Comment on an article by Friedrich Paul Berg in Christian News

to Christian News


In your November 15, 1993 issue you published: “Nazi gas chambers / The Answer to Dr. Faurisson’s Challenge by Friedrich Paul Berg”. I wish to comment on some points of this article.

Mr. Berg thinks that there is “a great deal of nonsense” in my article of the Journal of Historical Review: A red-letter day for revisionism, April 22, 1993 / The US Holocaust Memorial Museum: A challenge (July-August 1993, p. 14-17). His other words are: “mistaken”, “pure fantasy”, “Faurisson repeatedly overstated”, “fails to understand”, “ridiculous”, “false argument”, “false arguments”.

I shall not comment on those words. Let’s go first to one clear fact and then to Mr. Berg’s own arguments.

My challenge, as you know, was: “Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber!” Well, the one clear fact is that the only way of giving an answer to my challenge would be to show me or to draw me a Nazi gas chamber, i.e. the chemical slaughterhouse supposedly conceived by the Nazis and used to kill at once hundreds or thousands of Jews every day, systematically. Mr. Berg does not show me nor does he draw me that extraordinary weapon. Therefore he does not give any answer to my challenge.

I am not interested in speculations about what the Nazis according to someone or other could have done in the matter of homicidal gas chambers. I could myself speculate and say that they could easily have suffocated Jews by only putting 2,000 of them, as we are told, in a Leichenkeller of 210 sq. m. (minus the space occupied by seven concrete pillars): lack of oxygen would have killed those people.

In fact, I only have to consider the specific crime that the Nazis according to their accusers are supposed to have actually committed in Auschwitz and in five or six other camps in very precise or rather precise locations.

Mr. Berg uses words like: “could have been easily adapted”, “could not wreck”, “would have been needed”, “would not have required”, “we can presume“, “would have already been”, “could be”, “could have had”, “could be”, “could have”. Only, I am not interested in a possible Nazi gas chamber possibly situated elsewhere than in the abovementioned locations, and I do not care very much for such gas chambers imagined by Mr. Berg, especially when I consider his argumentation.

Not only does he use his imagination but he appeals to our own imagination to figure out that possible weapon. We are left with words like “we can presume”. Can we really presume? Where can we find technical drawings of the “F. Berg homicidal gas chamber”? What is an engineering argumentation without any engineering dossier?

For 14 years Mr. Berg has been repeating to me what you can read in his paper (the story of Budapest which I already knew at the time, having myself shown the slides in my conferences). One day the idea came to me of asking him publicly if he had really studied the American execution gas chambers before criticizing their “stupid American technology” and if he had tried to distinguish, inside this complicated technology, what was due to indispensable reasons of security for the doctor, his assistants and the penitentiary crew and what was due to reasons of comfort or humanity. He confessed he had not.

As I can see today, he still has not done what he should have done first. Simple common sense and the study of the American execution gas chamber show that, if “less than one gram” is needed to kill someone with HCN, nothing will happen if you put that tiny quantity in the gas chamber; this gas chamber must be filled with gas in order to execute one man; one or two pounds of cyanide are necessary; the entire room and the entire body of the prisoner will be impregnated with hydrocyanic acid making very difficult the entering of the place after the execution, and the handling of the dead body (among many other problems).

It is a mistake to proceed by analogy. From what one knows or believes he knows about disinfestation of clothes with gas, one may not gather how to execute human beings with that gas. Gassing of lifeless and inert stuff is one thing, and gassing liquid and greasy stuff is another thing. HCN adheres strongly to the first, but one can get rid of it rather easily, whereas HCN stays in liquid, in grease and in the human body and it is difficult to get rid of it.

Mr. Berg should read carefully the documents I published in the ’70s: documents NI-9908 and especially NI-9912 about the German procedure for disinfestation with Zyklon-B (Vergasung or Begasung) and documents about the executions with cyanide in the Baltimore gas chamber (built in 1958 but not essentially different from the US gas chambers of the ’30s). He should also read more carefully, in my JHR article, footnote 3 beginning with: “A Zyklon-B delousing gas chamber could not have been used as a homicidal gas chamber”. Of course, I do not deny that any place or room could be used once as an execution gas chamber, with all the risks you may expect, but that place or that room would not be called a gas chamber (implying a regular and constant use for years).

Mr. Berg says: “Another false argument Faurisson has repeatedly used is that cyanide gas is explosive and, therefore, could never have been used near crematory ovens”. He then adds: “Fred Leuchter was apparently persuaded to fall in line and use the same argument”. He says that “the worst that one can get [if the level of concentration is such and such] is a flame, but no explosion!” Now, for me, that flame already would be enough, but what would happen if, for some reason, the level of concentration were not the expected one? Who knows what such a level could be in any circumstance and in any place of a room? What I had first in mind was, of course, Krematorium-1 in Auschwitz, with ovens actually burning at a few meters from the so-called gas chamber totally lacking airtightness.[1]  

You simply do not use explosive gas where there could be “heat, sparks, open flame”, or even “pilot lights” (see Aero HCN discoids for use by pest control operators only[2], American Cyanamid Company, Agricultural division, Princeton, New Jersey 08540). Sometimes, as in Majdanek, the Germans used an oven to provide the required heat into the disinfestation gas chamber but, precisely, before disseminating the Zyklon-B pellets or discs, they would stop the oven, situated outside in its own room, and block up the pipe bringing the heat.

Mr. Berg says: “While on the subject of corpse disposal, I will digress somewhat to suggest that cremation only makes sense if one intends to return a portion of the actual ashes of a corpse to the true family members; otherwise cremation makes no sense at all”. I say that cremation makes sense everywhere you decide to save space or whenever, as was the case in Auschwitz, the ground is too marshy for burials or when there are epidemics, etc.

Mr. Berg was extremely disappointed when Fred Leuchter confirmed in 1988 my discovery in the ’70s of the “physical and chemical impossibilities of the alleged Nazi gas chambers”. His critiques of my work are always also directed at F. Leuchter, who, himself, before my visit to him in Boston, believed in the Nazi gas chambers, had never pondered over their physical representation and never realized that, if you know what an American execution gas chamber is, you can easily understand that what we are told about the Nazi gas chambers is inconceivable. F. Leuchter realized that he had been wrong, he changed his mind, he visited the so-called Nazi gas chambers and wrote his famous report.

As for my challenge, I did my best to “keep it simple, stupid”. I often noticed how paralyzing it was for our adversaries. We should constantly repeat it in our articles, debates or discussions as the ultima verba (the last and definitive words). We have waisted too much time discussing about doors, tapes, showers, ventilation, peep-holes, etc., thus giving, by the way, apparently some substance to what our adversaries were saying. They have to show us or draw us the miraculous weapon. Period !

Anyway, so far this challenge has received no answer: neither from the Swedish media when I expressed it for the first time (March 17, 1992) nor from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which had the chutzpah (effrontery) of presenting as a Nazi homicidal gas chamber a room that even Pressac and the Klarsfelds had named a delousing gas chamber (see my abovementioned article). Even Mr. Berg, who is more clever than those people, has not been able to answer that challenge.

One last word: Mr. Berg wrote that the Institute for Historical Review refused to publish his article unless it was watered down (Christian News, Nov. 15, p. 16). This is exact, except that the IHR also told him that his article was not an answer to my challenge. Jack Wikoff (Remarks) refused for the same reasons.

December 13, 1993


[1] In Krema-II and Krema-III, quite near the alleged gas chamber (in fact Leichenkeller 1) there was, in Leichenkeller 3, a room with a furnace for the melting of gold (Goldarbeit).
[2] The exact text is: “Eliminate all sources of ignition, including pilot lights and electrical sparks […]. All fires and pilot lights should be extinguished before fumigation”. See also: “If a mess hall is equipped with gas, blower-type heaters, these may be used for heating prior to fumigation, but they should be extinguished (including the pilot light) just before applying the fumigant. All pilot lights in boilers, ranges, etc. should be extinguished. Coal fires in cooking ranges should be banked so there will be no live flame during the fumigation” (American Cyanamid and Chemical Corporation, Military Fumigation Manual, 1, Zyklon Discoids […], New York 1943, p. 12). See the warning on the Zyklon-B cans: Vor Sonne und offener Flamme schützen (protect from sun and live flame).