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January 4, 2011

Denying the Holocaust

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:31 am

I bought the paperback edition of Deborah Lipstadt’s book Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory when it first came out in July 1994.  It has been sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, ever since.  Yesterday, I started going through it again, to refresh my memory.  This was the book that caused David Irving to sue Ms. Lipstadt for libel.

The civil suit was considered to be The Holocaust on Trial, which is the title of a book about the case, written by D.D. Guttenplan.   I started thinking about all this when it was brought up in comments on one of my previous posts.

The last chapter in Denying the Holocaust does not have a chapter number; it is labeled APPENDIX.  I don’t know if this was included in the original hard cover edition or not.

In the Forward of the paperback edition, Ms. Lipstadt makes a big case for not arguing with Holocaust deniers; she mentions her “steadfast refusal to debate deniers.”   She wrote that deniers want to be thought of as “the other side.”  Of course, there is no other side to the Holocaust.  The old saying, that there are two sides to everything, doesn’t apply to the Holocaust: “the other side” of the Holocaust is currently a crime in seventeen countries.

In the court case, Ms. Lipstadt did not take the witness stand; she left it up to the experts to prove the Holocaust in court.  In the APPENDIX, Ms. Lipstadt breaks her own rule about never debating the Holocaust deniers.  She disputes evidence presented by “the other side.”

The title of the APPENDIX is “Twisting the Truth.”  Her side is the Truth and she gives her proof that “the Truth” is the truth.  Her arguments seem to apply only to the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau and specifically, only to Birkenau, where there were four gas chambers in Crematorium II, Crematorium III, Crematorium IV and Crematorium V.  This numbering system is based on Crematorium I being the gas chamber in the main Aushwitz camp. The discussion about the crematoria is based “on a brief summary of Pressac’s extensive findings.”

I haven’t read Pressac, so I’m not an expert.  Curiously, Germar Rudolf is not mentioned at all in the book Denying the Holocaust.  He is the real expert, but he was not called as a witness by David Irving, and the defense did not put Ms. Lipstadt on the stand.  So the main part of the civil case consisted of Irving, who is a World War II historian (not a Holocaust historian), arguing with the experts, who were on the side of “the Truth.”

But I digress.  The main point here concerns what was brought up in the APPENDIX of the paperback edition of Denying the Holocaust.  On page 226, it is stated that “A gas tight door could only be used for a gas chamber.”  This is followed by  a rhetorical question:  “Why would a room that functioned as a shower room need a gas-tight door?”

The gas chambers at Dachau and Mauthausen, which are still in existence, both have gas-tight doors.  The gas chamber at Dachau was originally a  shower room and the gas chamber at Mauthausen is still a fully functioning shower room with real water pipes going into the room.  These shower rooms didn’t NEED a gas-tight door, but with the addition of a gas-tight door, the shower rooms could be used as rooms which the SS men could go into if they needed protection against a gas attack by the enemy.  Remember the mustard gas that was used in World War I?  There was an expectation that gas might be used again in World War II.  Why not be prepared?

On page 228 in the APPENDIX, we read that the gas-tight door for Crematorium II “was to be fitted with a rubberized sealing strip and a peephole for inspection.  Why would a morgue or a disinfection chamber need a peephole?”

Of course, a morgue doesn’t NEED a peephole, but what if the room is also going to be used as an air-raid shelter in case of a bomb attack?  The gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp has a peephole, but the peephole is on a door to the outside because the peephole was intended for the people inside to look OUT, not for the SS men to look IN to see if the people inside were dead.

At the time that Ms. Lipstadt wrote her book, the staff at the Auschwitz Museum was claiming that the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp was original.  Now it is admitted that the gas chamber was reconstructed after it had been turned into an air raid shelter.

Air raid shelter door on Crematorium I at Auschwitz

The photo above, taken by me in October 2005, shows a metal air raid shelter door into the vestibule of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp.  The wooden door, which is the entrance into the gas chamber, was not there before the gas chamber was reconstructed for the benefit of tourists.

Air raid shelter door has a peephole

The photo above shows the air raid shelter door into the gas chamber at the Auschwitz main camp.  Anyone looking through this peephole would not have been able to see the people inside, but people looking out could see if it was all clear and safe to come out.

On page 225 of her book, Ms. Lipstadt denies that Zyklon-B was used for disinfection.  She wrote:  “Disinfection is carried out with a bactericide not an insecticide, particularly one so powerful as Zyklon-B.”

I’m not a scientist, but is a louse considered to be bacteria or an insect?  There is no question that Zyklon-B was used in the concentration camps to kill the lice that spreads typhus.  The Degesh company, that supplied the Zyklon-B to Dachau, also supplied a fancy machine that could  automatically open a can of Zyklon-B and dump it into a basket.

Degesh machine used to open can of Zyklon-B

On page 226 of Denying the Holocaust, we read this startling information:  “The company contracted to design and install the execution chambers was Topf and Sons.”  I always thought that Topf and Sons was the company that made the crematoria ovens, but what do I know?

Cremation oven designed by Topf and Sons

Topf and Sons logo on cremation oven at Dachau

The photos above were taken in the old crematorium at Dachau.  Topf and sons was a well-known maker of ovens in Germany.  Did this company also design “execution chambers” as Deborah Lipstadt wrote?  A few people believe that the Jews were executed in “gas ovens.”  Is that what Ms. Lipstadt was talking about?

On page 226, we also read this:  “An inventory of equipment in Crematorium III called for the installation of one gas door and fourteen showers. […] On the inventory drawings, the water pipes are not connected to the showers themselves.”  This information came from “Pressac’s extensive findings.”

Wow! Where can I get a copy of Pressac’s book?  Where is Germar Rudolf when we need him?  As I recall, Rudolf climbed down into the ruins of Crematorium II which was identical to Crematorium III, but I don’t think he mentioned any shower heads on the ceiling of Crematorium II in his Holocaust denier books.

Ruins of Crematorium III gas chamber

The photo above shows the ruins of the Crematorium III gas chamber; in the background is the soccer field, where the inmates played soccer while other prisoners were gassed to death.  The Holocaust perpetrators didn’t consider that the location of the gas chamber building would mean that there were a lot of witnesses to the gassing at Birkenau.

Can anyone explain to me the fourteen shower heads, not connected to the plumbing, which are on the plans for Crematorium II that were found by Pressac?  Did Pressac get the Birkenau gas chamber mixed up with the Dachau gas chamber where one can see that the shower heads are not connected to any pipes?

BTW, where is Pressac these days?  Is he still alive and is he still a True Believer?