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July 30, 2010

Do you know what a “retort” is?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:29 am

If you don’t know by now what a “retort” is, you can look it up on google.  You will find several web sites which give the definition of retort, which means a sharp reply.  But what if you are reading something on the Internet, and you find the word “retort” used as a noun to mean an object at a former Nazi concentration camp? What is a “retort” at Dachau, for example.  Several years ago, I took it upon myself to illustrate what a “retort” looks like at Dachau.

O.K. I won’t keep you in suspense.  The photo below shows four “retorts” at Dachau.  The “retorts” are openings in the ovens to place the bodies for cremation.  The new  crematorium at Dachau has four “retorts” and the old crematorium has two “retorts.”

Four “retorts” for burning bodies in the new crematorium at Dachau

The old crematorium at Dachau has two “retorts.”

On my web site, there is  page on which I put the text of the Leuchter Report with links to photos illustrating the words used in the report.  You can read this page here. At the top of the page, I very clearly wrote:

The Leuchter Report on the Dachau gas chamber is printed here in order to show photos which illustrate and explain the terms used. Fred Leuchter, who does not have a degree in Engineering, has been discredited as a gas chamber expert and he no longer works as a gas chamber consultant.
(Click on the links below to see photographs of the features of the gas chamber referred to in the Leuchter Report. These photographs were NOT taken by Fred Leuchter and were NOT included in his report.)

On July 20, 2010, another blogger posted this.  On July 24, the post was updated to include this paragraph in which the blogger accused me of being a Holocaust denier:

* * * * * * F u r t h e r g l o r y / s c r a p b o o k   p r o v i d e s˛ˇ   l i n k   t o   d i s c r e d i t e d     F r e d   L e u c h t e r   s i t e   ,   t h u s   c l i n c h i n g   h i s   d e n i a l   a s   a   f a c t .

D a c h a u   C o n c e n t r a t i o n   C a m p ,   g a s   c h a m b e r ,   S S   T r a i n i n g   C a m p ,   D a c h a u   & P h o t o g r a p h s   o f   D a c h a u   g a s   c h a m b e r   a n d   t h e   L e u c h t e r   R e p o r t   w i t h   i l l u s t r a t i o n s .

h t t p : / / w w w . s c r a p b o o k p a g e s . c o m / d a c h a u s c r a p b o o k /

The moral of this story is that it doesn’t take much to become a criminal in today’s world.  If I ever go to Germany again, I could be put in prison for 5 years, just for illustrating something written by a Holocaust denier.

Update, August 4, 2010

The blog referenced above has now put up a new blog post which acknowledges that the page on which links to the Leuchter Report  clearly states that Fred Leuchter has been discredited and no longer works as a gas chamber consultant.  So I assume that it’s O.K. to illustrate the Leuchter Report, according to today’s blog which you can read here.


  1. “Document 1517-PS [translation]” in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume IV: US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1947. pp. 55-58.


    MEMORANDUM About Discussions [of Rosenberg] with the Fuehrer on 12/4/1941

    To begin with, I [Rosenberg] asked the Fuehrer about my speech in the Sportpalast and referred to several points which seemed to call for further discussion. The Fuehrer was of the opinion that the speech was given prior to the declaration of war by Japan and therefore under different suppositions, but in view of this, still desires to think over several points. It probably would not be appropriate if I were to officially say that the provinces in the East were to remain under Germany. I said thereupon that I, too, had considered this point, that one can probably only say that the Eastern Provinces [Ostland] will remain under German protection. The Fuehrer was of the opinion, only to go so far that the provinces never would come under communism now from the German side appear as secured.

    I remarked on the Jewish question that the comments about the New York Jews must perhaps be changed somewhat after the conclusion (of matters in the East). I took the standpoint, not to speak of the extermination [Ausrottung] of the Jews. The Fuehrer affirmed this and said that they had burdened the war upon us and that they had brought the destruction; it is no wonder if the results would strike them first.

    Comment by paolosilv — August 23, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    • I thought you had made a decision never to comment on my blog again. I don’t know what this Memorandum has to do with anything, but some readers might require a translation. Rosenberg was Alfred Rosenberg, who was the Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories when Hitler was in power. The “Jewish Question” was something that had been discussed in Europe for years before Hitler came to power. The Question was “should the Jews have their own state within a state or country or should they assimilate into the country where they live?” Hitler thought the Jews should not assimilate; he wanted the Jews to get out of Germany. In German, the verb “ausrotten” meant “to get rid of” before the Holocaust. Now, in the Holocaust dictionary, it means to kill. The noun “ausrottung” is now translated as extermination which was not the definition of the word in German dictionaries in 1941. The German dictionary published in 1934 did not define ausrottung to mean extermination.

      The document which Paolosilv quoted in his comment is not anything sinister. Rosenberg told Hitler that he was not going to speak of getting rid of the Jews by sending them to the German-occupied East, which he was in charge of at that time. Hitler agreed and said something about the Jews starting the war, so that’s why the “results,” meaning the war, would affect them first. Hitler had a secretary who followed him around and wrote down everything that he said; that’s why this memorandum about a discussion between Rosenberg and Hitler exists. To use this innocent memorandum to prove the Holocaust is really clutching at straws. I do not want to get into a long argument about the meaning of “ausrotten,” so don’t comment on my blog again.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 23, 2010 @ 7:24 am

  2. Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions. We know from captured German war records that millions of innocent Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany – most in gas chambers. These facts have been proven repeatedly through countless thesis and dissertation research papers. Virtually every PhD in the world will stake their career on known Holocaust facts. Despite this knowledge, Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. Such deniers have only one agenda – to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred, or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes.

    Museums and mandatory public education are tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books and films can also establish the veracity of genocides, such as recent Holocaust films. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from such blind loathing and prejudice. It is therefore essential that we disclose the factual brutality and horror of genocide, combating the deniers’ virulent, inaccurate historical revision. We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes.

    A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. Books, films and required public education about genocide can help to reduce such unacceptable behavior. We must show the world that religious, racial, ethnic and gender persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny’s only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, Jacob’s Courage

    Comment by cweinblatt — July 30, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

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