The photo above, taken by Simon Robertson on January 12, 2004, shows fingernail scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp. Notice the star of David on the right hand side in the middle of the photo. To the left of that star of David, there is another one in the white patch in the middle of the photo.
When I visited Auschwitz in October 2005, I did not notice these scratch marks; possibly they had been painted over. On my first visit to the Auschwitz main camp in October 1998, I did not see any scratches on the walls of the gas chamber.
The following quote from Glenn Beck is on the website which shows the photo above:
The gas chambers. Glenn Beck: I have always assumed that it killed relatively quickly. But when I saw this wall – I knew I was wrong. To stand in this room where hundreds of thousands died was horrifying. The children were always on the top of the bodies. Heroes to the end. – the adults all assumed the air would be clearer higher and they tried to give these children a chance to live by holding them up close to the ceiling. It didn’t work. The gas killed everyone – but not instantly. It took twenty long horrific minutes. And the walls show it. Many of the children weren’t with their mom or dad, but with strangers. Oh, the special hell that awaited all those who were silent.
How does Glenn Beck know that it took “twenty long horrific minutes” to kill the victims in the Auschwitz gas chamber? In the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, where these photos were taken, there was no way to heat the Zyklon-B gas pellets. In the winter time, it would have taken much longer for the victims to die. The manufacturer of the Zyklon-B gas pellets recommended that the pellets be heated to a temperature of 78.3 degrees in order to speed up the release of the poison gas fumes, but the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp has no way to heat the pellets and no fan to circulate the gas fumes throughout the room.
On my trip to Auschwitz in 2005, I spent a long time in the Auschwitz gas chamber. I examined every inch of the room and I did not see any scratch marks on the walls. All I saw were light blue patches of paint that appeared to be covering something on the wall. These patches of paint are very obvious in the photos below.
Update May 9, 2013:
Since I first wrote this post, I have found one of my photos, taken in 2005, which shows fingernail scratches on the wall. The photo, which is shown below, shows scratches near the ceiling of the gas chamber in the main camp. I was taking a photo of the ceiling, and did not notice that my photo showed fingernail scratches near the ceiling on the far left side of the photo.
Continue reading my original post:
Glenn Beck made a documentary film about his trip to Auschwitz with his wife Tania which can be seen on his new Glenn Beck TV (GBTV) online channel.
This quote is from the promotion for the documentary:
There is perhaps no single location representing all of history that better depicts pure evil, man’s greatest inhumanity to his fellow man, than the stark, cold set of buildings in southern Poland called Auschwitz-Birkenau. During WWII more than one million people, mostly Jews were executed there. Murdered in cold blood. The Nazis called it “the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe.”
From 1942 through 1944 Jews were delivered to the camp’s gas chambers from all over Europe.
But in the face of unthinkable horror there were people who displayed courage beyond imagination. Regular men, women, and children who put their very lives on the line in defense of righteousness. It was a small but important triumph of the human spirit then and equally important lesson for us today.
Note that Glenn Beck’s emphasis is on the righteous Gentiles who displayed courage and stood up to save the Jews. There is a “special hell” for those who remained silent and did not intervene to stop the gassing of the Jews, even as they scratched the walls of the gas chamber in a last desperate attempt to escape, lifting their babies up so that they could gasp their last breath of air. Oh, the Humanity!
The composite photo below was prepared by one of the readers of my blog. It shows an old photo at the top with one of my 2005 photos and then a blueprint of the Auschwitz I gas chamber building. Note that the blue paint that is now on the walls was not there in the old photo.
Read more about Glenn Beck’s visit to Auschwitz here.