The “Problem of the Gas Chambers”

Défense de l’Occident, June 1978, p. 32-40


“The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence […]” (Article 19 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg)

“The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof […]” (Article 21 of the Charter)


No-one, not even among those nostalgic for the Third Reich, denies that there were concentration camps under Hitler. Everyone recognises as well that certain camps were equipped with crematory ovens: The corpses of the deceased were reduced to ashes rather than buried. It was the repeated occurrence of epidemics that made cremation necessary, especially for those who died of typhus (see the photos of mass graves at Belsen, etc.). What is disputed by numerous French, British, American, and German authors are the so-called “extermination camps.” Historians use this expression to designate those camps alleged to have been furnished with “gas chambers.” These “gas chambers” are said to have differed from American gas chambers in that they were used to kill hundreds of men, women, and children at a time. The allegation of “genocide” is based on the claim that the victims were chosen on the basis of their race or religion. The poison employed for this “genocide” is alleged to have been Zyklon B (a pesticide based on prussic, or hydrocyanic, acid [HCN]).

Those who contest the accusation of “genocide” and the claim that the Germans built homicidal “gas chambers” are called revisionists. Their argument runs approximately as follows:

It suffices to apply the customary methods of historical criticism to both of these problems (“genocide” and “gas chambers”) to see that we are confronted by two inseparable myths. The: genocidal intentions of Hitler have never been proved. As for the murder weapon, no one has actually seen one.

What we are up against is an extraordinarily successful war and hate propaganda campaign. History is full of such frauds, beginning with the religious fables of sorcery and witchcraft. What distinguishes our times from earlier epochs is the frightening power of the media, and the propaganda which is churned out ad nauseam for what must be called “the hoax of the twentieth century.” Let all who, thirty years after the war, think to expose this hoax, beware. They will experience, depending on the circumstances, imprisonment, fines, assaults, and insults. Their careers can be imperilled or destroyed. They will be denounced as Nazis. Their theses will either be twisted or ignored. Germany will treat revisionists with an unrelenting ruthlessness unmatched by any other country.[1]

Today, however, the silence surrounding the men who have dared to write responsibly that Hitler’s “gas chambers” (including those of Auschwitz and Majdanek) are only a historical lie is about to be broken. This is a great advance. But what insults and distortions an exterminationist historian of the caliber of Georges Wellers allowed himself when, more than ten years after Paul Rassinier’s death, he decided to “expose” the minutest part of the arguments of that former concentration camp inmate, who had had the courage to denounce the lie of the “gas chambers” in his writings!

The best way for a historian to study the actual claims of the disciples of Paul Rassinier is to refer to the American professor Dr Arthur R. Butz’s book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.[2] I shall take the liberty of making only a few observations, directed to serious historical researchers. I call their attention to a paradox. Although the “gas chambers” are, according to the official historians, absolutely central to a picture of the Nazi concentration camp system (moreover, if the totally perverse and diabolical character of the German concentration camps compared to all previous and subsequent concentration camps is to be established, the process whereby the Nazis devised, constructed, and operated those fearsome human slaughterhouses needs to be demonstrated with meticulous care), the absence, in the impressive bibliography of the concentration camp literature, of a single book, a single brochure, a single article, on the “gas chambers” per se cannot fail to astonish. One must not be misled by certain promising titles; it is necessary to consult their contents. Under the rubric of “official historical writing” I class such publications on the concentration camps by institutions or foundations that are partly or wholly financed from public funds, for example, in France, the Comité d’Histoire de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale (Committee for the History of the Second World War) and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaire (Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center), and in Germany (Munich) the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History).

One must wait until page 541 of Olga Wormser-Migot’s thesis on the system of Nazi concentration camps before encountering a passage on the “gas chambers.” There, the reader will find three additional surprises:

The passage in question takes up only three pages. It bears the title: “The Problem of the Gas Chambers.” The “problem” lies in attempting to determine whether the “gas chambers” at Ravensbrück (Germany) and Mauthausen (Austria) ever existed; the author concludes that they didn’t. Yet she does not address the “problem” of the “gas chambers” of Auschwitz or any of the other camps, probably because in her mind they present no “problem.” [On page 157 of her book she writes that Auschwitz I had no gas chamber.]

At this point, the reader may want to know why an analysis that concludes that there were no “gas chambers” in certain camps suddenly breaks off as soon as Auschwitz-Birkenau, for example, comes under discussion. Why is the critical spirit awakened for some camps, but allowed to lapse into total slumber about others? After all, we have no end of “evidence” and “undeniable eyewitness accounts” for the “gas chamber” of Ravensbrück, beginning with repeated and extensive eyewitness accounts in the studies of Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier or Germaine Tillion.

But it gets even better. Several years after the war, before both British and French tribunals, three camp officials of Ravensbrück (Suhren, Schwarzhuber, and Treite) repeatedly confessed to the existence of a “gas chamber” there. They even – rather vaguely – described its operation. Eventually, their lives ended in execution or suicide thanks to this alleged “gas chamber.” Similar “confessions” were made, prior to their deaths, by Ziereis about Mauthausen (Austria) and by Kramer on Struthof-Natzweiler (Alsace).

Today, one can see the alleged “gas chamber” of Struthof-Natzweiler, and read there Kramer’s unbelievable “confession.” This “gas chamber,” designated a “historical monument,” is a complete fraud. The slightest quantity of critical spirit will suffice to convince oneself that a gassing in this small room, which lacked any sealing whatsoever, would have been a catastrophe for the executioner as well as for anyone in the vicinity. To make this “gas chamber” (which is guaranteed to be “in its original condition”) believable, someone went so far as to clumsily knock a hole into the thin wall with a chisel, breaking four tiles. This is the hole through which Josef Kramer is alleged to have poured the mysterious “salts” (about which he could give no details-only that when mixed with a little water, they killed within one minute!). How could salts and water produce such a gas? How was Kramer able to prevent the gas from flowing back through the hole? How was it possible for him to see his victims through a hole through which only half the room could be viewed? How did he ventilate the room before opening the rustic door, made of rough-hewn lumber? Perhaps one should to inquire at the civil engineering firm in Saint-Michel sur-Meurthe (Vosges département), which, after the war, altered the site — which today is described to visitors as “in its original condition”!

Long after the war, prelates, university professors, and ordinary folk continued to offer eyewitness testimony to the dread reality of the “gas chambers” of Buchenwald and Dachau. As for the Buchenwald “gas chamber,” that seems to have vanished spontaneously, so to speak, from the minds of its professed eyewitnesses. The situation is different with Dachau,. After it had been affirmed by, for example, His Eminence Bishop Piguet, the bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, that the “gas chamber” had been especially useful in gassing Polish priests [3], the official version eventually emerged as follows: “This gas chamber, on which construction began in 1942, hadn’t been completed at the time of the camp’s liberation in 1945. Nobody could have been gassed in it.” The little room that visitors are told is a “gas chamber” is in reality quite harmless and, while any number of documents relating to its construction are available for “Baracke X” (the crematorium and vicinity), one searches in vain for a document or for a forensic investigation that would justify describing this structure as an “unfinished gas chamber.”

No official historical institute has done more to render the myth of the “gas chambers” believable than the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich. Since 1972 its director has been Dr Martin Broszat. An associate of this Institute since 1955, Dr Broszat became famous as a result of his publication in 1958 of the (partial!) confessions that Rudolf Höss (former commandant of Auschwitz) is supposed to have written in a communist prison before his hanging. On 19 August 1960, however, this historian had to inform his amazed countrymen that there had been no gas chambers anywhere in the entire Old Reich (“Altreich”, Germany’s 1937 frontiers), but instead only in a small number of selected places, especially in occupied Poland, including Auschwitz and Birkenau, but not Majdanek. This startling news was communicated in a letter to the editor that was published in the weekly periodical Die Zeit (19 August 1960, page 16). Its title was misleadingly restrictive: “Keine Vergasung in Dachau” (No Gassing at Dachau), instead of “Keine Massenvergasung im Altreich” (No Mass Gassing in the Old Reich)[4]. Dr Broszat did not provide the slightest evidence in support of his claims. Today [1978], eighteen years after his letter, neither Broszat nor any of his colleagues has offered the slightest explanation for this mysterious reticence. It would be most interesting to learn:

– how Dr Broszat knows that the “gas chambers” in the Old Reich were frauds;

– how he knows that the “gas chambers” in Poland are genuine;

– why the “proof,” the “certainties,” and the “eyewitness accounts” of the concentration camps in the west are suddenly worthless, while the “proof,” “certainties,” and “eyewitness accounts” for the camps in Poland continue to be valid?

As if by an unspoken agreement, not a single recognised historian has raised these questions. How often in the “history of history” has it sufficed to rely on the claims of a single historian? [5]

Let us now examine the “gas chambers” in Poland.

The claim that “gas chambers” were present in Belzec or Treblinka is based essentially on the statement of Kurt Gerstein. This document, by a member of the SS who allegedly committed suicide in 1945 in the Cherche-Midi prison in Paris, abounds with so many absurdities that, in the eyes of historians, it has long since been thoroughly discredited.[6] Furthermore, to date it has appeared only in a defective version, rife with deletions, alterations, and rewriting, even in the publications of the Nuremberg tribunal. The Gerstein report in its entirety, including its bizarre appendices (called in the French version brouillon [rough draft], in the German, Ergänzungen, or “supplements”), has never been published.

Regarding Majdanek, a visit to the actual site is absolutely necessary-and even more convincing than a visit to Struthof-Natzweiler, if that is possible. I shall publish additional information on this. For Auschwitz and Birkenau, one must essentially rely on the “memoirs” [7] of Rudolf Höss, which were prepared under the supervision of his Polish captors. Only a “reconstructed” room (Auschwitz I) and some ruins (Auschwitz II, or Birkenau) are to be found at the present site.

An execution with gas is not be confused with a suicidal or accidental asphyxiation. In performing an execution, the executioner and his team must not be exposed to the slightest danger. Executions in American are conducted with HCN gas, and only in a small, hermetically sealed chamber. Afterward, the gas is neutralised and vented from the chamber.

How, then, was it possible, at Auschwitz II (Birkenau), to lead 2,000 people into a room measuring 210 square meters, then pour Zyklon B, a very powerful pesticide, down on them, and, as soon as the victims were dead, allow a work crew to enter the room to remove the bodies, now thoroughly saturated with cyanide, while wearing no gas masks? Two documents [8] from the German industrial archives that were catalogued by the Americans at Nuremberg tell us that Zyklon B had a strong tendency to adhere to surfaces and could not be extracted from an ordinary room by artificial ventilation, but only by natural aeration lasting almost twenty-four hours. Additional documents, available for consultation only in the archives of the Auschwitz Museum (the contents of which, to date, have never been divulged), show that this room of 210 square meters, in a dilapidated state today, was only a very basic mortuary, which (in order to protect it against heat) had been located underground, and which was provided with only a single door that served as both entrance and exit.[9] For the crematoria of Auschwitz, there is an overabundance of documents, including invoices down to the penny – as there is, in general, for the entire camp. However, regarding the “gas chambers” there is nothing: no construction contract, not even a study, no purchase order, no plan, no invoice, not even a photograph. In a hundred war crimes trials, nothing of the sort has ever been produced.

“I was in Auschwitz and I can assure you that there was no ‘gas chamber’ there.” Only rarely does one hear defence witnesses with enough courage to say this. They are persecuted in the courts.[10] Even today, anyone in Germany who testifies on behalf of Thies Christophersen (who wrote The Auschwitz Lie) risks being punished for “defaming the memory of the dead.”[11] Immediately after the war, the Germans, the International Red Cross, and the Vatican (otherwise so well informed about whatever happened in Poland), and many others declared in embarrassed tones: “The ‘gas chambers’? We knew nothing about them!” Yes, but I would put the question this way: “Can one know about things which never even happened?” There was not a single “gas chamber” in even one of the German concentration camps; that is the truth. The nonexistence of “gas chambers” should be greeted as welcome news; to suppress this news in the future would be an injustice. To portray “Fatima” as a fraud is not to attack religion, and the same thing goes for the “gas chambers”: to proclaim that they are a historical lie is not an attack on concentration camp survivors. Doing so merely fulfils one’s obligation to the truth.

After thirty years of research, revisionist authors have reached the following conclusions:

The Hitlerian “gas chambers” never existed.

The “genocide” (or “attempted genocide”) of the Jews never happened. In other words: Hitler never gave an order or permission for anyone to be killed because of his race or religion.

The alleged “gas chambers” and the alleged “genocide” are one and the same lie.

This lie, which is largely of Zionist origin, has made possible an enormous political and financial fraud, the principal beneficiary of which is the state of Israel.

The principal victims of this fraud are the German people – but not the German leaders – and the entire Palestinian people.

The enormous power of the establishment’s information media has, thus far, had the effect of ensuring the success of the lie and of censoring the freedom of expression of those who have denounced it. Those complicit in this lie know its days are numbered. They misrepresent the nature and the purpose of revisionist research. They label as a “resurgence of Nazism” or as “falsification of history” that which is only a thoughtful and justified concern for historical truth.


Two publications and an official intervention by the author:

A letter to Historama, Paris, November 1975, page 10, on the expression “N.N.” Originally, these initials never meant Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog), but Nomen nescio (Anonymous). In practice they indicate certain inmates who would not be permitted to receive or send mail.

Portions of a letter to Historia, Paris, August 1977, page 132: “The Genocide Imposture.”

A talk on the “gas chamber” hoax at the Colloque National de Lyon sur Églises et Chrétiens de France dans la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale (National Convention in Lyon on French Churches and Christians during the Second World War) on 29 January 1978 (see Rivarol, Paris, 16 February 1978, page 5).

June 1, 1978



[1] See one vicious and insulting article among many, a study by Hermann Langbein which appeared in Le Monde Juif (April-June 1975). The title is “Coup d’oeil sur la littérature néo-nazie” (A glance at the neo-Nazi literature), pages 8-20. Langbein was an inmate in Auschwitz. He testified at countless trials. He holds an important position in the circles of former concentration camp inmates. One of his most recent works is entitled Hommes et Femmes à Auschwitz (Men and Women at Auschwitz) (Fayard, Paris 1975), viii – 529 pages (translated from Menschen in Auschwitz [Vienna 1974]). Not one of the thirty chapters, not one of the 268 sections of this book is devoted to the “gas chambers”! Instead, one constantly encounters such terms as “selection for the gas chambers,” etc. See also Georges Wellers’s article in Le Monde Juif (April-June 1977), “La ‘Solution finale’ de la question juive et la mythomanie néo-nazie” (The “Final Solution” of the Jewish Question and the neo-Nazi mythomania), pages 41-84. See as well the study by Ino Arndt and Wolfgang Scheffler in Viertelsjahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Quarterly Review for Contemporary History) (April 1976), entitled “Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in NS-Vernichtungslagern” (Organized Mass-Murder of Jews in Nazi Extermination Camps), pages 105-135.
[2] The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Newport Beach, Calif., Institute for Historical Review, 1979).
[3] Prison et Déportation (Spes, Paris 1947), page 77.
[4] Broszat’s letter is reproduced in facsimile (with its English translation) in The Journal of Historical Review (May-June 1993), page 12.
[5] The famed Simon Wiesenthal has also admitted that “there were no extermination camps on German soil,” in a letter to the editor of Books and Bookmen (April 1975), page 5. Although he later wrote (in a letter, dated 12 May 1986, to Professor John George of Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma), that he “could never have said such a thing,” Wiesenthal reconfirmed his earlier statement in a letter to the editor published on page 14 of the European edition of Stars and Stripes, 24 January 1993. This letter is reproduced in facsimile in the Journal for Historical Review (May-June 1993), page 10.
[6] See the forensic pathologist’s opinion as reported by the exterminationist Pierre Joffroy in his book on Kurt Gerstein, L’Espion de Dieu: La Passion de Kurt Gerstein (God’s Spy: The Passion of Kurt Gerstein) (Grasset, Paris 1969), page 262.
[7] Kommandant in Auschwitz: Autobiographische Aufzeichnungen (Commandant of Auschwitz: Autobiographical Memoirs) by Rudolf Höss (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1958), 184 pages; introduction and commentary by Dr Martin Broszat. On “gassing,” see pages 126 and 166. The entry of the work crew into the “gas chamber” is supposed to happen “sofort” (“immediately”) as described on page 166.
[8] These two extensive documents, which are of great importance, were apparently not used at the trials of Gerhard Peters, former director of Degesch. They were registered as documents NI-9098 and NI-9912. They irrefutably destroy Höss’s “eyewitness testimony” on the “gas chambers.”
[9] Photographic negs. 6228 and following.
[10] The case of Wilhelm Stäglich, for example. See Stäglich in the index of Butz’s book (op. cit.).
[11] Die Auschwitz-Lüge (The Auschwitz Lie), no. 23 of Kritik (2341 Kälberhagen, Post Mohrkirch, West Germany), 1974. This booklet was followed by Der Auschwitz-Betrug/Das Echo auf die Auschwitz-Lüge (The Auschwitz Fraud / The Echo of the Auschwitz Lie).