The Diesel Gas Chambers:
Ideal for Torture - Absurd for Murder
FRIEDRICH PAUL BERG and GERMAR RUDOLF
1. Cause for Public Discussion (1)In the United States the controversy about the unlawful prosecution of American citizen John Demjanjuk directed the public interest towards an aspect of the 'Holocaust' which had gone practically unnoticed before. Demjanjuk was falsely accused of having participated in the murder of at least 875,000 Jews with diesel exhaust in the alleged extermination camp Treblinka in 1942/43. 2 Whereas before, it had been fixed in people's minds that the National Socialists had murdered their victims primarily in gas chambers using hydrocyanic acid (Zyklon B), the notion that considerably more victims had been killed with diesel exhaust now became more and more predominant. Particularly the public efforts of an increasingly powerful lobby group in the early 1990s initiated a discussion of whether murder with diesel exhaust was even possible. An article from the pen of one of the best-known American columnists - Patrick Buchanan, the former assistant to President Ronald Reagan - has remained highly controversial to this day. In this article Buchanan disputed that diesel engines could kill people at all, 3 a sweeping statement which certainly is far too indiscriminate to be correct and which netted him massive criticism. 4
Some to-do was caused in Europe in early 1992 by a working paper authored by Walter LÃ¼ftl, President of the Federal Austrian Chamber of Engineers, in which he described the mass murder with diesel exhaust, among other things, as a "sheer impossibility". 5 Shortly afterwards he substantiated his view of the relative harmlessness of diesel exhaust in an article 6 which was attacked in a rather unqualified manner by the opposing side. 7
Both these events have resulted in the fact that the discussion about the ability of diesel exhaust to kill has heated up considerably over the past few years. In the following, therefore, various aspects of the issue shall be investigated.
2. IntroductionIn any trial of even the most ordinary murder, one can expect an abundance of information about the murder weapon. One would therefore expect that particularly the Allied and the Federal German post-War trials involving murder as novel and as bestially spectacular as the oft-described mass murder of millions of Jews in gas chambers would provide the most extensive and precise documentation possible regarding such an unconventional murder weapon.
But although there is a vast literature, based in part on those trials, including many 'eyewitness accounts' and 'documents' covering the most diverse aspects of the Holocaust story, nonetheless, as far as the actual mechanics of the extermination process are concerned, about all one ever finds is an occasional short and vague description.
About fifty years have now elapsed since the end of World War Two. The Holocaust specialists have had more than enough time and opportunity to examine documents and alleged mass murder sites as well as the testimony from the most massive trials in the entire history of the world. Throughout this period they have certainly been active, and yet they have found little. Aside from a few bits and pieces of so-called 'confessions' and 'eyewitness testimony', they have, in fact, found next to nothing. These information gaps regarding the mechanics of the alleged extermination process should arouse the gravest suspicions.
The information gaps are bad enough; what is far worse is that the bits and pieces of information which one does find are simply incredible. To characterize the alleged mass murder methodology as 'hare-brained', 'crackpot', or simply 'weird' is to understate the situation. The more one examines what little information there is, the more obvious it becomes that the people who repeat the Holocaust story in one form or another really have no idea as to what they are talking or writing about. The testimony of the so-called eyewitnesses is especially weird. The Gerstein Statement, which for a long time was widely accepted by the Holocaust specialists, is probably the best example of such testimony. But the other 'statements' or 'confessions' are almost as bad, or worse.
The absurdities of the various alleged extermination methods do not in and of themselves prove that the Holocaust did not happen, but they should at least persuade reasonable people to ask for some other evidence before they let themselves believe such a monstrous tale. The fact that other evidence such as documents ordering the killing of Jews with gas, or hard, physical evidence such as workable gas chambers - not just ordinary rooms that have been mislabeled - is also absent should make it quite obvious that something is seriously wrong. The gas chambers of Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor were all allegedly destroyed before the War ended, and those in Auschwitz and Majdanek as well as those in the camps in the Reich proper are ordinary rooms (mortuaries, shower rooms, delousing chambers) that are labeled differently today. 8
To concoct horrible, but conveniently vague, eyewitness accounts of mass murder is easy. To have such tales accepted about a defeated enemy nation after a brutal war during which the vast media resources of the victors had succeeded in portraying the enemy as thoroughly depraved and wicked is also easy. On the other hand, it is not at all easy to explain how one could possibly commit mass murder with diesel exhaust.
3. The Exterminationist Position
|Camp||Location||Jurisdiction||Type of Killing Operation||Number of Victims*|
|Kulmhof (Chelmno)||Wartheland||Higher SS and Police Leader (Koppe)||gas vans (CO)||150,000|
|Belzec||Lublin district||SS and Police Leader (Globocnik)||gas chambers (CO)||600,000|
|Sobibor||Lublin district||SS and Police Leader (Globocnik)||gas chambers (CO)||200,000-250,000(10)|
|Lublin (Majdanek)||Lublin district||WVHA (SS Economic-Administrative Main Office)||gas chamber (CO, HCN),shooting||50,000-200,000(10)|
|Treblinka||Warsaw district||SS and Police Leader||gas chambers (CO)||750,000 or 700,000(10)-1.2 million(11)|
|Auschwitz||Upper Silesia||WVHA||gas chambers (HCN)||one million(12)|
Table 1: Characteristics of the Death Camps according to Raul Hilberg 9
*Updated figures are used here; cf. the appropriate notes.
Table 1 is from The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg, published in 1961. The table summarizes the views of practically all the generally accepted, 'consensus' writers on the Holocaust story of the last 20 years. The camps listed are the only ones which are today regarded as having been 'extermination' camps, while the camps Auschwitz and Lublin (Majdanek) are ascribed a dual function as combined labor and extermination camps.
The fourth column from the left shows that in almost all of the camps, the killing operation supposedly used carbon monoxide, or CO, which is also alleged as the supplemental substance used in Majdanek. In Auschwitz the killing operation supposedly used only hydrogen cyanide, or HCN. Of the five camps where carbon monoxide was supposedly used, the vast majority of victims are said to have been killed in just three camps, namely Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor. It is in those three camps that the vast majority of CO-victims were allegedly killed. It is there that the carbon monoxide was supposedly generated by diesel engines. The number of Jews who were supposedly killed in Kulmhof (Chelmno) or Lublin (Majdanek) are relatively small compared to the numbers for Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.
On the basis of these numbers of victims, which are generally accepted today, one can say that well over half of all the alleged Jewish victims of German gas chambers were supposedly gassed with diesel exhaust. In other words, the diesel gas chambers are the most important gas chambers, at least in terms of the numbers of alleged victims.
For at least several months in 1939 and 1940, diesel engines had supposedly been used as part of the euthanasia program to kill Germans who were feebleminded or incurably ill in Germany. The experience gained from the use of diesels for euthanasia was allegedly applied later by some of the same people involved with the euthanasia program, such as Reichsamtsleiter Viktor Brack and Kriminalkommissar Christian Wirth, to the killing of Jews in Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor in Eastern Poland. According to Hilberg, it was Wirth who constructed the "carbon monoxide gas chambers" for the euthanasia program on the orders of Brack, who was "actually in charge of the [euthanasia] operation." Then in the spring of 1942 Brack ordered Wirth to Lublin where "Wirth and his crew immediately and under primitive conditions began to construct chambers into which they piped carbon monoxide from diesel motors." 13
In the National Broadcasting Corporation's television miniseries "Holocaust", which was essentially a dramatization of the generally accepted Holocaust story, there were several references to the use of diesel engines for mass murder. In one scene, Dr. Bruno Tesch, who in real life had been a highly qualified chemist and was hanged after the War by the Allies, 14 explains to Eric Dorf, a fictional SS officer administering the extermination program, that one of the advantages of Zyklon B over carbon monoxide is that Zyklon B "won't clog machinery - and there's no apparatus to break down, as in carbon monoxide." In another scene Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz, is about to start a diesel engine when Eric Dorf explains to him that he will not need the diesel any more because he has ordered another substance, namely Zyklon B.
4. The Gerstein StatementThe statement of Kurt Gerstein is still a major cornerstone of the Holocaust legend in general. Gerstein was an ObersturmfÃ¼hrer (First Lieutenant) in the SS and a mine surveyor by profession with a graduate degree in engineering. When he surrendered to the French, he supposedly gave them a prepared statement dated April 26, 1945. Until recently he has been elevated to the status of 'righteous gentile' by the Israelis and by various Jewish writers for having at least tried to alert the world regarding the Nazi extermination program. As H. Roques pointed out, 15 six different versions of the Gerstein Statement have been found to date, and published by various researchers in at times grossly distorted and mutilated form. 16 Moreover, since parts of Gerstein's statements range from the fantastically incredible to the downright impossible, and since he allegedly committed suicide in a French prison after having offered himself in vain as informer to the French, the trend in recent years has been to increasingly dissociate oneself from him as 'witness for the prosecution'. Nonetheless his statements are the only ones which give at least a few technical details of the alleged diesel gassings.
The following text is an excerpt of the Gerstein Statement as given in English translation in Harvest of Hate by Leon Poliakov. Aside from a rather brazen 'error' on the part of Poliakov, namely the claim that 700 to 800 bodies were crowded into 93 square meters instead of only 25 square meters (which is the way the original document actually reads), it is probably no worse a translation than any of the other versions which can be found. 17
"SS men pushed the men into the chambers. 'Fill it up,' Wirth ordered; 700-800 people in 93 [sic; original claims 25] square meters. The doors closed. [...]We shall leave out of account the simple fact that it is not physically possible to crowd 700 to 800 people into a space of only 25 square meters, ie. 28 to 32 people per square meter. 20
"Then I understood the reason for the 'Heckenholt' sign. Heckenholt was the driver of the diesel, whose exhaust was to kill these poor unfortunates. SS UnterscharfÃ¼hrer Heckenholt tried to start the motor. It wouldn't start! Captain Wirth came up. You could see he was afraid because I was there to see the disaster. Yes, I saw everything and waited. My stopwatch clocked it all: 50 minutes, 70 minutes, and the diesel still would not start! The men were waiting in the gas chambers. You could hear them weeping 'as though in a synagogue,' said Professor Pfannenstiel, his eyes glued to the window in the wooden door. 18 Captain Wirth, furious, struck with his whip the Ukrainian who helped Heckenholt. The diesel started up after 2 hours and 49 minutes, by my stopwatch. Twenty-five minutes passed. You could see through the window that many were already dead, for an electric light illuminated the interior of the room. All were dead after thirty-two minutes!
"Jewish workers on the other side opened the wooden doors. They had been promised their lives in return for doing this horrible work, plus a small percentage of the money and valuables collected. The men were still standing, like columns of stone, with no room to fall or lean. Even in death you could tell the families, all holding hands. It was difficult to separate them while emptying the room for the next batch. The bodies were tossed out, blue, 19 wet with sweat and urine, the legs smeared with excrement and menstrual blood."
It was not a peephole through which Professor Pfannenstiel supposedly looked into the gas chamber - it was a window. And it was a window in a wooden door - not a gas-tight steel door as one might expect. Apparently there were wooden doors on two sides of at least one of the gas chambers. We are told that the intended victims were still alive after almost three hours in the gas chambers before the diesel even started. So there must have been many air leaks into the chambers or else the Jews would have been asphyxiated without the aid of any diesel.
There is no mention anywhere of the intended victims trying to break out. Wooden doors with glass windows would hardly have held up against a united effort to break out. Surely Prof. Pfannenstiel, with "his eyes glued to the window", would have noticed if some of the people had been trying to smash through. But nevertheless we are told that the victims had enough presence of mind to form groups of family members and hold hands.
Apparently Dr. W. Pfannenstiel, Professor of Medicine at Marburg, had been sent to Belzec and other camps as medical adviser to improve health care in the camps. After the War he was repeatedly interrogated regarding his visit with Gerstein to Belzec, and was charged in two cases, but not convicted. In his statements he never directly disputed Gerstein's account, but in a private letter he described the Gerstein Statement as "highly dubious rubbish in which 'fantasy' far outweighs fact." 21 But he also wrote that due to the persecution and slander to which he was exposed, he did not wish to comment further on the matter publicly. In other words, his acceptance of the Gerstein Statement during his interrogations may not have been because it was in fact correct, 22 but rather because Pfannenstiel wished to avoid further trouble.
Let us turn our attention to the last sentence of the text quoted, according to which the bodies of the victims were "blue". Here we have a flaw as far as the death-from-carbon-monoxide theory is concerned because victims of carbon monoxide poisoning are not blue at all. On the contrary, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning are a distinctive "cherry red" or "pink". 23 This is clearly stated in most toxicology handbooks and is probably well known to every doctor and to most, if not all, emergency medical personnel. Carbon monoxide poisoning is actually very common because of the automobile and accounts for more incidents of poison gas injury than all other gases combined.
The Gerstein statement, to its credit, makes no claim that carbon monoxide was the lethal ingredient in the diesel exhaust. It is the Exterminationists, ie. the people who try to uphold the Holocaust story, who have repeatedly stated that death was due to the carbon monoxide in the diesel exhaust. The recurrence of references to "bluish" corpses in several examples of so-called 'eyewitness testimony' from West German trials merely demonstrates the 'copy-cat' nature of much of that testimony. That such testimony has been accepted by West German courts specializing in Holocaust-related cases and by the Holocaust scholars, apparently without any serious challenge, merely demonstrates the pathetic shoddiness of those trials and of the 'scholarship' pertaining to the subject in general.
If the corpses had indeed appeared "blue", death certainly would not have been due to carbon monoxide. A "bluish" appearance could have been an indication of death from asphyxiation, ie. from lack of oxygen. In this article we will investigate that possibility and we will see that in any diesel gas chamber, although death from lack of oxygen is very unlikely, it is nonetheless far more likely than death from carbon monoxide.
According to Leon Poliakov, a French-Jewish historian who has written at length in support of the Holocaust story, "there is little to add to this description [the Gerstein Statement], which holds good for Treblinka and Sobibor as well as for the Belzec camp. The latter installations were constructed in almost the same way and also used the exhaust carbon monoxide gases from diesel motors as death agents." According to Poliakov, more than a million and a half people were killed with diesel exhaust. 24
5. Toxic Effects of Carbon MonoxideTo investigate the diesel gas chamber claim, two questions one should ask are:
- how much carbon monoxide is actually needed to kill a human being in half an hour? And
- does diesel exhaust ever contain that much carbon monoxide?
The vagueness introduced by Henderson's use of the term "less" is unfortunate. It arises from the fact that although Henderson and others were able to test for non-lethal effects in a laboratory with a high degree of accuracy, the lethal effects could not be tested in the same way. The lethal effects and the corresponding CO levels were determined on the basis of careful extrapolation of carboxy-hemoglobin levels over time from non-lethal tests on humans and from some lethal tests on animals.
Although the test results for lethal effects are not as precise as one might wish, they are nonetheless sufficiently accurate to support some important conclusions about the diesel gas chambers.
According to the Exterminationists, the nasty deed was always done in less than half an hour. 26
|Parts of carbon
monoxide per million parts of air
|Carbon monoxide in %||Physiological effects|
|100||(0.01%)||Allowable concentration for an exposure of several hours.|
|400 to 500||(0.04% - 0.05%)||Concentration which can be inhaled for 1 hour without appreciable effect.|
|600 to 700||(0.06% - 0.07%)||Concentration causing a just appreciable effect after exposure of 1 hour.|
|1,000 to 1,200||(0.10% - 0.12%)||Concentration causing unpleasant but not dangerous effects after exposure of 1 hour.|
|1,500 to 2,000||(0.15% - 0.2%)||Dangerous concentrations for exposure of 1 hour.|
|4,000 and above||(0.4% and above)||Concentrations which are fatal in exposure of less than 1 hour.|
In order to determine how much carbon monoxide would be needed to kill in only half an hour, instead of a full hour, one can use the widely accepted rule of thumb known as "Henderson's Rule", which is:
% CO x exposure time = Constant for any given toxic effect.In other words, for any given toxic effect, the poisonous concentration must be inversely proportional to the time of exposure. This means that to kill in half an hour, one would need twice the concentration that one would need to kill in a full hour. Applying this rule to the "0.4% and above" needed to kill in "less than one hour", we get 0.8% and above as the concentration needed to kill in less than half an hour. 28
Applying the same rule to the 0.15% to 0.20% which is "dangerous" for one hour of exposure, we get 0.3% to 0.4% as the amount of CO which is dangerous for half an hour of exposure.
What all this means is that to have any kind of practical gas chamber using carbon monoxide as the lethal agent, one would need an average concentration of at least 0.4% carbon monoxide, but probably closer to 0.8%. We should keep "0.4% to 0.8%" in mind as benchmark numbers to which we can refer shortly.
It is important to note that these data hold true only in the presence of a normal oxygen content of the air! If one were to reduce the oxygen content by half, for example - ie. from the normal 21% to only 10.5% - then any given concentration of CO will have twice the effect. Then even a concentration of 0.2%/vol. would suffice to kill in one hour. So in order to determine the actual effectiveness of a given concentration of CO, it is necessary to see it in relation to the oxygen content present. To use the values shown in our tables and graphs, therefore, one must determine the CO content that would have the same effect under normal oxygen conditions as the actual CO content under reduced-oxygen conditions. This concentration, called the effective CO-concentration, or c(COeff), is determined by the actual CO-concentration (c(CO)) times the relation of the normal oxygen content (21%) to the actual oxygen content (x%):
c(COeff) = c(CO) x (21% / x%)Another important consideration is always the average concentration over the entire time of exposure, not some quantity of poison measured in pounds or cubic feet. In our current discussion this is a problem, since to determine the concentration one must know the volume of the fumigated room, which is not possible here due to the lack of documentation for the alleged National Socialist diesel gas chambers. Neither is it possible to solve this problem by determining an absolute quantity of poison instead of a concentration value. The few data regarding gas chamber size which we do have, for example from the Gerstein Statement, are so unbelievable that there is no point in trying to work from them.
Graph 1: Toxic effect of small amounts of carbon monoxide. 29
The values for CO contents of >0.06% were extrapolated by the author.
Graph 1 gives the symptoms of various low level carbon monoxide exposures as a function of time of exposure. The highest CO concentration which is discussed is 600 ppm (parts per million). 600 ppm is another way of saying 0.06%. The chart shows that after one hour of exposure to an average concentration of 600 ppm of CO, one would experience a headache, but not a throbbing one. Even after 100 hours of exposure, the worst that one would experience would be unconsciousness, but not death. However, after only half an hour of exposure to 600 ppm, no symptoms are indicated at all - not even a mild headache. We should keep "0.06%" in mind as another benchmark number to which we will refer.
To obtain more reliable data about the effects of a higher CO content in exhaust than those extrapolated here, one can consult accident and suicide statistics. Accident or suicide victims who died from carbon monoxide are frequently tested for the carboxy-hemoglobin (HbÃ— CO) 30 concentration in their blood.
What the National Socialists (actually or allegedly) wanted to achieve with their carbon monoxide gas chambers is called by toxicologists the "LD100", the lethal dose for killing 100% of the victims. The concrete implications of this can be seen from the statistical analysis of a study of 100 deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Table 3 shows the HbÃ— CO levels of carbon monoxide victims from the 1950s.
Age of Victims [years]
In the literature of toxicology, 60% HbÃ— CO is generally cited as the fatal level (cf. Graph 1). According to Table 3, more than 1/4 of all people would be dead at this concentration. Almost another 50% die at levels up to 70% HbÃ— CO, and the last quarter not until the concentration has increased up to 80% HbÃ— CO. So if one wanted to build an effective CO execution gas chamber which, in keeping with eyewitness testimony, kills everyone concerned within half an hour - even the young, healthy people with good nerves - then this chamber would have to reliably induce a level of 80% HbÃ— CO. An average CO content of 0.4% by volume in the gas chamber air would be the absolute minimum required (cf. Graph 1). In the following we shall see whether this concentration can be supplied by a diesel engine.
6. The Diesel Engine
6.1 IntroductionEven though information as to the engine type would be considered essential in the investigation of any ordinary murder, such details are unfortunately too much to expect when one is dealing with the Holocaust. The most frequent claim is that the engines were diesels from Soviet tanks. 32 In lieu of better information, one has to investigate the broader and more difficult question of whether or not any diesel ever built could possibly have done the abominable deed.
If Gerstein had claimed that the carbon monoxide was generated by gasoline engines, his story would be more credible. Gasoline engines can indeed kill rather easily and with little or no warning because their exhaust is almost odorless. Although diesel engines look very much like gasoline engines, at least to most people, they are actually quite different. Any mining engineer or mine surveyor, such as Gerstein was, should certainly have been able to easily distinguish between the two types of engines. For one thing, the sound of diesels is so distinctive that almost anyone can with a little experience recognize them with his eyes closed.
Another peculiarity of diesels is that when in operation they usually give warning of their presence - their exhaust generally smells terrible. The intensity of the smell or stench has no doubt given rise to the thoroughly false impression that diesel exhaust must therefore be very harmful.
Although diesel exhaust is not totally harmless, it is in fact one of the least harmful pollutants anywhere, except for some possible long-term carcinogenic effects which are totally irrelevant for the operation of a gas chamber to commit mass murder. Diesel emission levels have always been within the current air emission standards of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency without requiring any modifications or accessories. 33 Diesels have always produced less than 1% carbon monoxide, which is the current standard for internal combustion engines. Gasoline engines have only met the same standard after many years of intensive research and after the addition of many complex accessories and engine modifications (catalytic converters).
Graph 2: Comparison of carbon monoxide emissions from diesel and internal combustion engines. 34
Graph 2 compares carbon monoxide emissions from diesel and gasoline engines. The latter are sometimes also called spark ignition engines. Clearly the logical choice between the two types of engines as a source of carbon monoxide would always have been the gasoline engine. From spark ignition or gasoline engines, one can easily get 7% carbon monoxide, but from diesel engines one can never get even as much as 1% with liquid fuels.
Carbon monoxide emissions from internal combustion engines are commonly plotted as functions of air/fuel ratio or fuel/air ratio. Fuel/air ratio is merely the reciprocal of air/fuel ratio. It has generally been accepted by the auto industry and by environmentalists that the CO level of diesel exhaust is related chiefly to these ratios and not to other factors such as rpm. 35
An air/fuel ratio of 100, for example, means that for every pound of fuel burned, 100 pounds of air are drawn into the engine. However, only about 15 pounds of air can ever react in any way chemically with each pound of fuel regardless of the air/fuel ratio or even the type of engine. This means that at an air/fuel ratio of 100, there are always about 85 pounds of air which do not react. These 85 pounds of excess air are blown out of the engine without undergoing any chemical change at all. As far as the excess air is concerned, the diesel engine is nothing more than an unusual kind of blower or compressor.
Gasoline engines always operate with an air deficit. As a result of this deficit, the reaction process in a gasoline engine can never go to completion; a relatively large proportion of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide is always formed.
Diesels always operate with an excess of air. At idle, diesels operate with air/fuel ratios as high as 200:1. At full load, the air/fuel ratio is only down to 18:1. Because of the abundance of air, there is always far greater opportunity for the fuel to burn to completion, thereby causing very little carbon monoxide to be produced as compared with gasoline engines. Also, what little carbon monoxide is produced in the cylinders of a diesel is subsequently diluted by the excess air.
As soon as one acquires an understanding of the differences between diesel and gasoline engines, it becomes obvious that the logical choice as a source of carbon monoxide would always have been the gasoline engine. The diesel engine is, and always was, an inherently ludicrous choice as a source of carbon monoxide.
There are basically two types of diesel engines: divided combustion chamber engines and undivided combustion chamber engines.
6.2 Divided Chamber DieselsThe divided chamber category of diesel engines is generally subdivided into precombustion chamber designs and turbulent cell designs.
Graph 3 shows a pair of emission curves for diesels with divided combustion chambers (Engine A and B). These curves were the result of exceptionally careful and extensive tests made in the early 1940s in the United States by the U. S. Bureau of Mines to determine whether or not diesel engines could operate in underground mines without endangering miners. 36 The conclusion of the U. S. Bureau of Mines as stated in many reports throughout the intervening years has always been that diesels may operate underground in non-coal mines subject to USBM approval of the engines and the mechanical arrangements in which the engines are employed.
The lower curve in Graph 3 is for a pre-combustion chamber diesel engine (Engine A). The middle curve is for a turbulent cell diesel engine (Engine B). The lowest fuel/air ratio always corresponds approximately to idle and also to a no-load condition. At idle, neither of these types of diesels could produce enough carbon monoxide to even give a headache after half an hour of continuous exposure.
Graph 3: CO emissions from three different types of diesel engine: a precombustion chamber diesel (A), 37 a turbulent cell diesel engine (B) 37 and an undivided chamber diesel engine (C). 38 The heavy vertical line marking a fuel/air ratio of 0.055 has been added by the author.As one starts to impose loads on these engines, thereby in effect increasing the fuel/air ratios, the carbon monoxide levels actually decrease at first. Only as one approaches full load, represented by the solid heavy line in the figure, do the carbon monoxide levels rise significantly to a maximum of 0.1% at a fuel/air ratio of 0.055.
6.3 Undivided Chamber DieselsThe uppermost emission curve in Graph 3 (Engine C) shows that an undivided chamber diesel still produces only about 0.03% carbon monoxide at idle, which is not enough to cause a headache after half an hour of exposure. However, as increasing loads are imposed on such an engine, the carbon monoxide levels do eventually rise rather sharply, and at full load, represented by the heavy vertical line, the carbon monoxide level is indeed at about 0.4%. In other words, here we have a diesel which looks as if it could have been used to commit mass murder in half an hour.
The problem for this engine, and for all diesels, is that to operate at full load continuously for long periods, such as half an hour at a time, would involve severe risks of fouling and damage from accumulated solids inside the cylinders. If operating at lower and safer fuel/air ratios than 0.055, which would also be lower loads, the carbon monoxide emission levels drop very dramatically. For example, at 80% of full load, which is generally regarded as the safe maximum for continuous operation and which occurs at a fuel/air ratio of about 0.045, the carbon monoxide level is only 0.13%.
That the emission curve for Engine C in Graph 3 is indeed typical of all diesel engines over the last fifty years is attested to by the fact that these particular curves have been referred to and are still being referred to in countless journals and books on diesel emissions to this very day. In other words, there are no better examples of diesel emissions. To be sure, there are many other test results which one can find in reputable automotive journals such as the Society of Automotive Engineers Transactions. But if one takes the trouble to look through the SAE Transactions of the last forty years, as well as through other journals, one will not find any examples of worse carbon monoxide emissions than the top curve in Graph 3. Our analysis of engine type C represents the worst case that can be found anywhere for any diesel engine. 39
6.4 Oxygen in Diesel ExhaustWould it be possible that the Jews in the gas chambers died from the effects of reduced oxygen levels in the diesel exhaust? Such a theory would at least be consistent with the claim that the corpses were "blue". It requires, however, that the lack of oxygen was not replaced by the CO. A bluish coloring to certain parts of a corpse is indeed a symptom of death from lack of oxygen in the absence of CO. However, this theory is not very likely, because the victims would then have had to suffocate in the gas chambers without any gassing.
Graph 4: Composition of the exhaust from combustion engines. 40
The heavy vertical line marking a fuel/air ratio of 0.055 has been added by the author.
Diesels normally operate with a great excess of air. Normal air contains 21% oxygen. In Graph 4 we see that the oxygen concentration corresponding to idle in the exhaust of any diesel engine (divided or undivided chamber), shown at the right of the graph at a fuel/air ratio of 0.01, is 18%, which is just a few percent less than one finds in normal air. At full load, which corresponds to a fuel/air ratio of 0.055, the oxygen concentration in the exhaust of any diesel engine is 4%.
Probably the best discussion of the effects of reduced oxygen levels, or asphyxia, is provided by Henderson and Haggard, according to whom an oxygen content of less than 10% causes loss of consciousness, and one of less than 6% is fatal. 41 According to Haldane and Priestley, "air containing less than 9.5 per cent of oxygen would ordinarily cause disablement within half an hour." 42 Disablement is still not death.
It is clear that there is no magic number below which death would occur, or above which life would continue. However, for any gas chamber relying upon reduced oxygen as the killing method, one would have to reduce the oxygen to below 9.5% - perhaps even below 6%. It is also clear that the effects of any given oxygen level are also dependent on the CO level, exactly analogous to the relationship that has already been shown for the effective CO-concentration (Section 5).
From Graph 4 we see that to reduce the oxygen concentration in the exhaust to just 9%, any diesel would have to operate at a fuel/air ratio of about 0.040, which corresponds to about 3/4 of full load. To reduce the oxygen concentration to as low as 6%, a diesel would have to operate at close to full load. In other words, any diesel gas chamber relying on the reduction of oxygen as a killing method would have to operate at more than 3/4 of full load.
From the above it should be obvious that over most of their operating ranges, diesels discharge sufficient oxygen so that one can literally inhale pure diesel exhaust and survive on the oxygen in the exhaust. From idle to at least 3/4 of full load, diesel exhaust contains sufficient oxygen to sustain human life for at least half an hour.
6.5 Combined Analysis of Carbon Monoxide and Oxygen LevelsTable 4 shows the carbon monoxide levels, for various load ranges, of the diesel engine type with the worst emission values, ie. Engine C from Graph 3. Since the oxygen content of the exhaust decreases with increasing load, it too must be considered, as already set out in the previous. The relation between the O2 content in the exhaust and the normal oxygen content of the air (21%) produces the aforementioned factor FO2 with which the actual CO content must be multiplied in order to determine the toxicologically effective CO content (see Section 5).
This shows that the desired, high effective CO content that guarantees the death of all the victims within half an hour ("0.4 to 0.8%") can only be attained near full load.
|Load range||Air: fuel ratio||O2-content [%]||COmax content [%]||FO2||CO eff[%] at 21% O2|
Table 4: Effective CO-Content of Diesel Exhaust 43
6.6 Engine LoadingAside from the smoke problem, merely to impose a full load on any engine is far from easy. For example, if one has a truck, a full load can be imposed on the engine by first filling the truck with a heavy cargo and then racing the vehicle up a steep hill at maximum speed with the accelerator to the floor. Under that condition one would probably be putting out about 0.4% CO from the exhaust pipe if the truck's engine were an undivided chamber diesel. However, if the truck is parked in a driveway, it is far more difficult to impose a full load on the engine. Simply 'racing' the engine with the transmission in neutral will put no more than a few percent of load on the engine. Letting the clutch slip and stepping on the accelerator may impose a somewhat greater load on the engine but the clutch will rapidly burn out. Jacking up the rear end of the vehicle and applying the brakes while racing the engine will impose a somewhat greater load but the brake linings will rapidly burn out.
The only way to realistically impose a significant load on any engine is by attaching to the engine some kind of brake dynamometer or other loading device, such as a generator with an electrical load.
Brake dynamometers could have been available and the Germans must have had many, but they are hardly the kind of equipment that one finds in typical auto repair shops even today. They are generally only available in well-equipped engineering testing laboratories. They cost much more than the engine to which they are attached, since they are not mass-produced.
A generator arrangement seems more plausible since places such as Treblinka and Belzec would have needed electricity, even if only to keep the barbed wire charged and the lights burning, and also because the rural areas of these camps in East Poland were probably not connected to a ubiquitous power supply in those days. However, such arrangement suggests a continuous operation of both the generator and the diesel engine, which is contrary to the Gerstein Statement. According to that statement, the engine was unable even to start for almost three hours prior to the actual gassing. There is nothing in the statement to even remotely suggest that the engine served any other purpose than to kill Jews. If it had had a dual purpose, for example to also drive a generator, one could have expected some comment about the lights going on as the gassings began - but there is nothing of the sort. In fact, eyewitnesses for the Treblinka camp claim that the same building where the 'gassing diesel' was housed also contained a second engine which operated independently of the first and which supplied electrical power to the camp. 44 In other words, these accounts specifically show this generator not to be related to those engines that were allegedly used to produce poison gas, just as accounts of the poison gas engines never suggest any other, continuous use of those engines. On the contrary: accounts describing the engine being started, the command given to the engine operator to start the engine - "Ivan, water!" (Treblinka) - or similar events for Belzec ("Heckenholt Foundation") appear not only in the Gerstein Statement, but run like a central theme through all of the eyewitness literature.
From documents of the Central Construction Management of Auschwitz we know that the SS provided this camp with emergency power facilities as back-up in the event of power failure from the public network, and that these emergency power facilities were German diesel engines with 440 hp continuous capacity for 250 kW current generators. 45 In other words, the fact that the witnesses state explicitly that the power facilities constantly running under some degree of load in Treblinka due to the lack of a power connection to a public network were operating in addition to the gassing engines which were put into operation only sporadically, is already an indication that something is wrong with this story. Anyone with half a brain would have tried to use the exhaust of the generator engine which was already in operation as well as running under load, instead of trying to use an additional engine for gassing purposes, especially a Russian tank engine which would have been impossible to repair in the event of break-down.
6.7 Artificial Reduction of OxygenAn effect similar to engine loading can be attained by reducing the oxygen entering the engine. 46 In their toxicological studies, Pattle et.al. used this method to simulate an undivided chamber diesel engine running under load because sufficient loading of the engine in stationary operation required too much material and the engines operating in idle and under light load produced no CO poisoning of the test animals. 47 Reduction of the air supply resulted in the engine being difficult to start, and firing only unreliably after starting; it began to operate properly only after a warm-up period. The CO content of the exhaust did not exceed the 0.22% benchmark. After flushing an experimental gas chamber repeatedly with the exhaust, the authors exposed 40 mice, 4 rabbits and 10 guinea-pigs to the exhaust. The animals took 3 hours and 20 minutes to succumb to CO poisoning. 48
The killing time in this experiment might perhaps be reduced a little if the air intake of the engine were reduced further after a warm-up period. However, to kill the animals within half an hour after the start of the gas inflow,49 ie. easily 7 times as fast as in the experiment described, the CO content would have to have been increased to at least 0.4%, and probably to much more. The massive reduction in air intake required to achieve this, however, would no doubt negatively affect the engine firing to such a degree that it would stall. Thus, reducing the air intake is also not a viable solution to our problem.
As Table 4 shows, the CO content of 0.22%, which was used throughout the entire gassing time in this animal experiment and could not be increased further, corresponded to an effective CO content of 0.77% at 21% oxygen, or operation at the lower end of the full load range. But despite this high concentration the last of the 54 laboratory animals took three hours and 20 minutes to die! 47 This shows that even a constant effective concentration of 0.77% CO is unable to kill all victims within half an hour.
6.8 Diesel SmokeOne characteristic of diesel engines is that they tend to smoke, especially at low air/fuel ratios. The solid heavy line in Graph 3 represents the smoke limit that manufacturers have found necessary to protect their engines from excessive wear due to smoke and solids accumulations within the cylinders. As a practical matter, a diesel cannot be operated to the left of the solid heavy line with liquid fuels because, for one, the accumulations of smoke solids would destroy the engine within only a few minutes and, for another, such a greasy mixture would stall the engine. 50 The data shown to the left of the fuel/air ratio of 0.055 were only gathered because the researchers at the U. S. Bureau of Mines chose to test engines for theoretical reasons with gaseous fuel far beyond the normal, full load settings of the respective engines. 51 The data for clean gaseous fuel is irrelevant to our analysis because if the Germans had had a gaseous fuel for the diesel engines - for example, pure CO - they could have sent that gas directly to the gas chamber.
Operating any diesel engine under any substantial load, regardless of the particular design or engine type, would have led to the production of significant amounts of smoke. Smoke is generally also noticeable immediately after start-up, even at idle or under light load, when the engine has not yet had time to reach its normal operating temperature.
Pattle et.al. have found that an engine running at less than half load and producing 0.22% CO also produces extremely pungent, tear-inducing smoke which, if piped into a gas chamber, would reduce visibility to a mere foot or so. 47 Are we to believe that the Jews allegedly locked into the gas chambers patiently put up with this irritant? It should be no great surprise that there is no mention of any smoke from the diesel engine - black, white, dense or otherwise - anywhere in the Gerstein Statement or in any of the post-War trial testimony.
6.9 Aldehydes, Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides and HydrocarbonsThere are other pollutants in diesel exhaust besides carbon monoxide, primarily aldehydes (OCHR), sulphur dioxides (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx, max. 0.1%), and hydrocarbons (CxHy). The smell or stench for which diesel engines are notorious is caused by trace amounts of certain hydrocarbons and aldehydes which the most modern analytical instruments can just barely identify, let alone measure. The sensitivity of the human nose to these compounds is, however, extremely high and out of all proportion to the actual quantities present. Some of the hydrocarbons contained in the exhaust are carcinogenic and thus represent a potential long-term hazard, but they are irrelevant to our study.
The sulphur dioxide content of the exhaust, which can be fairly high for sulphurous fuels, causes irritation of the respiratory tract, but these irritations cannot become critically dangerous within the time frame at issue.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), if present in high concentrations, can cause edema of the lungs after half an hour's exposure, but it is fatal only after about 24 hours. 52 One-time, brief exposure to the lower concentrations of NO2 of interest to us here, however, results merely in irritations of the lungs and mucous membranes, as do any sulphur oxides potentially present, so that we do not need to consider them further. Nitrogen monoxide (NO), on the other hand, has physiologically similar effects as CO. 53 Unlike CO, however, its concentrations decrease with decreasing oxygen concentrations in the combustion process, ie. with higher load, and do not attain any levels critical to health. 54 Furthermore, NO converts quite rapidly to NO2, 55 so that the NO concentration enhances the effects of the CO in the exhaust only imperceptibly.
The peroxide-(ozone-)forming effects of nitrous oxides near ground level as well as primarily the carcinogenic components of diesel exhaust were the reason for which diesel engines have recently also been subjected to emission guidelines - the reason was not that they pose a danger to human respiration. This is why the studies conducted in Germany of health hazards posed by diesel exhaust were almost entirely confined to analyses of the proportions of smoke solids and non-combusted hydrocarbons. 56
6.10 Carbon DioxideIf the Jews were not killed with carbon monoxide or from a lack of oxygen, could they have died instead from the effects of carbon dioxide? Carbon dioxide is not really any more poisonous than ordinary water. Most toxicology handbooks do not even mention it. When mentioned at all, it is generally classified as a "non-toxic, simple asphyxiant". There are occasional accidental fatalities where carbon dioxide is directly involved. Death in almost all such cases is caused by a lack of oxygen. The lack of oxygen is caused by the fact that the carbon dioxide is much heavier than oxygen and will, especially in an enclosed space, displace oxygen in the same way that water will displace air in the lungs of a drowning man. Chemically speaking, the cause of death in either situation is not the carbon dioxide or the water, but rather the lack of oxygen in the blood. One symptom of this kind of death is a bluish appearance of the skin.
Carbon dioxide can be beneficial and therapeutic. 57 It is commonly used in clinical medicine as a harmless stimulant for respiration, for which purpose it is supplied under pressure in cylinders (Carbogen) containing oxygen and 7% carbon dioxide. 58 Normally, when a person exhales, the air leaving the lungs contains about 5.5% carbon dioxide.
Levels of 3% carbon dioxide are quite tolerable for exposures lasting several days. For example, in the 1950s the U. S. Navy experimented with gas mixtures containing 3% carbon dioxide and 15% oxygen, ie. 25% less oxygen than in normal air, for use in American submarines with exposures lasting up to several weeks. 59
For diesel engines, the carbon dioxide level at or near idle is only about 2% and gradually increases to about 12% at full load as shown in Graph 4. A carbon dioxide level of 12% may cause cardiac irregularity and may therefore be dangerous for people with weak hearts. 60 In contrast to diesels, gasoline engines already produce 12% at idle. In general, if enough oxygen is available, a carbon dioxide level even as high as 12% is not likely to cause death. It is generally accepted that only carbon dioxide concentrations of greater than 20 to 30% are dangerous. 61 However, when the carbon dioxide level is as high as 12% in diesel exhaust, the corresponding oxygen level is dangerously low.
The only real danger to life from diesel exhaust arises not from any secondary components, but strictly from the lack of oxygen combined with low CO levels.
7. Diesel Gas Chamber Operation
7.1 The Concentration of Poison GasIf the exhaust pipe from a diesel engine is connected to a gas chamber, the carbon monoxide concentration will initially be extremely low and the oxygen level will initially be high. (Since the doors of a gas chamber had to be opened to remove victims already killed and to allow the next intended victims to enter, fresh air had to have entered the chamber also.) As soon as the diesel engine starts and as more and more diesel exhaust is introduced into the gas chamber, the carbon monoxide concentration will gradually rise to the level directly inside the exhaust pipe of the diesel engine, without ever being able to exceed that level.
It is impossible to determine from the Gerstein Statement how long it would have taken before the CO concentration in the gas chamber equaled that in the exhaust, because Gerstein does not provide nearly enough information about the engine type and the gas chamber in Belzec.
We have somewhat better information with regard to the Treblinka camp. The eyewitness statements that have been gathered and published to date about the gas chambers there are numerous indeed, albeit contradictory at times. However, it is largely agreed upon today that the larger and thus the more important of the two gas chamber buildings in Treblinka allegedly consisted of 10 chambers, each of which measured 8 m in length, 4 m in width and 2 m in height, ie. totaling 320 m2 in area and 640 m3 in volume. The chambers were allegedly filled with the exhaust of only one Russian diesel tank engine of 38.86 l cubic capacity. 62 The total area of 320 m2 thus attested to could surely not have held more than 3,200 persons at one time. 63 Given an average body volume of 75 l, these people would have taken up a space of 240 m3, leaving about 400 m3 air volume.
The Russian tank engines of those days had a maximum of 2,000 rpm. 64 Since a four-stroke engine discharges the contents of its cylinders only every second[? VD] stroke, an engine running at this number of rpm blows an exhaust volume of one thousand times its cubic capacity into the chamber per minute, ie. 38.86 m3. Therefore, after a little more than ten minutes enough exhaust would have been discharged to fill the entire air volume of the gas chambers one time. The eyewitnesses claim that the gas chambers were sealed hermetically, in other words, air-tight,44 but for technical reasons this could not have been possible, as there would have to have been openings through which the excess gases could have escaped. 65 However, since not only the fresh air would have escaped through holes or cracks, but the diesel exhaust as well, and since the victims would have removed part of the carbon monoxide from the exhaust by their respiration, it would have required at least a two-fold replacement of the room volume with diesel exhaust to fill the chamber entirely with the exhaust. At 2,000 rpm, therefore, one cannot expect that the CO content of the chamber would have reached the level of the exhaust itself in anything under 20 minutes after the start of the gassing procedure. If a reduction of air intake had produced a 0.24% CO content in the exhaust in the worst case, then the average CO concentration in the chamber would have approximated 0.12%.66 The full 0.24% CO would have been available for no more than the last ten minutes of the gassing, which took 30 minutes at most. However, neither the 20 minutes at 0.12% on average, nor the additional 10 minutes at 0.24% CO, suffice to kill human beings in such short times.
In the animal experiment previously described, 47 a real CO concentration of 0.22% which was already established at the start and which, considering the reduced oxygen content, corresponded to an effective concentration of about 0.77%, took more than three hours to kill comprehensively. It is thus reasonable to suppose that in a similar gassing attempt with human subjects and with an only gradually increasing CO concentration, the majority of the people locked into the gas chambers would still be alive after one or even two hours.
7.2 Noise and VibrationIn addition to their smoke and smell, diesel engines are also notorious for their intense noise and vibration. Because of their higher compression ratios, lower rpms, and the type of combustion, the amount of vibration that diesels produce is substantially greater than that of any comparably sized gasoline engine. The noise and vibration are among the major reasons why diesels have not generally been used in automobiles.
If the 12-cylinder, V-type diesel engine from a typical Soviet T-34 tank with a rated capacity of 500 hp had been mounted on the floor of a small building and had been operated for half an hour at more than 3/4 of full load, ie. at more than 375 hp, the noise and vibration would have been at least as noteworthy and as wildly spectacular as the wailing of any victims - and yet, there is no mention of any such noise or vibration in the Gerstein Statement or in any of the post-War trial testimony.
7.3 Diesels for Mass Murder?Without some understanding of the basic characteristics of diesel engines, the method that would have come to mind most readily for any would-be mass murderer would have been to simply mount a diesel engine on the floor of a building and direct the exhaust into some adjoining rooms without any provisions for artificial load on the engine. Such an arrangement would have annoyed the hell out of any group of intended victims, but would have given them nothing worse than a headache. The headache would have been due to the stench and smoke and noise but certainly not to carbon monoxide or to lack of oxygen. As a method for committing mass murder it would have been a fiasco.
For any diesel arrangement to have been even marginally effective for mass murder, it would have required an exceptionally well-informed team of individuals to know and do all that was necessary. They would have had to be familiar with the carbon monoxide and oxygen emission curves for their particular engine. Such information above and beyond the usual environmental pollution data is probably not known even today by most engineers. The gas chamber designers would also have had to know either 1) how to impose and maintain an engine load of more than 3/4 of full load on their engine since anything less would just not have been enough, or 2) how to combine the artificial reduction of the oxygen supply with a certain degree of engine loading to achieve the same effect. If they had overloaded the engine, or had operated it for too long at or near full load (more than 80% of full load is generally considered unsafe for continuous operation), they might after each gassing have had to overhaul and perhaps replace the engine because of fouling and damage from engine smoke. Merely to gather and properly assemble the appropriate equipment, including the equipment for imposing and controlling an artificial load, would have been a major undertaking which would have required the expertise of experienced engineers, not just ordinary auto mechanics. The mounting of the engine (500 hp!) on the floor of the building would have required a proper foundation with some provision to isolate vibrations so as to avoid tearing the building apart.
The all-important question is: if any persons had been smart enough and resourceful enough to know and do all that was necessary to make a workable diesel gas chamber, why would they have bothered to try and use a diesel engine in the first place? For all their efforts they would have had a gas chamber which at the very most would still have been only marginally effective at its morbid task. For all their efforts they would have had an average concentration of less than 0.4% carbon monoxide and more than 4% oxygen. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given them ten times as much carbon monoxide at idle as any comparably sized diesel at full load. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine would easily have given them 7% carbon monoxide and less than 1% oxygen. If one had tampered with the carburetor, one could probably have had as much as 12% carbon monoxide by merely turning one small screw, namely the idle-mixture adjustment screw. Comparing the two types of engines with both operating at idle or under light load, the difference is even more dramatic. At idle or under light load any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given more than one hundred times as much carbon monoxide as any comparably sized diesel.
The diesel gas chamber story is incredible on these grounds alone. However, the story becomes even more incredible when one discovers that far better sources of carbon monoxide, better even than gasoline engines, were readily available to the Germans. Those other sources did not require either diesel fuel or gasoline.
8. Half a Million Poison Gas Generators on Wheels - Never Used for the Mass Murder!During World War Two most European countries relied for most of their non-military vehicular transport needs upon vehicles which used neither gasoline nor diesel, but burned solid fuels such as wood, coke, or coal instead. The solid fuel, which was generally wood, was first converted into a mixture of combustible gases by burning in a generator, usually mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The gases were then withdrawn from the generator and burned in a modified gasoline or diesel engine located at the front of the vehicle. The combustible gas produced in this way always contained between 18% and 35% carbon monoxide. But the exhaust of engines operated with this gas never contained above 0.3% CO, since the CO was combusted in the engine. 67
In German-speaking parts of Europe, these vehicles were called Generatorgaswagen, or simply Gaswagen. If they burned wood, which most of them did, they were also called Holzgaswagen, which translates literally as 'woodgaswagons'. In English-speaking countries these vehicles were generally called 'producer gas vehicles'. However, they could just as appropriately have been called 'poison gas vehicles', because that is precisely what they were - the gas which they produced was extremely poisonous. The operation of these vehicles required special safety procedures as well as special government-approved training and licensing of the many hundreds of thousands of drivers who drove these vehicles daily throughout most of the War in German-occupied Europe. 68
Every driver of a producer gas vehicle was required to know and comply with the following guidelines and to keep them at hand in the vehicle: 69
"Safety Guidelines for Producer Gas VehiclesWherever possible, liquid fuels had to be reserved for the military, at least for the duration of the War. But this poison gas technology would also be useful when peacetime returned. The interest with which even Adolf Hitler himself followed the developments in vehicular producer gas technology is demonstrated by the following statement, made by him on the occasion of a demonstration of Mercedes-Benz heavy goods vehicles with Mercedes-Benz gas producers for coal: 70
"dated November 28, 1942.
"The gas from the gas producing facility contains up to 35% carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide can be fatal at concentrations as low as 0.1% when inhaled. Therefore there is a danger of poisoning, especially when starting the fire and during refilling!
"Start and refill the gas producer only out-of-doors! Do not linger unnecessarily near the exhaust pipe. Do not let engines run in garages.
"Everyone who handles gas producers must learn what is necessary to ensure their orderly and safe operation. The operation guidelines issued by the manufacturers of the gas producer must be followed strictly, and kept at hand in the vehicle. Furthermore, a copy of these guidelines is to be kept with the vehicle documents of each producer gas vehicle [...]"
"Vehicles of this kind will retain their special significance after the War as well; for given the trend towards increasing motorization, we will never have a surplus of liquid fuel and will always be dependent on imports. The additional domestic fuels thus benefit our own national economy."As early as autumn 1941 some 150,000 generator vehicles were in use in Germany and the areas controlled by her; the conversion of these vehicles to this fuel source resulted in a monthly savings of about 45 million liters of liquid fuel. The goal was "to free every bit of dispensable fuel for the Wehrmacht." 71 By the end of the War the total number of producer gas vehicles in the then German-occupied parts of Europe had risen to more than 500,000. 72
On May 30, 1942, Reichsmarschall GÃ¶ring established a "Generator Central Office" for his Four-Year Plan, with the task "to boost generator production, to determine new types on the basis of the fuel situation at hand, to develop new solid fuels for use in the generator, and to develop suitable processes for preparation and low-temperature carbonization etc." 73 GÃ¶ring stated:74
"I refer to the explanations in my aforementioned decree, regarding the urgency of making Germany as well as the occupied territories and dependent lands largely independent of liquid fuel as quickly as possible, and would ask you to vigorously support the efforts of the Central Office through the increased use of generators."As the War drew on, conversion to solid fuel became more and more pressing. On September 22, 1942, Reich Minister Speer, acting in his capacity as plenipotentiary for armament matters (GBRÃ¼st), ordered the conversion of all medium and heavy goods vehicles and omnibuses in all German-occupied regions. 75 One year later the GBRÃ¼st's amendment of September 13, 1943 eliminated all these restrictions. Now the conversion of all commercial vehicles was ordered. 76 after the War, in a long report about German oil production, the U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey stated that even some of the best German tanks, 50 KÃ¶nigstiger, had been operated with producer gas just before the War's end. 77
Illustration 1: A typical gaswagon which had originally been a conventional bus but which was subsequently retro-fitted with a gas-generator and a Saurer engine. 78The vast number of wood gas vehicles that were in use everywhere in German-occupied Europe, as well as the fervor with which the Germans developed ever more new vehicles and uses for this gas technology, are facts which undermine the Holocaust story as a whole. If the Germans had ever intended to commit mass murder with carbon monoxide, they would without a doubt have introduced this gassing technology long before they would ever have come up with the idiotic idea of using diesel exhaust.
Eichmann and the other 'transportation experts' who were involved in the 'total solution of the Jewish problem', which indeed was primarily a transportation problem, would certainly have been fully aware of these vehicles and their unique properties. For example, each generator had a starter blower which was operated with either a small electric motor or by hand. It would have been ridiculously easy to attach a hose or the like to the exhaust of the blower in order to channel poison gas into a cellar, a barracks or a prison - but nowhere in all the extensive Holocaust literature is any such technology even hinted at.
And on top of all this there is the fact that this self same producer gas technology with its highly poisonous carbon monoxide gases actually was used in the Third Reich to gas rats and other vermin. According to the subject literature from the Third Reich, this fumigation technology, produced and distributed by the firm of Nocht-Giemsa, was "very common." 79 And yet no-one thought to make use of this obvious, practical, effective, simple and cheap technology...
What all this means is that either those terrible SS men were very stupid and dreadfully incompetent in technical matters, or - and this is far more likely - the diesel gas chamber story is false.
9. Gas Vehicles for Mass Murder?
9.1 The Diesel Vans of ChelmnoThe gas generator vehicles are not the same as the 'gas vans' that were allegedly used for mass murder in Chelmno and by the Einsatzgruppen in Russia, despite the circumstance that the word used in German for both kinds of vehicles is sometimes the same. According to all the 'evidence' that has been submitted, the murderous 'gas vans' were ordinary heavy goods vehicles whose diesel exhaust, generated in idle, was allegedly used as lethal gas. On the whole, the 'gas vans' story is built on a strange document known as IMT Document PS-501 and which in my opinion is a fake. It is based on an innocuous letter from SS-UntersturmfÃ¼hrer Becker to SS-ObersturmbannfÃ¼hrer Walther Rauff. This letter mentions modifications to an S-vehicle 80 of unknown use and purpose. It seems to have been rewritten, and endowed with several changes in content so as to give it incriminating significance. Further, there are several different versions of this 'document', which has been critically assessed in the present volume by Ingrid Weckert. 81
9.2 Origins of the Diesel StoryAs far as I was able to find out, the diesel murder method has its origins in mid-1943 Soviet propaganda. A short time earlier, the German discovery of the massacre of Katyn had exposed the Soviets' true colors. Moreover, the Germans had openly invited internationally renowned forensic scientists so that these could perform their own examinations of the victims of Katyn. 82
To avenge themselves on the Germans for the embarrassment of Katyn, the Soviets staged show trials a few months later in Char'kov and Krasnodar. In the course of these trials the unfortunate German prisoners provided 'confessions'. However, the Soviets denied any and all non-Soviet experts access to the alleged sites of the massacres. At the start of these trials the Soviets accused the Germans of having driven civilians into the countryside in trucks; after these trucks containing the victims were parked, the engine exhaust was allegedly piped into the interior, and the victims expired shortly thereafter.
In this scenario - given the worst possible case - the diesel engines would have been revved in idle. The CO concentrations produced under such conditions would hardly have sufficed to cause a headache in half an hour.
Some of these trucks were said to have been manufactured by the firm of Saurer. 81 The ironic part of this tale is that even before the War Saurer was reputedly the world's foremost manufacturer of producer gas trucks. During the War this firm gained the technological lead in the heavy goods vehicle market over the firms of Mercedes, Opel and Ford, who were also manufacturing producer gas vehicles. More than 6,000 of these Saurer trucks were built during the War, and most if not all of them were operated with producer gas and diesel. How absurd it is that anyone with even a minimum of technical understanding should have tried to use the exhaust from these trucks for murder, when the fuel itself was a thousand times more deadly!
A television series, produced during the collapse of the Soviet Union and aired in the United States in 1993, provided further insight into the Soviet origins of the gas vans tale. The four-part broadcast was titled "Monster: A Portrait of Stalin in Blood." At one point in the second part, titled "Stalin's Secret Police", KGB officer Alexander Michailov mentions that the gas trucks were invented in Moscow by Isai Davidovich Berg - no relation to this author - and were already in use a few years before the War. According to Michailov, these may have served as a model for Hitler's SS and the Gestapo. The air-tight trucks probably used exhaust high in CO; diesel engines were not mentioned. This is easily explained, since all pre-War trucks in the Soviet Union had gasoline engines. There were no diesel engines, as the entire transportation system in the USSR was based on earlier, Western engine types such as that of Ford Motor Cie. It is more than likely that the Soviet allegations of gas trucks are based on the Soviets' own mass murder technology, to which they added diesel engines so as to make them seem even more sinister and, most of all, to make their origins appear 'more German'.
So the gas van story is merely an adaptation by the Holocaust propagandists of some documentary materials relating to the perfectly innocent use of producer gas vehicles, supported of course by appropriate 'eyewitness' testimony generated after the War. It is within the gas van story that one clearly sees in miniature the evolutionary process of the larger, general Holocaust story.
10. An Empire Built On Coal, Air and WaterIn addition to the producer gas technology, the Germans had the world's most advanced coal gasification technology. 83 One of the first steps in most of the coal gasification processes was to produce carbon monoxide from coal. The carbon monoxide could then be used either as fuel or as an intermediate step in the synthesis of other products.
"War-time Germany was an empire built on coal, air and water. 84.5% of her aviation fuel, 85% of her motor fuel, more than 99% of all her rubber, 100% of her concentrated nitric acid - the base substance for all military explosives - and 99% of her no less important methanol were synthesized from these three raw materials. [...] Coal gasification facilities, where coal was converted into producer gas, were the body of this industrial organism." 84Because of Germany's isolation from adequate sources of petroleum and natural rubber, she had already converted much of her industry during World War One to use coal as a substitute source of hydrocarbons for making synthetic liquid fuels as well as a vast assortment of chemical substances, including synthetic rubber. The quantities of carbon monoxide that were produced as part of this technology measured in the millions of tons and would have been more than enough to kill the entire population of Europe many times over.
Coal gasification plants were located in all of Germany's industrial regions. One region containing several such plants was Silesia, where the abundance of coal had for more than a century been the basis of that region's industry. One Silesian facility was the I. G. Farben plant at Auschwitz, a small portion of whose carbon monoxide could easily have been diverted through a small pipeline to Auschwitz-Birkenau only a few miles away. Of course, no one alleges that carbon monoxide was ever used for mass murder at Auschwitz although that would have been an ideal place for it. For mass murder at Auschwitz, the Germans supposedly used a completely different substance, Zyklon B. 85
11. The Failure of Evasive ActionA marvelous attempt at evasive action took place almost ten years ago in the Holocaust story. Several leading Holocaust proponents tried very hard to drop the diesel claim and not to mention the engine type any longer or, alternately, to speak only of gasoline engines. This amazing transmutation took place in the book Nationalsozialistische MassentÃ¶tungen durch Giftgas, published in Germany in 1983. 86 The book represents the state of Holocaust mythomania in the first half of the 1980s and was recommended by the World Jewish Congress in London. 87
The clumsy juggling of evidence which characterizes this book is exemplified by the fact that although the Gerstein Statement refers to diesel engines four times, the portion which is quoted in this supposedly definitive rebuttal of the Revisionists does not mention the diesels at all, nor does it even describe the alleged killing process. 88 For a description of the killing process that Gerstein supposedly witnessed, the book gives a piece of post-War testimony by Dr. Pfannenstiel in which there is also no mention of the use of diesels, but only of the use of diesel fuel in the engine. 89 How one could possibly have operated a gasoline engine with diesel fuel is, of course, left to the imagination. The fact is that any gasoline engine simply would not operate with diesel fuel (and vice versa).
A fatal flaw in the new, non-diesel version is the retention of the recurrent claim that the corpses were "blue". Although any possible death from diesel exhaust would have been due to lack of oxygen, which would in turn have caused a bluish appearance of the corpse, death from gasoline engine exhaust would 'only' have been due to carbon monoxide and could 'only' have caused a distinctive 'cherry red' or 'pink' appearance. Although Pfannenstiel's post-War testimony is generally less wild than the Gerstein Statement, nonetheless he and other 'eyewitnesses' also repeated the claim that the corpses were "blue". 90
Anyone who reads the complete Gerstein Statement cannot help but realize that this 'statement' poses grave problems for the revised version of the Holocaust tale. That this 'statement', even in a severely abbreviated form, was included in this book at all only goes to show how desperately the Holocaust scholars are scraping together anything and everything they have in support of their monstrous fantasy. They have precious little, and the 'Gerstein Statement' is still the best evidence they can present.
The new 'revised' version of the Holocaust story is actually more absurd than the old version. Although it might be remotely possible for an engineer to have mistaken a gasoline engine for a diesel engine, how could anyone possibly have mistaken 'red' for 'blue'? Perhaps they were all color blind?
The diesel gas chamber claim is rubbish - apparently some of the Exterminationists themselves recognize that now. However, the alternate claim that gasoline engine exhaust was used instead is rubbish also, since it contradicts the only alleged evidence that is available, namely the statements of the witnesses. For this reason the Holocaust pundits have since returned to the old story: the 1993 EnzyklopÃ¤die des Holocaust 91 agrees with the Jerusalem verdict 92 about Demjanjuk's alleged crimes in Treblinka as well as with the findings of German courts: 93 they were diesel engines, like it or lump it! 94
12. ConclusionIt must be conceded that it would have been remotely possible to commit the deeds alleged for Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor with diesel engines. However, it would certainly have required an inordinate amount of expertise and determination as well as either a large technical apparatus to impose load on the diesel engines - which is not even remotely indicated by the eyewitness testimony - or, alternately, a thorough understanding of the artificial reduction of the air supply to the engines. Even had all these elements and conditions been met, the would-be murderers would ultimately have had an arrangement which at best (worst?) would still have been only marginally effective at its morbid, hours-long task. There is no doubt: it would be hard to come up with a mass murder method that would be more awkward and more inefficient than this one. Even if it is conceivable that some deranged minds may have tried for a time to commit murder with diesel exhaust, after a few tries it would have become apparent to even the most demented fiend that something better was needed. If the Nazis ever had intended to commit mass murder with CO, they would doubtless have availed themselves of the ubiquitous producer gas technology. Five hundred thousand wood gas vehicles are the incontrovertible proof.
In the end, one must accept from the eyewitness testimony that the diesel motors were operated at idle or under light load. And under such conditions, no diesel engines ever built are or were capable of committing the alleged mass murder.
Illustration 2: Development of the generator facilities in the Ostmark.
1. This chapter is an expanded and revised edition of F. P. Berg's article The Diesel Gas Chambers - Myth Within a Myth", The Journal of Historical Review (JHR) 5(1) (1984): 15-46.
2. The history of, and public reactions to, this travesty of justice are described in the following chapter by A. Neumaier.
3. New York Times, March 17, 1990; The Washington Post, March 19, 1990; repeated on "This Week with David Brinkley", ABC television, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1991.
4. The New Republic, Oct. 22, 1990; G. F. Will, Newsweek, March 4, 1996.
5. cf. the chapter by W. Rademacher, this volume, as well as: afp, "Ã–sterreicher bestreitet Holocaust", SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung, March 13, 1992, p. 10; Neue Kronenzeitung, April 20, 1993; "Ein rauhes LÃ¼ftl," Bau 5/1995, p. 8; "Rechte Gutachten," Profil, June 20, 1994; E. Kosmath, letter to the editor, Bau 11/1994; ARA, "LÃ¼ftl wieder in Kammer, 'Schwieriges Problem'", Standard (Vienna), Sept. 19, 1994.
6. W. LÃ¼ftl, "Sollen LÃ¼gen kÃ¼nftig Pflicht sein?", Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 41(1) (1993): 13f.
7. J. Bailer, in: Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wolfgang Benz, Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), Wahrheit und AuschwitzlÃ¼ge, Vienna: Deuticke, 1995; cf. G. Rudolf, "Zur Kritik an 'Wahrheit und AuschwitzlÃ¼ge'", in: Vrij Historisch Onderzoek (ed.), Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte, Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, Postbus 60, B-2600 Berchem 2, 1996.
8. cf. the chapters by G. Rudolf, this volume.
9. R. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961, p. 572; German ed.: Die Vernichtung der europÃ¤ischen Juden, Berlin: Olle & Wolter, 1982, p. 604.
10. Updated with information from the Institut fÃ¼r Zeitgeschichte.
11. Maximum figure given by F. Golczewski in: W. Benz, Dimension des VÃ¶lkermords, Munich: Oldenbourg, 1991, p. 495.
12. From 9 million to 680,000, depending on the source. At the moment, 1 million is the officially espoused figure; cf. the chapter by G. Rudolf and E. Gauss, this volume.
13. R. Hilberg, op. cit. (Note 9), Eng. ed. p. 562.
14. William B. Lindsey, "Zyklon B, Auschwitz, and the Trial of Dr. Bruno Tesch," JHR 4(3) (1983): 261-303.
15. H. Roques, Faut-il fusiller Henri Roques?, Paris: Ogmios Diffusion, 1986; abbrev. German ed.: H. Roques, Die 'GestÃ¤ndnisse' des Kurt Gerstein, Leoni: Druffel, 1986; cf. D. Felderer, JHR 1(1) (1980): 69-80; D. Felderer, JHR 1(2) (1980): 169-172; C. Mattogno, Il rapporto Gerstein - Anatomia di un falso, Monfalcone: Sentinella d'Italia, 1985; cf. Raul Hilberg, "Expert's admission: Some gas death 'facts' nonsense," Toronto Sun, Jan. 17, 1985.
16. An example of gross distortions is Leon Poliakov, Harvest of Hate, New York: Schocken Books (Holocaust Library), 1979, p. 195 (French ed.: BrÃ©viaire de la Haine, Paris: Calman-Levy, 1951, pp. 220ff.).
17. Leon Poliakov, Harvest of Hate, New York: Schocken Books (Holocaust Library), 1979, p. 195.
18. This sentence is missing from the version given by H. Rothenfels (ed.), "Augenzeugenberichte zu den Massenvergasungen," Vierteljahrshefte fÃ¼r Zeitgeschichte 1 (1953): 177-194. Instead, Rothenfels substituted: "A strictly personal observation then follows."
19. Version T2, H. Roques, op. cit. (Note 15), German ed. p. 57.
20. Even closely crowded, 10 people per square meter are the maximum; cf. E. Neufert, Bauentwurfslehre, Wiesbaden: Vieweg, 1992, p. 27; cf. U. Walendy, Historische Tatsachen no. 29, Vlotho: Verlag fÃ¼r Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1985, p. 12: 46 persons will fit onto the 4.44 m2 load area of a heavy-goods vehicle, according to Quick, April 25, 1985.
21. Letter from Pfannenstiel to P. Rassinier, dated Aug. 3, 1963, published in: W. StÃ¤glich, U. Walendy, "NS-BewÃ¤ltigung," Historische Tatsachen no. 5, Southam (GB): Historical Review Press, 1979, p. 20.
22. Theory of E. Nolte in Streitpunkte, Berlin: 1993, pp. 309f.
23. Re. the toxicology of carbon monoxide, cf. eg.: W. Forth, D. Henschler, W. Rummel, K. Starke, Allgemeine und spezielle Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Mannheim: Wissenschaftsverlag, 1992, pp. 756ff.; S. Kaye, Handbook of Emergency Toxicology, Springfield: C. C. Thomas, 1980, pp. 187f.; C. J. Polson, R. N. Tattersall, Clinical Toxicology, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1969, pp. 604-621.
24. L. Poliakov, Harvest of Hate, op. cit. (Note 16), p. 196. Further typical and fundamental sources that speak of the use of diesel engines include: W. Grossmann, Die HÃ¶lle von Treblinka, M. oscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1947: death occurred within 10-20 minutes due to tank engine exhaust, sometimes also due to vacuum and steam; Eliahu Rosenberg, Tatsachenbericht, Jewish Historical Documentation, Dec. 24, 1947, p. 4: mass murder with diesel engine exhaust within 20 minutes; World Jewish Congress et.al. (eds.), The Black Book: The Nazi Crime Against the Jewish People, New York, 1946; reprint by Nexus Press, New York, 1981: no fewer than 3 million victims in Treblinka due to carbon monoxide from tank engines, sometimes also due to vacuum and steam.
25. W. Baker, M. Mossman, Effects of Exposure to Toxic Gases, East Rutherford: Matheson Gas Products, 1970, p. 12.
26. Y. Henderson, H. W. Haggard, Noxious Gases, New York: Reinhold Publishing, 1943, p. 168.
27. According to the eyewitness statements in: E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. RÃ¼ckerl et.al. (eds.), Nationalsozialistische MassentÃ¶tungen durch Giftgas, Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 1986, p. 159 (E. Fuchs, 10 mins.), p. 167 (K. A. Schluch, 5-7 mins.), p. 174 (K. Gerstein, 18 mins.), p. 181 (A. Goldfarb, 20-25 mins.), the gassing procedure allegedly sometimes took much less time.
28. F. E. Camps, Medical and Scientific Investigations in the Christie Case, London: Medical Publications Ltd., 1953, p. 170.
29. P. S. Myers, "Automobile Emissions - A Study in Environmental Benefits versus Technological Costs," Society of Automotive Engineers Transactions 79 (1970): section 1, paper 700182, p. 662.
30. Hbx CO - hemoglobin-carbon monoxide compound, the compound formed by CO and blood hemoglobin, whereby the oxygen (Hbx O2, oxyhemoglobin) becomes displaced.
31. Keith Simpson (ed.), Taylor's Principles and Practice of Medical Jurisprudence, London: J. & A. Churchill, 1965, pp. 366f.
32. The Soviets used gasoline engines (in models BT, T 28, T 35) as well as, after the mid-1930s, diesel engines (in models T 34, KW Ia, KW II) in their tanks; the heavy diesel engine of the T 34, model 'W2', was a V12 cylinder diesel (undivided chamber) with 550 hp, 38.86 l cubic capacity and a maximum 1900 rpm; cf. Augustin, Motortechnische Zeitschrift 5(4/5) (1943): 130-139; ibid., 5(6/7) (1943): 207-213; ibid., 6(1/2) (1944): 40; and H. Scheibert, Der russische Kampfwagen T-34 und seine Abarten, Friedberg: Podzun-Pallas Verlag, 1988. Sometimes diesel engines from submarines are also mentioned: Jochen von Lang, Eichmann Interrogated, New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1983, p. 75 (German ed.: Das Eichmann-Protokoll, Berlin, 1982, p. 72), mentions a Russian submarine; see also Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Leipzig; Reclam-Verlag, 1990, p. 181, who quotes a statement Eichmann made during the trial. The absurdity of alleging the use of a large submarine engine in the heart of Poland shows just how much stock should be put in such testimony.
33. In Germany as well, the emission levels from diesel engines have always been below the threshold values set by the Federal Emissions Regulation. This is why diesels were the only kind of engine to be exempt from the mandatory use of catalytic converters until 1994.
34. David F. Merrion, "Effect of Design Revisions on Two Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine Exhaust," Society of Automotive Engineers Transactions 77 (1968), paper 680422, p. 1535.
35. J. C. Holtz, "Safety with mobile diesel-powered equipment underground," Report of Investigations No. 5616, U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Washington, 1960, p. 67.
36. While the experiments involved, and their purpose, were discussed in numerous articles, the paper by J. C. Holtz, op. cit. (Note 35), is probably the best.
37. In the past 40 years the data from Graph 3 have been repeatedly used in the technical literature by numerous engineers. This shows, on the one hand, how reliable the data are that were used for this graph. On the other hand it also underlines the nature of this data as the worst possible emission curves of diesel engines. Two earlier works which drew on this graph are: H. H. Schrenk, L. B. Berger, "Composition of Diesel Engine Exhaust Gas", American Journal of Public Health 31(7) (1941): 674; and Martin A. Elliott, "Combustion of Diesel Fuels," Society of Automotive Engineers Quarterly Transactions 3(3) (1949): 509.
38. M. A. Elliott, "Combustion of Diesel Fuels," Society of Automotive Engineers Quarterly Transactions 4(3) (1950): 333.
39. D. Pankow, Toxikologie des Kohlenmonoxids, Berlin: VEB Verlag Volk und Gesundheit, 1981, p. 24, also states that diesel engines under full load do not produce more than 0.4% CO by volume.
40. Edward F. Obert, Internal Combustion Engines and Air Pollution, New York: Intext Educational Publishers, 1973, p. 361.
41. Y. Henderson, H. W. Haggard, op. cit. (Note 27), pp. 144-145.
42. J. S. Haldane, J. G. Priestley, Respiration, New Haven: Yale UP, 1935, pp. 223-224.
43. Based on the data from Graphs 3 and 4.
44. E. Fuchs, in: E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. RÃ¼ckerl et.al. (eds.), op. cit. (Note 26), p. 163: "[...] I set up a light machine in the extermination camp there, so that the barracks can be lit electrically..."; E. Roosevelt, A. Einstein et.al. (eds.), The Black Book of Polish Jewry, New York: Roy Publishers, 1943, pp. 142ff.: murder by means of steam, diesel engines for supplying power. Cf. also A. Donat (ed.), The Death Camp Treblinka, New York: Holocaust Library, 1979, p. 157, as well as the verdict of the DÃ¼sseldorf District Court in the Treblinka Trial, Ref. 8 I Ks 2/64, p. 300; Y. Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: University Press, 1987, p. 42.
45. KostenÃ¼berschlag Ã¼ber Notstromaggregate fÃ¼r K.G.L., Central Construction Management of the Waffen-SS and Police of Auschwitz, O./S., Oct. 26, 1942.
46. Since, unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines have no carburetor, and hence no idle-mixture adjustment screw, the fuel-air mixture cannot be altered in this way.
47. R. E. Pattle, H. Stretch, F. Burgess, K. Sinclair, J. A. G. Edginton, Brit. J. Industr. Med. 14 (1957): 47-55, here p. 48. Martin PÃ¤gert (http://www.eikon.e-technik.tu-muenchen.de/~rwulf/leuchter/leucht19.html writes correctly that animals did die in experiments even at light and partial load, but he withholds the fact that death occurred only after very many hours and due to various symptoms, such as edema of the lungs, which were not induced by CO; cf. Section 6.9.
48. Martin PÃ¤gert, (Note 47), uses the article by R. E. Pattle to underpin his view that it would have been possible to commit the mass murder with the diesel engines, but he studiously avoids any mention of how long this experiment took!
49. In the experiment by R. E. Pattle et.al., Note 47, the animals were put into a space already primed with the gas, but in our case the gas had yet to begin gradually filling the room! This is yet another factor which Martin PÃ¤gert withholds from his readers in his incorrect calculations, op. cit. (Note 47).
50. cf. the experiment by R. E. Pattle et.al., op. cit. (Note 47).
51. It is interesting to note that some people cite this data as proof that it is possible to attain high CO-levels with diesel engines: cf. Martin PÃ¤gert, Note 47. What is not mentioned, however, is that this is possible only with special, gaseous fuels, not with diesel fuel.
52. W. Forth et.al., op. cit. (Note 23), pp. 760ff.; M. Daunderer, Klinische Toxikologie, 33rd supplement 1/88, Landsberg: ecomed, 1988, pp. 1ff.
53. W. Forth et.al., op. cit. (Note 23), pp. 761, 765; M. Daunderer, Klinische Toxikologie, 34th supplement 2/88, Landsberg: ecomed, 1988, pp. 1ff.
54. cf. R. E. Pattle, H. Stretch, F. Burgess, K. Sinclair, J. A. G. Edginton, Brit. J. Industr. Med. 14 (1957): 47-55, here p. 50.
55. J. Falbe, M. Regitz (eds.), RÃ¶mpp Chemie Lexikon, v. 5, Stuttgart: Thieme, 1992, pp. 4314f.
56. KÃ¼hn, Birett, MerkblÃ¤tter GefÃ¤hrlicher Arbeitsstoffe, 69th supplement 11/93, Technische Regeln fÃ¼r Gefahrstoffe (TRGS) 554: Dieselmotoremissionen, Landsberg: ecomed, 1993; ibid., 61st supplement 9/92, TRGS 102, Technische Richtkonzentrationen (TRK) fÃ¼r gefÃ¤hrliche Stoffe, pp. 93ff.; Roth, M. Daunderer, Giftliste, 23rd supplement 2/86, TRGS 102, Landsberg: ecomed, 1986, pp. 51ff.
57. L. J. Meduna, Carbon Dioxide Therapy, Springfield: C. C. Thomas, pp. 3-19.
58. J. D. P. Graham, The Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Poisoning, London: Oxford UP, 1962, pp. 215-217.
59. L. T. Fairhall, Industrial Toxicology, Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1957, p. 180.
60. M. Daunderer, Klinische Toxikologie, 32nd supplement 21/87, Landsberg: ecomed, 1987, p. 1.
61. J. M. Arena, Poisoning: Toxicology - Symptoms - Treatments, Springfield: C. C. Thomas, 1979, p. 243; J. D. P. Graham, The Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Poisoning, London: Oxford UP, 1962, p. 216.
62. cf. A. Donat (ed.), op. cit. (Note 44), pp. 34, 157ff., and the Treblinka verdict of DÃ¼sseldorf, ibid., p. 300ff.; Y. Arad, op. cit. (Note 44), p. 119f.; J.-F. Steiner, Treblinka, Oldenbourg: Stalling, 1966, p. 173. Re. the engine type, cf. Note 32.
63. J.-F. Steiner, Note 62, p. 173, speaks of 200 people per chamber. J. Wiernik (in: A. Donat, Note 44, p. 161), on the other hand, fantasizes about 1,000 to 1,200 per chamber, whose area he gives as 7 x 7 m, in other words more than 20 people per square meter. Y. Arad, Note 44, pp. 120f., puts a maximum of 380 but an actual estimate of up to 300 people into each chamber, and at times speaks of only 6 chambers, not 10.
64. Augustin, Motortechnische Zeitschrift 5(4/5) (1943): 130-139.
65. The resultant excess pressure would have exploded the chamber after only a few minutes; cf. the chapter by A. Neumaier, this volume.
66. Assuming a linear increase in the CO content.
67. H. Bour, I. McA. Ledingham, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1967, p. 2.
68. The German technical automotive literature of that time is chock full of material about this technology that has been so completely forgotten today. For an introductory overview, cf. Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift 18 (1940) and 18 (1941). Cf. also E. Eckermann, Alte Technik mit Zukunft: Die Entwicklung des Imbert-Generators, Munich: Oldenbourg, 1986.
69. H. Fiebelkorn, Behandlung und Instandsetzung von Fahrzeug-Gaserzeugeranlagen, Halle: W. Knapp, 1944, p. 189.
70. A. Hitler, July 15, 1940, quoted from W. Ostwald, Generator-Jahrbuch, 1942, Berlin: J. Kasper & Co., 1943, p. 79.
71. W. Ostwald, op. cit. (Note 70), pp. 41f.
72. E. Eckermann, op. cit. (Note 68).
73. E. Hafer, Die gesetzliche Regelung des Generatoren- und Festkraftstoff-Einsatzes im GroÃŸdeutschen Reich, Berlin: J. Kasper & Co., 1943, p. 15.
74. Letter from H. GÃ¶ring to the Reich Economic Minister, the Reich Transportation Minister, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht units, the Chief of the Wehrmacht Supreme Command, the Reich Ministers for Armament and Munition as well as for the occupied Eastern territories, according to E. Hafer, Note 73, p. 17.
75. E. Hafer, Note 73, p. 36.
76. E. Hafer, Note 73, supplement, p. 35a.
77. U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The German Oil Industry Ministerial Report Team 78, War Department, Washington, 1947, p. 73.
78. W. Oerley, "Entwicklung und Stand der Holzgaserzeuger in Ã–sterreich, MÃ¤rz 1938," Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift 11 (1939): 314.
79. L. Gassner, "Verkehrshygiene und SchÃ¤dlingsbekÃ¤mpfung," Gesundheits-Ingenieur 66(15) (1943): 175.
80. "S" stood for standard drive via the rear wheels, as opposed to the A-vehicles with all-wheel drive and the special vehicles abbreviated as Sd.-Kfz; cf. W. Spielberger, Spezial-Panzer-Fahrzeuge des deutschen Heeres, Stuttgart: Motorbuch-Verlag, 1977, pp. 153f.; W. Spielberger, Die Halbkettenfahrzeuge des deutschen Heeres, Stuttgart: Motorbuch-Verlag, 1984, pp. 170f.; W. J. K. Davies, German Army Handbook 1939-1945, New York: Arco, 1981, p. 90.
81. cf. the chapter by I. Weckert, this volume.
82. F. Kadell, Die Katyn-LÃ¼ge, Munich: Herbig, 1991.
83. cf. esp.: W. Gumz, J. F. Foster (Battelle Memorial Institute), "A Critical Survey of Methods of Making a High BTU Gas from Coal," Research Bull. No. 6, New York: American Gas Association, 1953; further detailed references are given there.
84. U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Oil Division Final Report, War Department, Washington, 1947, p. 1 [retrans. from German trans.].
85. cf. the chapter by G. Rudolf and E. Gauss, this volume, as well as: F. P. Berg, "Typhus and the Jews," JHR 8(4) (1988): 433-481; F. P. Berg, "The German Delousing Chambers," JHR 7(1) (1986): 73-94.
86. E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. RÃ¼ckerl et.al. (eds.), Nationalsozialistische MassentÃ¶tungen durch Giftgas, op. cit. (Note 26).
87. Chicago Jewish Sentinel, Dec. 22, 1983.
88. E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. RÃ¼ckerl et.al. (eds.), op. cit. (Note 26), pp. 171f. Another claim in this book which indicates gasoline engines is that of E. Fuchs, from 1960: "It was a heavy Russian gasoline engine (presumably a tank or tractor engine) with at least 200 hp (V-engine, 8 cylinders, water-cooled)", p. 158, excerpted from papers of the Dortmund Public Prosecutor's Office, Ref. 45 Js 27/61 (Ref. ZSL: 208 AR-Z 251/59, v. 5, fol. 988). However, the Soviets only used diesel engines for their powerful tank engines, cf. Note 32.
89. Testimony by Prof. W. Pfannenstiel, around 1960, excerpted from papers of the Munich I Public Prosecutor's Office, Ref. 22 Js 64-83/61 (Ref. ZSL: 208 AR-Z 252/59, v. 1, fol. 135ff.), quoted from: E. Kogon et.al., Note 26, p. 173. Cf. Note 21.
90. eg. his testimony on June 6, 1950 before a Darmstadt court, quoted from Saul FriedlÃ¤nder, Counterfeit Nazi: The Ambiguity of Good, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967, p. 118; cf. also eg. K. A. Schluch, around 1960, excerpted from documents of the Munich I Public Prosecutor's Office, Ref. 22 Js 64-83/61 (Ref. ZSL: 208 AR-Z 252/59, v. VIII, fol. 1511), quoted from: E. Kogon, H. Langbein, A. RÃ¼ckerl et.al. (eds.), Note 26, p. 168; cf. A. RÃ¼ckerl (ed.), Nationalsozialistische Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse, Munich: dtv, 1978, p. 142; for a more in-depth analysis of the dilemma faced to this day by every German who ever had anything even remotely to do with one of the camps - Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor were in fact more transit camps than concentration camps - see: W. Lindsey, Note 14, as well as the chapter by M. KÃ¶hler, this volume.
91. E. JÃ¤ckel, P. Longerich, J. H. Schoeps (eds.), EnzyklopÃ¤die des Holocaust, 3 vols., Berlin: Aragon, 1993, entries for "Aktion Reinhard", v. 1, p. 15 "Benzin oder Dieselmotoren" ["Gasoline or Diesel Engines"], "Belzec", v. 1, p. 176 "Dieselmotor mit 250 PS" ["Diesel engine with 250 hp"], "Sobibor", v. 3, p. 1332 "200 PS-Motor" ["Engine with 200 hp"], "Treblinka", v. 3, p. 1428 "Dieselmotor" ["Diesel engine"], "Gaskammer" ["Gas chamber"], v. 1, p. 505 "Dieselauspuffgas... in den Vernichtungslagern im Generalgouvernement" ["Diesel exhaust... in the extermination camps in the General Government"] and "Vernichtungslager" ["Extermination camps"], v. 3, p. 1496: "These extermination camps [Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka] used carbon monoxide gas produced by diesel engines." According to this source, the Sobibor camp (250,000 victims) is the only case where there is any uncertainty regarding the engine type. In Belzec (600,000 victims) and Treblinka (700,000 to 1,200,000 victims) they were definitely diesel engines.
92. Jerusalem District Court, Criminal Case No. 373/86, verdict against Ivan (John) Demjanjuk, p. 2: "diesel motors", p. 7: SU-tanks: V12 diesel engines with 500/550 hp.
93. A. RÃ¼ckerl (ed.), Note 90, pp. 61, 64, 133 (re. Belzec); 203f., 226 (re. Treblinka); re. Sobibor there is talk of gasoline engines: pp. 108, 165, 200; cf. the verdict of the Munich I District Court, Ref. 110 Ks 3/64 (Belzec) and the verdicts of the DÃ¼sseldorf District Court, Ref. 8 I Ks 2/64 and 8 Ks 1/69 against K. Franz and F. P. Stangl (both Treblinka), in: H. Lichtenstein, Im Namen des Volkes?, Cologne: Bund, 1984, pp. 187f. (death after 15 minutes due to diesel exhaust gas in gas-tight chamber in Belzec), p. 201 (3 screwed-down diesel engines in Treblinka).
94. The chemist J. Bailer also fervently defends the diesel version, although he plays with a stacked deck, cf. Note 7. The same goes for Martin PÃ¤gert, cf. Notes 47-49 and 51.
This work was translated from a newly revised manuscript of, "Die Diesel-Gaskammern: Mythos im Mythos" by Victor Diodon