a supporting science of criminology. Its aim is to collect and to identify physical remnants of a crime, and from these to draw conclusions about the victim(s), the perpetrator(s), the weapon(s), and the time and location of the crime, as well as how it was committed, if at all. This science is relatively new, and entered the courtrooms only in 1902, when fingerprint evidence was accepted, in an English court, for the first time. The 1998 CD-ROM Encyclopaedia Britannica writes of forensic science:
A broad range of scientific techniques is available to law enforcement agencies attempting to identify suspects or to establish beyond doubt the connection between a suspect and the crime in question. Examples include the analysis of bloodstains and traces of other body fluids (such as semen or spittle) that may indicate some of the characteristics of the offender. Fibres can be analyzed by microscopy or chemical analysis to show, for instance, that fibres found on the victim or at the scene of the crime are similar to those in the clothing of the suspect. Hair samples, and particularly skin cells attached to hair roots, can be compared chemically and genetically to those of the suspect. Many inorganic substances, such as glass, paper, and paint, can yield considerable information under microscopic or chemical analysis. Examination of a document in question may reveal it to be a forgery, on the evidence that the paper on which it is written was manufactured by a technique not available at the time to which it allegedly dates. The refractive index of even small particles of glass may be measured to show that a given item or fragment of glass was part of a particular batch manufactured at a particular time and place.
Hence, forensic research is exactly what revisionists, starting with Robert Faurisson, have called the search for material evidence. The revisionists' demand for such material evidence is entirely consistent with the normal practice of modern law enforcement. And, as is generally acknowledged, forensic evidence is more conclusive than eyewitness testimony or documentary evidence.
In 1945, the Krakow Institute for Forensic Research (Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych) prepared a report on a forensic investigation of Auschwitz that was submitted in evidence in the 1946 Auschwitz trial in Krakow, Poland.1 This expert report should be treated with caution, because forensic examinations and judicial procedures under the Communists have been anything but trustworthy, and Poland was in 1945 a Stalinist satellite. One need only point to the example of Katyn, the Soviet account of which was fully endorsed by Poland's Communist regime.2
The Krakow forensic investigators took hair, presumably cut from inmates, and hair clasps from bags found by the Soviets in Auschwitz. Tested for cyanide residues, both hair and clasps showed positive results. Additionally, a zinc-plated metal cover was tested for cyanide and found to have a positive result as well. The Krakow Institute claims that this metal cover once shielded the exhaust duct of a supposed homicidal "gas chamber" at Birkenau.
The tests conducted by the institute were qualitative, not quantitative, analyses. In other words, they could only determine whether or not cyanide was present, not how much of it was there.
As to whether or not homicidal gassing with hydrogen cyanide took place in Auschwitz, these analyses are worthless, for three reasons:
Several expert reports were prepared during the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, the best known being those of the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History).6 However, none of these reports was forensic in nature. They addressed legal, historical, or psychological topics. Throughout this mammoth trial, neither the court, nor the prosecution,7. nor the defense 8 ever suggested that material traces of the alleged crime be secured and investigated. The prosecution had at its disposal numerous statements by eyewitnesses and confessions by perpetrators, and it considered this material entirely sufficient to establish beyond doubt the existence of a program to exterminate Jews in Auschwitz and elsewhere during the Third Reich. 9 The abundance of such evidence has since been used to argue that the lack of documentary and material evidence was irrelevant. 10 That no material evidence was presented during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial was freely conceded by the court in its ruling:
The court lacked almost all possibilities of discovery available in a normal murder trial to create a true picture of the actual event at the time of the murder. It lacked the bodies of the victims, autopsy records, expert reports on the cause of death and the time of death; it lacked any trace of the murderers, murder weapons, etc. An examination of the eyewitness testimony was only possible in rare cases. Where the slightest doubt existed or the possibility of confusion could not be excluded with certainty, the court did not evaluate the testimony of witnesses[.]
Between January 18 and March 10, 1972, two architects responsible for the design and construction of the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, were put on trial in Vienna, Austria. 11 During the trial, an expert report on the possible interpretation of the blueprints of the alleged gas chambers of the Auschwitz and Birkenau crematoria was presented to the court. The report concluded that the rooms in question could not have been gas chambers, nor could they have been converted into gas chambers.12 Thanks to this first methodologically sound expert report on Auschwitz, the defendants were acquitted.
In 1966 the Auschwitz State Museum commissioned the Polish company Hydrokop to drill into the soil of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and to analyze the samples. It is not known whether this research was done in the context of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial. The results, however, vanished into the museum's archives: they have never been released, which by itself is revealing enough. Years later, however, several pages from this report were photocopied and sent to the German revisionist publisher Udo Walendy, who published them with commentary in an issue of his periodical.13 Traces of bones and hair allegedly found at several places might indicate mass graves. The few pages published by Walendy, however, do not reveal whether these findings led to an excavation or a subsequent forensic study of the traces. It is not even evident whether the bone and hair samples collected are human or animal remains.
It took a professor of French literature to inform the world that determining whether mass murder took place at Auschwitz is a matter for forensic evidence. Robert Faurisson, professor of French, and an analyst of documents, texts, and witness statements at the University of Lyon 2, began to doubt the standard historical version of the Holocaust after much critical study of the eyewitness testimony and intensive scrutiny of documents said to support the claim of mass murder. Faurisson first asserted the thesis that "there was not a single gas chamber under Adolf Hitler" in 1978.14 Thereafter he buttressed his position with numerous physical, chemical, topographic, architectonic, documentary, and historical arguments. He described the existence of the homicidal gas chambers as "radically impossible."15 At the end of 1978 Le Monde, the leading French newspaper, afforded Professor Faurisson the opportunity to present his thesis in an article.16
It took almost a decade, however, for the first expert to accept Faurisson's challenge and to prepare the first forensic report on the alleged homicidal "gas chambers" in Auschwitz: Fred Leuchter's now famous report of 1988.17 The background and history of the Leuchter Report are well known to readers of the Journal of Historical Review and need not be repeated here.18 Suffice it to say that the Leuchter Report was a pioneer work that initiated a series of publications, the scope of which broadened more and more into various fields of forensic science19 and soon encompassed many interdisciplinary studies of material and documentary evidence.20
The reaction of the Krakow Institute which had carried out the faulty 1945 investigation -- by 1988 named after the Communist judge who presided during the Polish Auschwitz and Rudolf Höss trials -- to the Leuchter Report has caused much confusion in revisionist circles. To this day, many believe that in 1990 four investigators from this institute corroborated the Leuchter Report,21 but this is quite incorrect. Clearing up the misunderstanding requires that the post-Leuchter findings of the Krakow Institute be treated in some detail.
To expose the errors of the Krakow investigators requires presenting a little basic chemistry -- so basic that equations have been omitted. First of all, until 1979, Zyklon B was the German trademark for a pesticide based on hydrogen cyanide (HCN). As every student of chemistry knows, hydrogen cyanide forms salts, often simply referred to as cyanides. Like hydrogen cyanide itself, these salts are usually highly poisonous. There is one group of cyanides, however, which are not poisonous at all. The best known representatives of this group are the iron cyanides, especially so-called Prussian blue, a pigment discovered in Prussia a few centuries ago. Every college student of chemistry knows Prussian blue, for one of the more important things a chemist must learn is how to dispose of poisonous cyanide salts without endangering life (including one's own). One simply makes Prussian blue out of it by adding certain iron compounds. Then it can be poured down the sink in good conscience, for Prussian blue is extremely stable and releases no cyanide into the environment.
Understanding the controversy surrounding the Leuchter Report is much easier if one keeps in mind that when hydrogen cyanide and certain iron compounds come together, they form Prussian blue. That is exactly the phenomenon that one can observe when entering the Zyklon B delousing facilities that were used across Europe during the Third Reich. A few of them, for example in the Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek, and Stutthof concentration camps, are still intact today. All these facilities have one thing in common: their walls are permeated with Prussian blue. Not just the inner surfaces, but the mortar between the bricks, and even the outside walls of these delousing chambers abound in iron cyanides, exhibiting a patchy blue coloration. Nothing of the sort can be observed in the alleged homicidal "gas chambers" of Auschwitz and Birkenau.22
The iron compounds needed to form Prussian blue are an integral part of all building materials: bricks, sand, and cement always contain a certain amount of rust (iron oxide, usually between 1 and 4 percent). That is what gives bricks their red, or ocher, color and what makes most sands ocher, too.
Now, let's examine the way in which the investigators from the Jan Sehn Institute approached the problem of analyzing and interpreting samples from Auschwitz.
The team from the forensic institute, Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubala, and Jerzy Labedz, claims not to have understood how it was possible for Prussian blue to have formed in walls as a result of their being exposed to hydrogen cyanide gas: "It is difficult to imagine the chemical reactions and physicochemical processes that could have led to the formation of Prussian blue in that place."23
There is no shame in not understanding. Actually, this is the beginning of every science: the cognition of not understanding. In pre-scientific ages, humans tended to find mystical or religious answers to unsolved questions; modern scientists approach problems they don't understand, and sometimes can scarcely imagine, as challenges to investigate, in order to understand. This quest for knowledge is the chief driving force of modern humanity. Should we not expect, then, that the Krakow researchers would next have attempted to learn whether Prussian blue can be formed in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide and, if so, how?
In 1991 Dr. Markiewicz wrote, via a mutual acquaintance, that he was unable to understand how Prussian blue could possibly form in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide. He thought that quite unlikely, and suggested that its presence might stem from a different source, for example from Prussian blue wall paint used to give the interior walls of the delousing chambers a fanciful, patchy blue coloration. (What for?, one is tempted to ask.24) I suggested that he look at the outer surfaces of the walls, which are exposed to environmental influences, and which were partly patchy blue as well. Their color cannot be explained by paint, but only by cyanide compounds spreading to the outside walls over the years, and being converted to Prussian blue. He replied that these blue patches were hard to explain, and first it had to be established that they were indeed Prussian blue.25 So there were even more questions to be answered before these scientists could conduct their analysis.
At length, the Polish investigators published an article on their findings, in 1994.23 Surprisingly, perusing their article reveals that they did nothing to establish whether or not Prussian blue can form in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide. Nothing indicates that they did basic research on the behavior of cyanide compounds under conditions similar to those in brickwork. Nor did they do anything to establish whether or not the blue patches on the external walls of the delousing chambers were caused by Prussian blue. Should you wonder why, just be patient: it gets even worse.
Had the researchers found a scientific source which stated in a reliable way that Prussian blue cannot develop in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide, that would have made things easy for them, by rendering any new research obsolete. On the other hand, if they had discovered literature claiming in a scientific way that the formation of Prussian blue in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide was possible, the scientific method would have compelled them to do either of two things: to abandon their position that Prussian blue cannot form thus, or to refute the opposing position by proving that it cannot form. That is what the scientific process is all about: verification or refutation of theses postulated by peers. Ignoring peer opinions is a strong indicator of unscientific behavior.
In fact, the Krakow researchers quoted one book that deals intensively with the question of Prussian blue formation.26 On consulting it, however, one quickly realizes that it proves the exact opposite of Markiewicz's thesis. The work demonstrates in detail how, and under which circumstances, walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide can indeed form Prussian blue, and that this was not only possible but very likely, at least in the Auschwitz delousing chambers.
Do the Krakow researchers claim that this book shows the opposite? Not at all. In fact, they cite it not to refer the reader to its chemical arguments, but, instead, merely as an example of scientific studies these authors from the Jan Sehn Institute intend to combat with their report. All arguments advanced in the book are simply ignored, while the work is stigmatized as an example of "undesirable science." Let it be recalled that Dr. Markiewicz is a professor, meaning: he professes to adhere to the ideals of science and the scientific method!
The authors of the Krakow study ignored all arguments proving them wrong, although they were certainly aware of them, as they quoted them. They made no attempt to prove or to disprove their own claims. They did nothing to understand what they claimed not to have understood.
Was there a reason for their strange conduct?
The answer is very simple: The researchers wanted to exclude Prussian blue and similar iron cyanide compounds from their analyses. Excluding these compounds can only be justified on the assumption that Prussian blue in the walls of the delousing chambers must have a different origin, e.g. from paint. As the Krakow investigators wrote in their 1994 article:
We decided therefore to determine the cyanide ions using a method that does not induce the breakdown of the composed ferrum cyanide complex (this is the blue under discussion) [.]
What does this mean?
In fact, the exclusion of Prussian blue from analytical detection must result in much lower cyanide traces for the delousing chambers, as non-iron cyanide compounds are not very stable and would therefore hardly be present after fifty years. The same is true for every room ever exposed to hydrogen cyanide. In fact, values close to the detection level must be expected. These are generally so unreliable that a proper interpretation is close to impossible. It can therefore be expected that the analysis of samples tested with such a method would deliver similar results for nearly every sampling of material that is many years old. Such an analysis would make it practically impossible to distinguish between rooms massively exposed to hydrogen cyanide and those which were not: all would have a cyanide residue of close to zero.
|Author:||Markiewicz et al.23||Leuchter17||Rudolf27|
|Detection of:||cyanide without iron cyanides||total cyanide||total cyanide|
|Delousing chambers:||0-0.8 mg/kg||1,025 mg/kg||1,000-13,000 mg/kg|
|Alleged gas chamber:||0-0.6 mg/kg||0-8 mg/kg||0-7 mg/kg|
I believe that is exactly what the researchers from the Jan Sehn Institute wanted to achieve: values for both the delousing chambers and the alleged homicidal "gas chambers" with similar levels of cyanide residues. This would allow them to state: "The same amount of cyanides, hence the same amount of gassing activity: thus, humans were gassed in the crematoria cellars. Thus, Leuchter is refuted."
The analyses results of the Krakow report showed just that, and its authors drew the requisite conclusions.
If we examine the analyses results of samples taken by different people, and obtained with different methods of analysis, it is evident that Markiewicz and his co-workers fudged their results by adjusting their method to deliver what they wanted.
If that doesn't smell like scientific fraud, well ... we aren't through with the Krakow report yet.
In 1991, a document leaked out of the Jan Sehn Institute in Krakow into the hands of the revisionists, and was eventually published in their periodicals.21 It showed that Dr. Markiewicz and his co-workers had prepared a first report as early as 1990. This report was never published. Its results were discomfiting: although the researchers were already employing their deceptive analytical method, only one of the five samples taken from alleged homicidal gas chambers resulted in an extremely small amount of cyanide (0.024 mg/kg); the rest had no detectable cyanide. On the other hand, samples taken from a delousing chamber showed values up to 20 times higher (0.036-0.588 mg/kg). These results seemed to confirm Leuchter's findings. Hence, in their 1994 paper, the Krakow investigators suppressed any information about their initial results. Normally, researchers guilty of such unethical conduct are expelled from the scientific community.
Today, most revisionists are aware of the findings revealed in 1991, but not of the later ones published in 1994 that seem to refute Leuchter.
In a subsequent correspondence with the Krakow researchers, I asked for a scientific explanation of their method of analysis. I gave them irrefutable proof that Prussian blue can be formed in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide gas, citing a recent case documented in expert literature.28 The authors of the Krakow report were unable to give a scientific reason for their deliberate failure to test for Prussian blue and refused to admit that they had made a mistake.29
Finally, in their article as well as in a letter to me, the Krakow researchers stated that the purpose of their paper was to refute the "Holocaust deniers" and to prevent the whitewashing of Hitler and National Socialism. In other words, their purpose was not the search for truth, but to serve a political end.
To summarize the extremely unscientific and politically biased approach of Markiewicz and his co-workers:
Therefore, I publicly called, and continue to call, these researchers scientific frauds. There is only one place for their research findings: the garbage. Neither Markiewicz nor his co-workers have ever responded to my accusations. Dr. Markiewicz, who was an expert in technical testing, not a chemist, died in 1997; the remaining two authors have continued to remain silent.
In early 1990, a few months after beginning work on my Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, I started investigations to verify the chemical claims made in the Leuchter Report: namely, that long-term stable cyanide compounds were still to be expected in the alleged homicidal gas chambers, if the mass gassings with Zyklon B took place in them as claimed by witnesses. Initially I was interested only in finding out whether the resulting compound -- iron blue or Prussian blue -- is stable enough to survive forty-five years of exposure to harsh environmental conditions. After this was confirmed, I mailed the results to some twenty people I thought might be interested in these results. Subsequently I got in contact with several engineers and lawyers, the former willing to help me in doing forensic research, and the latter primarily interested in using the results for their clients. I made two trips to Auschwitz and did eighteen months of further research until, in January 1992, the first, 72-page long version of the so-called Rudolf Report was distributed to opinion leaders in Germany. Briefly summarized, it corroborates Leuchter's claim that, for several technical and chemical reasons, the mass gassing attested to by witnesses could not have occurred. My report was subsequently updated and enhanced, and finally published in July 1993 as a 120-page paperback booklet.30 Dutch and French versions appeared in 1995 and 1996, but an English version has never been printed. (A short 16-page summary published in summer 1993 is often mistakenly assumed to be a full version of my report.) An updated and enhanced version is currently in preparation; publication is planned for later this year.31
Because I can't be the judge of my own work, I will not discuss my own research here. Scientific discussion of my report began with a German book, consisting mainly of unfounded attacks, in 1995.32 The first serious critique to date, unfortunately riddled with ad hominem attacks, has appeared only on the Internet.33 Its author, Richard Green, is, like me, a chemist with a Ph.D. thesis in physical chemistry. He has made some far-reaching concessions in his critique:
The latter concession obviously destroys the reputation of the Krakow researchers (and their supporters), who summarily declared that the vast amount of iron blue in the walls of delousing facilities must have a different origin, which in turn "allowed" them to exclude it from analysis. Green, however, is undisturbed by this, and still claims that their results ought to be taken as standard by everybody. To my question of why the Krakow investigators had not responded to my inquiries as to their obviously unscientific behavior, Green responded as follows:
Rudolf complains that Markiewicz et al. have not responded to his queries. Why should they do so? What credibility does Rudolf have, that demands they answer his every objection no matter how ill-founded?
Chemistry is obviously not the only science to be consulted when it comes to solving the mysteries of Auschwitz. Engineers, architects, physicians, geologists, and other experts can contribute to this, too. Nor does their work stop with trying to decipher the hidden messages of material traces on site. Original wartime documents on the facilities and events in Auschwitz require the expertise of engineers, architects, physicians, and geologists as well. When it comes to reconstructing the infrastructure of the camp, down to the function and purpose of every building and every room, the technical modes of operation and capacities of its installations, the extent and modernity of the treatment in its hospitals, the effect of the water table of the swamps, most of which can be determined by analyzing the tens of thousands of documents that have been found or released during the last decade, the historian alone simply cannot do the job, nor can I as a chemist.
Ditlieb Felderer was the first to deal intensively with the question of whether or not there were holes in the roof of the alleged homicidal "gas chambers," although he seems not to have published anything about it. Leuchter touched on this topic only superficially in his report. It was this question, rather than whether or not there were still any chemical residues of the poison gas allegedly used, which made me most curious to go to Auschwitz, to search for these holes by myself. On August 16, 1991, while standing on the collapsed roof of the alleged "gas chamber" of crematorium II in Birkenau, I lost my faith in the "Holocaust," because I could find no holes that deserved the name. This I described in detail in my report. In 1994, Robert Faurisson made the famous quip that subtitles this section. Yet it was not until 2000, during David Irving's libel case against Deborah Lipstadt, that the world took notice of the revisionist allegation that no holes can be found in this roof.
Charles Provan has since written an Internet article in which he claims to have refuted this revisionist finding. He did, indeed, find holes in the roof of the morgue of crematorium II.35 But are they the same holes used fifty-five years ago to introduce Zyklon B into the "gas chamber," as claimed by the witnesses? Or are they merely results of the collapsing roof being pierced by the concrete supporting pillars? I am convinced that the latter is the case. My conviction doesn't matter, however. What matters are facts. But how are we to establish facts in such a case?
According to Robert Van Pelt:
In the twenty-five hundred square feet of this one room more people lost their lives than in any other place on this planet. Five hundred thousand people were killed. If you would draw a map of human suffering, if you create a geography of atrocities, this would be the absolute centre.36
Now, let us consider a somewhat different, but still tragic case. We all know what happens after an airplane crash: hundreds of experts swarm out to retrieve the debris of the accident, in order to assemble it all like a gigantic, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. The purpose is to determine the cause of the accident in order to prevent it from happening again. No expense is spared.
Would it not be appropriate to do the same with the morgues of crematoriums II and III in Birkenau? To assemble a staff of hundreds of historians, engineers, architects, and archaeologists to exactingly retrieve all the debris of these rooms and to reassemble them, like piecing together a huge puzzle, in order to determine what they really looked like fifty-five years ago? Would it not be logical to attempt to determine what vestiges we have to expect when looking for holes, before ecstatically jumping to conclusions at the mere sight of a crack in the concrete?
During the last few years, I have heard, to my horror, of people walking up to these rooms and breaking off reinforcement bars protruding from cracks or holes,37 or taking shovels and clearing the roof of debris in order to look for holes.38 What would a paleontologist say of someone who wanted to use a shovel to excavate the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex? Sometimes one has cause to wonder: Where have all the homo sapiens gone? When will people begin to think and act about the Holocaust like wise human beings?
The question of whether or not there were holes in the roof of crematorium II is not a trivial one. If there were none, then it would have been impossible to introduce Zyklon B into the alleged "gas chamber" in the manner claimed by the witnesses -- discrediting all those witnesses. Because eyewitness accounts are the sole pillar on which the Holocaust rests, this would sooner or later lead to the collapse of the entire Holocaust story. This, in turn, is no trivial matter. The international order established by the victorious powers after the Second World War rests mainly on the "given" of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is used to control Germany (and hence Europe), to suppress national movements, and to maintain American dominance -- to say nothing of the power leftist and internationalist movements derive from it, and the use to which Jewish and Zionist groups put it.
Who, then, wants to know the truth? Wouldn't it be easier to blow up the Auschwitz crematoria and remove the debris once and for all, and be content with the witness accounts?
If revisionist researchers don't do the work of establishing what really took place in Auschwitz, nobody will. Considering our limited means and the legal restrictions placed on us, it might be only realistic to conclude that nobody ever will. Thus all we can do right now is to meticulously map and document the material remains as they are today, from top to bottom, and hope that eventually reason will prevail.
The discovery in German wartime documents of ambivalent words for which a sinister meaning can be interpreted is quite common in mainstream historiography on the Holocaust. Jean-Claude Pressac is not the first to have done so, but he is perhaps the most determined, taking it well beyond the bizarre.38 The revisionist responses have been thorough and, for the exterminationists, devastating.39 Revisionist interpretations have been based, on the one hand, on thorough knowledge of the documents dealing with Auschwitz -- including Allied air photos -- as well as their context, and on expert knowledge in various fields of engineering and architecture on the other.
That approach, applied to a great number of documents on Auschwitz, has yielded another, even more important result that sheds revealing light on the history of the Auschwitz camp system. Samuel Crowell has unearthed material on air raid shelters built by the SS to protect inmates from Allied air raids. Hans Lamker and Hans Nowak have shown in detail how the SS installed modern (and highly) expensive microwave delousing facilities to protect the lives of inmates.40 Together with Michael Gärtner and Werner Rademacher, they are currently working on a comprehensive history of the Auschwitz camp, equipped with all means necessary to ensure the survival of tens of thousands of prisoners: hospitals, dentists, kitchens, laundries, butchers, as well as recreation facilities like sport fields and gardens. Together with the fact that the overall costs of erecting this camp complex were on the order of magnitude of some five hundred million dollars, these facilities clearly contradict an intention by the German authorities to use this camp as an extermination center. There are cheaper ways of killing humans than to spend 500 dollars per capita.41
Since the dawn of science, scientists have sought the perpetuum mobile. They seem never to have noticed that they had found it at the beginning of their search: science itself. So it can be expected that forensic research about Auschwitz will never cease, especially if one considers the controversial and highly ideological implications of any potential findings. The direction and methods of research, however, are clearly being set by the pioneers in this field, the revisionists, who lack neither the imagination nor the curiosity to discover whether the mass gassing claims of the Holocaust are true, whatever their use for political or financial purposes. The Auschwitz camp system will, as before, be at the very focus of it all.
To name one recent instance, in early 2000 the Australian engineer Richard Krege employed ground penetrating radar in order to locate (or not to locate) mass graves in the vicinity of alleged German extermination camps. A preliminary study was published in my German language revisionist quarterly in early 2000.42 Krege has promised more thorough investigations, together with a proper introduction into this geological method of determining disturbances in the soil beneath our feet. His work is going to break new ground, as Leuchter's work did thirteen years ago. No doubt he will not be the last pioneer to challenge reigning dogmas and taboos.
As they do for all alleged crimes in the historical past, the forensic sciences hold the key to the riddles of Auschwitz. No group with the power to conduct, or else to demand, forensic research on the necessary scale seems willing to do so: on the contrary. Those in power have no stake in changing our view of Auschwitz, and consequently of the Holocaust, and forensic research is liable to do exactly that. Instead, authorities the world over persecute and prosecute those who advocate or attempt such research. This may slow us down, but it will not stop us.
When revisionist researchers achieve a sudden breakthrough through forensic research, they are countered not merely with slander and persecution, but also with academic forgery and professorial deceit, of which the Krakow forensic report is so evident an example. How desperate must they be, the keepers of the flame of the Holocaust legend, to resort to such methods? By guarding the purported graves and "gas chamber" ruins of Auschwitz from scientific inquiry, they risk the burial of their own reputations, and the ruin of the Auschwitz myth.
Germar Rudolf had completed his doctoral dissertation in chemistry while working at the renowned Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, when publication of his forensic study of the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz caused university authorities to forbid him from completing the doctorate. In 1995 Rudolf was sentenced to fourteen months in jail for authoring the Rudolf Report; in the same year all available copies of Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, a collection of up-to-date research on the Holocaust problem, were seized and destroyed by court order (the English-language version, Dissecting the Holocaust, can be purchased from IHR). Rudolf edits the revisionist quarterly Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung, and is currently seeking political asylum in the United States. He has submitted a lengthy affidavit in support of David Irving's appeal of the adverse ruling in the Lipstadt trial.