I was horrified when I read this on NewsOK, an Edmonton, Oklahoma newspaper website:
Tour guides re-enacted the process of locking the prisoners in the [gas] chamber then dropping solid pellets of Zyklon B, the chemical formulation Nazis used to commit mass genocide, into vents in the walls. After the mock gassing, the guides showed how the bodies were cleaned out of the chamber.
Surely NOT! A mock gassing conducted by tour guides at Auschwitz? What is the world coming to?
According to the article in NewsOK, written by Heather Warlick, this horror supposedly happened on a trip made by four “World War II veterans, three survivors of concentration camps and 17 students from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. The tour was part of College of the Ozarks’ Patriotic Education Travel Program, and all travel expenses were paid for by the college.”
Note that the article says that the Zyklon-B pellets were dropped “into vents in the walls.” This is a possible hint that the “mock gassing” didn’t actually happen because there are no vents in the walls of the reconstructed gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp. The reconstructed vents are on the roof of the gas chamber.
The last time that I was at Auschwitz, there was a sign which told visitors that it was forbidden to climb up on the roof of the gas chamber. Surely, the tour guides did not climb up onto the roof and pour pellets into the gas chamber to give these young students a macabre thrill.
When I visited Auschwitz in 1998, there were very few tourists there, and I was able to climb up on the roof where I took the photo below.
You can read about the vent holes on the roof of the Auschwitz gas chamber on my website here. You can see photos of the holes on the ceiling of the gas chamber on my website here. There are no photos of vents in the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber on my website because these vents didn’t exist.
The NewsOK article includes the photo below, which shows two of the World War II veterans on the trip sitting inside the Mauthausen gas chamber.
I have written extensively about the Mauthausen gas chamber on my website here. I would love to see a re-enactment of the gassing procedure in the Mauthausen gas chamber. You can read the testimony about the gas chamber at Mauthausen on my website here.