An article about the death of Shlomo Venezia in the New York Times, which you can read in full here, gives a lot of details that are included in the book Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz, written by Sholomo Venezia, drawing from his personal experience as one of the Jews whose work involved carrying the dead bodies of Jew out of the gas chambers.
Holocaust revisionists say that there were no holes in the roof of the gas chamber, through which the Zyklon-B gas pellets could have been thrown in. The opinions expressed by revisionists are based partly on the reports of Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf, both of whom descended into the ruins of underground gas chamber and found no evidence of holes.
Note in the photo above that there appear to be two large holes in the roof of the alleged Krema II gas chamber. It is possible to climb down into the ruins, through the collapsed roof, because the gas chamber was only 5 feet below ground and 3 feet above ground. Both Leuchter and Rudolf climbed down into the ruins and took samples from the walls of the supposed gas chamber. Test results showed that there was not enough residue of Zyklon-B to warrant the claim that the room had been a gas chamber. Krema II is where 500,000 Jews were allegedly gassed, according to Holocaust historian Robert Jan van Pelt, who called Krema II “the Holy of Holies.”
The photo above shows the Krema II building with the roof of the gas chamber in the foreground on the right. The roof of the gas chamber was 3 feet above ground. When the building was blown up, allegedly by the Germans, the roof collapsed. Elie Wiesel wrote in his book Night that the gas chambers were blown up on January 20, 1945, two days after the Germans marched the prisoners out of the camp.
This quote is from the New York Times article about Sholomo Venezia’s book:
It offers page after page of horrific detail:
¶ “Once they had taken off their clothes, the women went into the gas chamber and waited, thinking that they were in a shower. They couldn’t know where they really were.”
¶ “Finally, the German bringing the gas would arrive; it took two prisoners from the Sonderkommando to help him lift up the external trapdoor, above the gas chamber; then he introduced Zyklon B through the opening. The lid was made of very heavy cement. The German would never have bothered to lift it up himself, as it needed two of us. Sometimes, it was me, sometimes others.”
¶ “Once the gas had been thrown in, it lasted about 10 to 12 minutes, then finally you couldn’t hear anything, not a living soul.”
¶ “When the job of cutting the hair and pulling out the gold teeth had been completed, two people came to take the bodies and to load them onto the hoist that sent them up to the ground floor of the building, and the crematorium ovens.”
About 500,000 people, 90 percent of them Jews, were killed during Mr. Venezia’s nine months at Auschwitz, which ended on Jan. 18, 1945, when thousands of inmates were forced into a “death march” toward Germany. In all, about 2,900 prisoners served as sonderkommandos at the camp. There were about 950 during his internment, only 80 or 90 of whom were not themselves killed.
“We had turned into robots, obeying orders while trying not to think, so we could survive a few hours longer,” he said.
So the lids of the holes were made of heavy cement? Why didn’t the heavy cement lids survive the blast when the gas chamber was blown up? The rest of the roof is intact.
Wikipedia has an entry entitled Criticism of Holocaust denial. This quote is from that page of Wikipedia:
Another claim made by Holocaust deniers is that there were no vents in the gas chambers through which Zyklon B could be inserted. The BBC offers a response showing that this requires disregard of much documentation:
Deniers have said for years that physical evidence is lacking because they have seen no holes in the roof of the Birkenau gas chamber where the Zyklon was poured in. (In some of the gas chambers the Zyklon B was poured in through the roof, while in others it was thrown in through the windows.) The roof was dynamited at war’s end, and today lies broken in pieces, but three of the four original holes were positively identified in a recent paper. Their location in the concrete matches with eyewitness testimony, aerial photos from 1944, and a ground photo from 1943. The physical evidence shows unmistakably that the Zyklon holes were cast into the concrete when the building was constructed.
The photo below shows the blueprint of the Krema II building, which was found in Berlin after the war.
On the blueprint shown in the photo above, the undressing room is on the right. To the left of the undressing room is the above-ground oven room with the ovens designated by 5 squares. The gas chamber is perpendicular to the undressing room. On the blueprint, the gas chamber is labeled L-keller which is an abbreviation for Leichenkeller, which means corpse cellar in English. The undressing room was also called a Leichenkeller on the blueprint. Note that the length of the undressing room is two or three times as long as the length of the gas chamber. Shouldn’t the two rooms have been the same size?
There was an exterior entrance with a staircase on the north side of the building which led to the Vorraum of Krema II so that the SS men could enter Leichenkeller 1, the gas chamber, without going through Leichenkeller 2, which was the undressing room. In case of emergency, the gas chamber could be used as a bomb shelter for the SS men working in the area, since it had a gas-tight air raid shelter door.
The YouTube video below shows a square hole (at 2.32) which, a tour guide is telling visitors, was one of the holes through which the gas pellets were poured into the gas chamber. Note that the hole is near the side edge of the roof and it has a white lid, which is square. The lid does not look heavy enough to require two strong men to lift it. I did not see this hole, nor the lid, when I visited Auschwitz in 2005 and took many photos of the ruins of Krema II. I stood there for a long time, looking at the collapsed roof, but I missed the obvious square hole and the white lid. The YouTube video below was uploaded by Alan Heath on October 16, 2006.
Watch the YouTube video, starting at 3:30 and compare the collapsed roof of Krema II in the video with my photo of the ruins below. Tell me if you see a hole with a square lid in my photo.
The ruins, as shown in the YouTube video that was uploaded by Alan Heath in 2006, looked to me as if they were under some kind of reconstruction at the south end, which is the section that is out of range in my photo. This reconstruction was also there in October 2005 when I took the photo above.