Critical bibliography regarding the Second Leuchter Report

(I. The first Leuchter Report – II. Dachau – III. Mauthausen –
IV. Hartheim – V. The problem of the gas chambers)

I – The first Leuchter Report

  • Fred A. Leuchter, An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland (Prepared for Ernst Zündel), 1988, 193 p. [Report entered as a lettered exhibit at the “false news” trial of Ernst Zündel in 1988, Toronto, Canada; contains copies of the original Certificates of Analysis of brick and mortar samples.]
  • Fred A. Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, Foreword by Dr. Robert Faurisson, Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 1988, 132 p. Printed under licence in the U.S.A., P.O. Box 726, Decatur, Alabama 35602 U.S.A. [Illustrated edition of the Report; Results of the analysis of the brick and mortar are presented in condensed chart format.]

II Dachau

  • IMT Doc. L-159: Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, Senate: Report (May 15, 1945) of the Committee Requested by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the U.S. relative to Atrocities and other Conditions in Concentration Camps in Germany, IMT, Vol. XXXVII, p. 605-626 at p. 621:

“A distinguishing feature of the Dachau Camp was the gas chamber for the execution of prisoners and the somewhat elaborate facilities for execution by shooting. – The gas chamber was located in the center of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height! In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for execution and removed after execution. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling. The chamber was of size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.”

  • IMT Doc. PS-2430: Nazi Concentration and Prisoner-of-War Camps: A Documentary Motion Picture, November 24, 1945, IMT, Vol. XXX, p. 357-472, at p. 470:

“Dachau-factory of horrors…Hanging in orderly rows were the clothes of prisoners who had been suffocated in the lethal gas chamber. They had been persuaded to remove their clothing under the pretext of taking a shower for which towels and soap were provided. This is the Brausebad – the showerbath. Inside the showerbath – the gas vents. On the ceiling – the dummy shower heads. In the engineers’ room – the intake and outlet pipes. Push buttons to control inflow and outtake of gas. A hand-valve to regulate pressure. Cyanide powder was used to generate the lethal smoke. From the gas chamber, the bodies were removed to the crematory.”

  • IMT Doc. NO-3859/64 and 3884/89: 28 pages of German documents and plans (1942) about “Baracke X” (Staatsarchiv Nürnberg) [None of these documents or plans indicate that a gas chamber existed.]
  • O.S.S. Section, Seventh Army (U.S.A.), Dachau Concentration Camp, Foreword by William W. Quinn, Colonel, 1945, 68 p.; at p. 33:

GAS CHAMBERS: The internees who were brought to Camp Dachau for the sole purpose of being executed were in most cases Jews and Russians. They were brought into the compound, lined up near the gas chambers, and were screened in a similar manner as internees who came to Dachau for imprisonment. Then they were marched to a room and told to undress. Everyone was given a towel and a piece of soap, as though they were about to take a shower. During this whole screening process, no hint was ever given that they were to be executed, for the routine was similar upon the arrival of all internees at the camp. Then they entered the gas chamber. Over the entrance, in large black letters, was written ‘Brause Bad’ (showers). There were about 15 shower faucets suspended from the ceiling from which gas was then released. There was one large chamber, capacity of which was 200, and five smaller gas chambers, capacity of each being 50. It took approximately 10 minutes for the execution. From the gas chamber, the door led to the Krematory to which the bodies were removed by internees who were selected for the job. The dead bodies were then placed in 5 furnaces, two to three bodies at a time.

  • Mission Militaire Française auprès du 6e groupe d’armées, Guerre chimique, nr 23/7, Chambre à gaz de Dachau, rapports du capitaine Fribourg, 5 mai et 17 mai 1945, 5 p.; 6 planches; 1 photo (25 mai 1945). Captain Fribourg did not reach any conclusion in his report concerning the gas chamber after a one day investigation at Dachau. Fribourg stated that a second visit would be necessary in order to discover the circulation of the toxic gas and the possible communication with the disinfection gas chambers. He also stated that the testing of all of the walls was necessary.
  • Headquarters Third United States Army, Enemy Equipment Intelligence Service Team Number 1, Chemical Warfare Service, 22 August 1945, Report from Joseph H. Gilbert to Major James F. Munn: Subject: Dachau Gas Chamber (3 p.; enclosures) at p. 3:

Based on the interviews noted above, and further, based on actual inspection of the Dachau gas chamber (it has apparently been unused), it is the opinion of the undersigned that the gas chamber was a failure for execution purposes and that no experimental work ever took place in it. In view of the fact that much reliable information has been furnished the Allies by former inmates regarding the malaria, air pressure and cold water experiments, it is reasonable to assume that if such gas experiments took place, similar information would be available.

  • Plan of Crematory Area (Dachau) in Philipp Rauscher, Never Again/Jamais Plus, Munich, 1945 (?)
  • Stephen F. Pinter, Letter on “German Atrocities” in Our Sunday Visitor, 14 June 1959, p. 15: “I was in Dachau for 17 months after the war, as a U.S. War Department Attorney, and can state that there was no gas chamber at Dachau.”
  • Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945, Jason Aronson Inc., London 1987 reprint, originally published in 1953, 638 p. at p. 134:

Thus, eventually every German concentration camp acquired a gas chamber of sorts, though their use proved difficult. The Dachau gas chamber, for instance, has been preserved by the American occupation authorities as an object lesson, but its construction was hampered and its use restricted to a few experimental victims, Jews or Russian prisoners of war, who had been committed by the Munich Gestapo.

  • Dr. Martin Broszat, Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, Letter in Die Zeit, 19 August 1960, p. 16: “Weder in Dachau noch in Bergen-Belsen noch in Buchenwald sind Juden oder andere Häftlinge vergast worden. Die Gaskammer in Dachau wurde nie ganz fertiggestellt und ‘in Betrieb’ genommen.” [Translation: “Neither in Dachau, nor in Bergen-Belsen, nor in Buchenwald, were Jews or other inmates gassed. The gas chamber in Dachau was never completed and put ‘into operation'”.]
  • R. Faurisson, “The Müller Document“, The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, p. 117-126. The Allied military police and their Austrian auxiliaries regularly received copies of the reports made by the Allied Commissions of Inquiry on the concentration camps. Those reports were needed to conduct research on “war crimes”. On October 1, 1948, Commandant Müller and his second-in-command, Emil Lachout, sent the following circular letter from Vienna to all interested parties: “Military Police Service. Circular Letter No. 31/48. Vienna, 1 Oct. 1948. 10th dispatch. 1. The Allied Commissions of Inquiry have so far established that no people were killed by poison gas in the following concentration camps: Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen and its satellite camps, Natzweiler, Neuengamme, Niederhagen (Wewelsburg), Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, Stutthof, Theresienstadt. – In those cases, it has been possible to prove that confessions had been extracted by tortures and that testimonies were false. – This must be taken into account when conducting investigations and interrogations with respect to war crimes. – The result of this investigation should be brought to the cognizance of former concentration camp inmates who at the time of the hearings testified on the murder of people, especially Jews, with poison gas in those concentration camps. Should they insist on their statements, charges are to be brought against them for making false statements.”
  • Comité international de Dachau, Camp de Concentration Dachau 1933-1945, 1978, 229 p.; at p. 165: [Translation]: “The gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was never put into operation. Thousands of inmates destined for annihilation were sent to other camps for gassing or to Hartheim Castle near Linz.”
  • R. Faurisson, Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m’accusent de falsifier l’histoire, La Vieille Taupe, Paris 1980. Faurisson discusses at p. 204-209 the failure of Barbara Distel, Director of the Dachau Museum, and Dr. A. Guerisse, President of the International Committee of Dachau in Brussels, to provide him, in a series of correspondence in 1977-78, with any proof of the allegation that there was an execution gas chamber in Dachau.
  • R. Faurisson, “Response to a Paper Historian”, The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1986. At p. 62, Faurisson analyses the testimony of Fernand Grenier contained in the latter’s book C’était ainsi (1940-1945), Editions sociales, Paris 1970 (7th ed.), where Grenier wrote the following at p. 267: [Translation] “To the side of the four crematory ovens which never stopped working there was a room: some showers with sprinkler heads in the ceiling. In the preceding year [1944] they had given a towel and a piece of soap to 120 children, from 8 to 14 years of age. They were quite happy when they went inside. The doors were closed. Asphyxiating gas came out of the showers. Ten minutes later, death had killed these innocents whom the crematory ovens reduced to ashes an hour later.”
  • René Lévesque, Mémoirs, McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto 1986, at p. 192-193: “Before putting their prisoners to work the Germans always stripped them of all their possessions, including their gold teeth. Then they worked them to death, especially the last year when rations were becoming scarce. At the end of the road they were sent to the “baths” (Baden), shabby-looking sheds linked to a reservoir by a couple of pipes. When the baths were full to the seams they opened the gas, and then, when the last groans had ceased, the bodies were taken to the ovens next door. – When news of this reached Québec, and for some time after, people refused to believe. Heavy scepticism greeted such stories, which surpassed understanding… I can assure you that it was real, all right, that the gas chamber was real in its nightmarish unreality. The loaders had gone, trying to save their skins, leaving behind their last load of corpses, naked as worms in their muddy pallor.”
  • Sign exhibited in the Dachau “gas chamber” by museum authorities read until the mid-eighties as follows: “GAS CHAMBER disguised as a ‘shower room’ – never used”. The sign was changed in the mid-eighties to read: “GAS CHAMBER disguised as a ‘shower room’ – never used as a gas chamber.”


III – Mauthausen Concentration Camp

  • IMT Doc. PS-1515: Protocol by the Commander of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, SS-Colonel Franz Ziereis (unsigned and undated by deponee). Staff Evidence Analysis of this document, dated 6 October 1945, states: “In one village, called Hartheim, there was a large gassing establishment where, in Ziereis’s estimate, between 1 and 1.5 million people were killed… Other physicians, so-called ‘psychiatrists’, proclaimed thousands of inmates as psychiatric cases and sent them to Hartheim… Ziereis claims to have seen the records which indicated that four millions were killed in this way… Ziereis estimates that in the Warsaw-Kowno-Riga-Libau area, 16 million people were killed.” [Note: Prosecution was directed not to use PS-1515 as “this statement has been corrected and superseded. See 3870-PS”.]
  • IMT Doc. PS-3870: Affidavit of Hans Marsalek, sworn 8 April 1946 (made more than 10 months following the death of Ziereis May, 1945), IMT, Vol. XXXIII, p. 279-286. Marsalek swore that: “Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division (American Armored Division) Seibel; the former prisoner and physician Dr. Koszeinski; and in the presence of another Polish citizen, name unknown, for a period of six to eight hours. The interrogation was effected in the night from 22 May to 23 May 1945. Franz Ziereis was seriously wounded; his body had been penetrated by three bullets – and knew that he would die shortly and told me the following: … ‘A gassing plant was built in Concentration Camp Mauthausen by order of the former garrison doctor, Dr. Krebsbach, camouflaged as a bathroom. Prisoners were gassed in this camouflaged bathroom… The gassing of the prisoners was done on the urging of SS Hauptsturmführer Dr. Krebsbach… SS Gruppenführer Glücks gave the order to classify weak prisoners as mentally deranged and to kill them by a gas plant which existed in the Castle Hartheim near Linz. There, about a million or a million and a half human beings were killed’.”
  • IMT Doc. PS-2285: Sworn statement of Lieutenant Colonel Guivante de Saint Gast and Lieutenant Jean Veith, both of the French Army, IMT, Vol. XXX, p. 141-143: “The K prisoners were taken directly to the prison where they were unclothed and taken to the “bathrooms”. This bathroom in the cellars of the prison building near the crematory was specially designed for executions (shooting and gassing). – The shooting took place by means of a measuring apparatus. The prisonner [sic] being backed towards a metrical measure with an automatic contraption releasing a bullet in his neck as soon as the moving plank determining his height touched the top of his head. – If a transport consisted of too many ‘K’ prisoners, instead of losing time for the ‘measuration’ they were extermined [sic] by gas sent into the bathroom instead of water.”
  • IMT Doc. PS-2430: Nazi Concentration and Prisoner-of-War Camps: A Documentary Motion Picture, November 24, 1945, ibid., at p. 468. Unlike the segment of the film dealing with Dachau, the segment dealing with Mauthausen contains no footage of any alleged gas chamber. The film simply shows an American Naval Lieutenant from Hollywood, California, affirming that people had been executed by gas in the camp.
  • IMT Doc. PS-2753: Affidavit of SS man Alois Höllriegl, Sworn 7 November 1945, IMT, Vol. XXXI, p. 93: “The noise which accompanied the process of gassing was well known to me.”
  • IMT Doc. PS-3845: Interrogation Report of Albert Tiefenbacher, taken on 7 December 1945, IMT, Vol. XXXIII, p. 213-229. The transcript reads: “Question – Do you remember the gas chamber camouflaged as a bath house? Answer: Yes, we always helped to carry the dead from the gas chamber. Q. – There were no shower baths in the chamber? A. – Yes. Cold and warm water was supposed to come out of them, but the flow of the water could be regulated from the outside of the room and mostly the water was turned off. On the outside of the room was the gas reservoir and two gas pipes led from the outside into the room. There was a slot at the back and the gas emanated from this slot. Q. – Gas never came from the showers? A. – All the showers were plugged. It was just to make the effect that the prisoners were entering a bathroom.”
  • IMT Doc. PS-3846: Interrogation Report of Johann Kanduth, taken on 30 November 1945, IMT, Vol. XXXIII, p. 230-243.
  • Gerald Reitlinger, ibid., at p. 474: “On May 8th, when Patton’s troops entered the camp, Ziereis was identified in the camp precincts and shot in the stomach. His dying confession, having been taken down by an inmate in the presence of American officers who could not understand German, is not very reliable.”
  • Hans Marsalek, Die Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen: Dokumentation, Österreichische Lagergemeinschaft Mauthausen, Wien, 1980, 229 p. at p.211: [Translation] “Before gassings, an SS N.C.O. heated a brick in one of the Krema ovens and brought it into a small, divided room, located next to the gas chamber. This gas chamber contained a table, gas masks and a gas introduction unit connected with the gas chamber by means of a pipe. The hot brick was then laid on the bottom of the gas introduction unit; this served to accelerate the process of “Zyklon B” crystals changing into liquid gas. With sufficient gas in the chamber, death by suffocation occurred in about 10-20 minutes. – When an SS doctor, watching through an observation “peephole” ascertained the onset of death, the gas chamber was cleared of gas by ventilators sucking it out into the open air. – The whole gassing process for one group, consisting of approximately 30 persons – beginning with undressing, the so-called medical examination, murder, clearing the gas chamber of gas and removal of cadavers took about one and a half to two and a half hours.”
  • Pierre Serge Choumoff, Les Chambres à gaz de Mauthausen, camp de concentration nazi, Amicale des déportés de Mauthausen, 1972, 96 p. [See below.]
  • Pierre Serge Choumoff, Les Assassinats par gaz à Mauthausen et Gusen, camps de concentration nazis en territoire autrichien, Amicale des déportés de Mauthausen, 1987, 64 p. The writings of Choumoff, a professional engineer, exhibit extreme confusion concerning the gas chambers. He provides no technical evidence or details as might be expected from an engineer, but instead relies on the usual “eyewitness” accounts (Kanduth, Ornstein, Roth, Reinsdorf, …). He appears to consider the mere presence of “Zyklon B” insecticide in the camp as proof of homicidal gassings. Choumoff estimates that at least 3,455 people were gassed in the alleged gas chambers at Mauthausen.]
  • Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein, Adalbert Rückerl, Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas, S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1983, p. 245-254, at p. 245-246: [Translation] “At the main camp, which had been established east of Linz in August 1938, the construction of a gas chamber began in the fall of 1941. The gas chamber was located in the basement of the hospital building, with the crematoria close by. It was a windowless room, camouflaged as a shower room, 3.80 meters in length and 3.50 meters wide. A ventilation unit was installed, the side walls consisted partly of tiles. There were two doors which could be closed airtight. All switches for electrical lighting, ventilation, water supply and the heating unit were located on the outside of this room. From an adjacent room, called the “gas cell”, gas entered through an enamelled pipe that had a slot approximately 1 meter long cut into it on the side facing the wall which was therefore invisible to the occupant of this room. Remnants of this gassing unit are still discernible today.”
  • Yehuda Bauer, A History of the Holocaust, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with the assistance of Nili Keren, Franklin Watts Publ., Toronto 1982, at p. 209: “Although no gassings took place at Mauthausen, many Jews, as well as non-Jews, died there in a process the Nazis called ‘extermination through labor'”.
  • Michel de Boüard (former inmate at Mauthausen), honorary dean of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Caen, member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War, member of the Institut de France: Statement made in an interview published in Ouest-France, August 2-3, 1986, p. 6.: “In the monograph on Mauthausen that I published in Revue d’histoire de la [Deuxième] Guerre mondiale in 1954, I mentioned a gas chamber on two occasions. When the time of reflection had arrived, I said to myself: where did you arrive at the conviction that there was a gas chamber in Mauthausen? This cannot have been during my stay in this camp, for neither myself nor anybody else ever suspected that there was one there. This must therefore be a piece of ‘baggage’ that I picked up after the war; this was [an] admitted [fact] but I noticed that in my text – although I have the habit of supporting most of my affirmations by references – there was none referring to the gas chamber…”
  • Sign exhibited in the gas chamber at Mauthausen (as of April, 1989) reads: “The Gas Chamber – The gas chamber was camouflaged as a bathroom by sham showers and waterpipes. Cyclone B gas was sucked in and exhausted through a shaft (situated in the corner on the right) from the operating room into the gas chamber. The gas-conduit was removed shortly before liberation on April 4th, 1945.”
  • During the investigation made of the Mauthausen “gas chamber” by the Leuchter team on April 10, 1989, an official of the museum stated that the explanation printed on the sign about a shaft was wrong. He explained that the gas had actually been inletted through a perforated pipe through an opposite wall. The pipe was no longer there, nor were there any remaining traces of its existence. The official stated that the first explanation provided regarding the operation of the chamber, by inmates who had said that the gas had entered the chamber through the shower heads, had long since been abandoned.

IV – Hartheim Castle

  • Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, Bantam Books, New York 1975, 610 p., at p. 178-179: “Patients slated for killing…were then transferred to one of six ‘euthanasia’ installations (at Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein)… The procedure was pragmatically simple and convincingly deceptive. In groups of twenty to thirty, the patients were ushered into a chamber camouflaged as a shower room. It was an ordinary room, fitted with seal-proof doors and windows, into which gas piping had been laid. The compressed gas container and the regulating equipment were located outside. Led into the chamber on the pretext that they were to take showers, the patients were gassed by the doctor on duty.”

No source is given for the description of this procedure.

  • Hans Marsalek, “Hartheim, Establishment for Euthanasia and Gassing: Accessory Camp to the KZ (Concentration Camp) of Mauthausen”, (abridged version for the Austrian Mauthausen Camp Community, translated by Peter Reinberg), 4 p. Available at Hartheim Castle. (1989). This pamphlet states that approximately 30,000 people were gassed at Hartheim by “Zyklon B” gas.

 While books written about Mauthausen refer to the gas chamber at Hartheim Castle, very little information is given concerning it. In his above-mentioned 1972 book, P.S. Choumoff states at p. 41, footnote 18 and 19, that people were killed by carbon monoxide gas at Hartheim. Reitlinger, ibid., states at p. 147 that people taken from Dachau “were gassed at Schloss Hartheim”. Hilberg, ibid., states at p. 872-873 that Hartheim was one of several euthanasia stations “equipped with gas chambers and bottled, chemically pure carbon monoxide gas.”

V – Jewish Historians Confront the Problem of the Gas Chambers

  • Olga Wormser-Migot, Le Système concentrationnaire Nazi (1933-1945), Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1968, 670 p. The section at p. 541- 545 of this thesis is entitled in French: “The Problem of the Gas Chambers”. The author does not believe there were any gas chambers in either Dachau or Mauthausen.
  • Lucy Dawidowicz, in The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, ibid., does not mention gas chambers or gassings at either Dachau or Mauthausen.
  • Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Revised and Definitive Edition, Holmes & Meier, New York 1985. In this “definitive” three volume work of some 1,274 pages, Hilberg makes no mention of gas chambers or gassings at either Dachau or Mauthausen.
  • Arno J. Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The “Final Solution” in History, Pantheon Books, New York 1988, at p. 362:

“Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable…Most of what is known is based on the depositions of Nazi officials and executioners at postwar trials and on the memory of survivors and bystanders. This testimony must be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by subjective factors of great complexity. Diaries are rare, and so are authentic documents about the making, transmission, and implementation of the extermination policy. But additional evidence may still come to light. Private journals and official papers are likely to surface. Since Auschwitz and Majdanek, as well as the four out-and-out killing centers, were liberated by the Red Army, the Soviet archives may well yield significant clues and evidence when they are opened. In addition, excavations at the killing sites and in their immediate environs may also bring forth new information.”

  • Four (4) Drawings: “Baracke X”, Dachau Shower room, Dachau Shower room, Mauthausen Alleged Gas Chamber, Hartheim Castle. All prepared for this report by S. Devine, Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc.
  • Chemical Analysis – Four (4) samples Prepared by Alpha Analytical Labs for Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc.
  • Assorted Photos by Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc./Samisdat/Eugen Ernst
  • Sample Log
  • Journal