Scrapbookpages Blog

October 16, 2012

Why tour guides at Dachau tell visitors that the gas chambers were used

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:03 am

I learned from a comment made on my blog yesterday that a tour guide at Dachau is telling gullible tourists that the gas chambers were used to kill prisoners.  This quote is from the comment:

However when I asked why historians now think that a gas chamber at Dachau was used, he claims that witness statements claim it was which were never given proper weight in the past (apparently Gordon Hogan, historian extrodinairre, is the first person in history to realise this), and that’s good enough for him. He also claims that traces of Zyklon B have been tested for and found(!!). This all sounded a little “make it up as you go along” so I researched some more on the internet, and realise there is no evidence that any people were gassed at Dachau.

All of the claims in the above comment are true. There is NO EVIDENCE that any people were gassed at Dachau.  However, it is also true that “witness statements claim that it was.”  Four of the Dachau gas chambers were used to disinfect the clothing of the prisoners with Zyklon-B gas, so if these four chambers were tested for Zyklon-B, there would have been traces of it found.

You can see photos of the Dachau gas chamber and read a description of the shower room, that was allegedly used as a gas chamber here.  You can see photos of openings in the interior of the shower room here.

What “witness statements” claim that the gas chambers (plural) were used?

After Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the official report of the U.S. Seventh Army was printed as a book entitled Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, Released Within Days of the Camp’s Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions.

The Official Report was based on two days of interviewing 20 political prisoners at Dachau; the prisoners told the Americans that both the shower room and the four disinfection chambers were used as homicidal gas chambers.  Did these POLITICAL PRISONERS have a motive to lie? Did the American liberators have a motive to lie?  Did General Dwight D. Eisenhower have a motive to show the German people as monsters?  Yes, to all three questions!

Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp to be found by American troops, while prisoners were still incarcerated there.  Prior to this, Americans had come across the abandoned Natzweiler camp in France and the abandoned Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald. At Dachau, this was the first chance that Americans had to talk with the prisoners of a concentration camp and get their first-hand account of what happened.

Some of the political prisoners in the camp had organized the International Committee of Dachau.  Members of the Committee met the Americans at the Arbeit Macht Frei gate and escorted them to the gas chambers. There are claims that the sight of the gas chambers caused the Americans to violate the Geneva Convention by killing the German soldiers who had surrendered; this is known as the Dachau Massacre.

The International Committee of Dachau is still in existence and it still controls what is told at the Dachau Memorial Site.  That is why tourists today are told that the gas chambers were used, even though there is no evidence that it was even possible that the shower room could have been used to gas the prisoners.

The following quote is from The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army:

“When the American troops arrived on 29 April 1945, there were approximately 32,500 estimated internees of all nationalities, the Poles predominating. During this period, the camp was notorious for its cruelty, but within the last six or eight months, some ‘token’ improvement was noted in the treatment of the internees. However, the new crematorium was completed in May 1944, and the gas chambers, a total of five, were used for the executions and the disposals of the bodies.”

The Baracke X building and the five gas chambers were actually completed in May 1943.  At that time, most of the Jews were in camps in Poland, so who was being gassed at Dachau?

The Report of the Atrocities Committed at Dachau Concentration Camp, signed by Col. David Chavez, Jr., JAGD, 7 May 1945 is quoted below:

“The new building had a gas chamber for executions… the gas chamber was labeled “shower room” over the entrance and was a large room with airtight doors and double glassed lights, sealed and gas proof. The ceiling was studded with dummy shower heads. A small observation peephole, double glassed and hermetically sealed was used to observe the conditions of the victims. There were grates in the floor. Hydrogen cyanide was mixed in the room below, and rose into the gas chamber and out the top vents.”

Based on the WITNESS STATEMENTS, the tour guides should tell tourists that hydrogen cyanide was put into the gas chamber through the GRATES IN THE FLOOR. Tourists are told that the grates in the floor, which are now closed up, are fake grates, but I don’t think that the tour guides tell people that the gas came up into the shower room through these grates.

Note that the Official Army Report says nothing about the two little windows on the east wall of the gas chamber.  Those windows weren’t there when the camp was liberated.  Or perhaps, they were there and no one noticed them.  I have a page on my website in which I have collected eye witness statements and none of these statements mention the little windows.  In spite of this, tour guides at Dachau tell visitors that gas pellets were thrown into the shower room through these openings.

I don’t know if all of the Dachau tour guides tell visitors that the gas chamber was used, but I have read many blog posts written by students who took a tour of Dachau.

This quote is from this blog:

Dachau was never used as a mass-extermination facility, meaning a large number of prisoners did not endure a gas chamber death.  However, there is a gas chamber at Dachau and it was used to kill only “small numbers” of prisoners.  The tour guide explained that because of Dachau’s location in Germany, it was easier to ship prisoners to concentration camps outside of the country in order to easily “dispose” of them.

The German people have no control over their history.  If someone on the staff of the Dachau Memorial Site would have the nerve to speak up, and say that the shower room was not used as a gas chamber, that person would be reported to the Thought Police and would wind up serving 5 years in a German prison.    If you live in Germany or Austria, do not mention anything that you have read here, or you could be put on trial for Holocaust denial.

Americans who still have free speech should speak up when they take a tour of Dachau and confront the tour guides with their lies.