You can read the full story about how Lou Dunst survived a gas chamber twice here: http://www.sdjewishworld.com/2013/12/27/biography-of-lou-dunst-tells-of-his-three-lives/
This quote is from the link cited above:
Lou and his brother survived Auschwitz only to be forced once again into a boxcar to another death camp, Mauthausen. Once again, they were herded into a gas chamber, expecting to die, choked to death by poisonous gas. “We were pressed together, naked, shrieking with horror, people falling on each other, some trampled, gasping for air, unable to think, function, even form some kind of prayer.” The killing machine did not work.
But as Lou asserts, “Ha-Shem (God) made another miracle.” Lou’s deep faith in God was once again affirmed.
Barely alive at the death camp Mauthausen, starving and thirsty, the emaciated inmates cried out for water or a little piece of stale bread, anything that could help them survive, but the guards only responded with contempt. “They told us not to worry; we were going to the gas chamber anyway.” The next morning the prisoners were shoved, pushed, kicked into the gas chamber. They waited for the smell of the gas, but it didn’t come. There was a malfunction in the system and the poisonous gas was not funneled through the gas lines to reach its destination so it did not work. Lou and the others miraculously got out from the gas chamber, hysterical, demoralized, relieved, confused, grateful, terrorized, but still not dead.”
Finally the doors opened and the stunned slaves rush out into the open air. The Nazis pushed and shoved the scared and naked prisoners into the central meeting ground, where the commandant of Mauthausen casually remarked: “To burn our bodies was too expensive. Instead, he would send us to a place where we would vanish without any cost to the Third Reich.”
Lou and Irving were transferred once again, this time to Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mauthausen, where they were to work underground making pilotless VI rockets that would rain down on London. At Ebensee, one of the harshest death camps, Lou was placed on a pile of corpses; hardly breathing and with little pulse, Lou awaited death.
On May 6, 1945, American GI Robert Persinger of the Third Cavalry of General George S. Patton’s Third Army drove his tank, the Lady Luck, through the camp fence to liberate the inmates of Ebensee. Irving Dunst grabbed Persinger’s hand and tugged him over to his brother’s seemingly lifeless body on the pile of corpus and shouted: “That’s my brother. Please rescue him.”
Lou’s miraculous rescue was the beginning of the third phase in the life of Lou Dunst. Lou was slowly nursed back to health and life by many, including a stay in a Catholic hospital where the Sisters of Mercy showed respect and treated him humanely, until he was well enough to leave on his own. Lou and Irving, like so many other survivors went in search of their relatives and of any survivors they could find. They made their way back to Jasina walking, hitch-hiking or riding on army vehicle and on trains going east. They placed hand-written notes on bulletin boards in towns along the way, notifying anyone who was searching for survivors that they were alive and that they could be reached at the main European Jewish office that was trying to connect surviving relatives with one another. Most of all, they looked for any information they could find about Risi, their sister.
After reading this story about the failure of the gas chambers, I was left wondering why oh why didn’t the Nazis send someone to Missouri to learn how to construct a workable gas chamber.
Missouri is a state that is full of German-Americans, even to this day. In the 1940ies, most of the citizens of Missouri could still speak German.
I blogged about the Missouri gas chamber on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/what-does-a-real-gas-chamber-look-like/
You can read all about the Mauthausen gas chamber on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/Gas%20Chamber/GasChamberEntrance.html
The photo above shows the door into the Mauthausen
shower room gas chamber. Looking through the door, one can see the interior of the gas chamber with heating pipes or cooling pipes on the north wall and the single drain hole on the brick floor.
On the wall to the right of the
shower gas chamber door is a water pipe going into the gas chamber, which could have been used as a fully functioning shower room, when it was not in use as a gas chamber.
On the other side of the wall adjacent to the gas chamber is a small room which is now empty. Former prisoners at Mauthausen said that the “gassing apparatus” was located in a room adjoining the gas chamber. This was the apparatus which did not work properly when Lou Dunst was being gassed.
I wrote about the Ebensee camp on this page of my website:
I blogged about the Holocaust gas chambers that are still in existence on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/how-many-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-are-still-in-existence/