FOREWORD by Robert Faurisson
Robert Faurisson and Fred Leuchter
Fred A. Leuchter, 45, is an engineer living
in Boston, Massachusetts, who specialized in the design of execution hardware
used in prisons throughout the United States. One of his major projects
was the design of a new gas chamber at the Missouri State Penitentiary
at Jefferson City.
January of 1988, I was in Toronto, Canada, assisting in the defense of
Mr. Ernst Zundel, a German-Canadian who was on trial for spreading false
news by publishing "Did Six Million really Die?", a booklet which
challenged the prevailing view that six million Jews were killed by the
Nazis during World War II, primarily through the use of gas chambers using
hydrocyanic gas (Zyklon B gas).
Ernst Zundel had been previously tried on the same charge in 1985.
The trial lasted seven weeks and ended with a conviction and a sentence
of fifteen months imprisonment. In January 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeal
overturned the judgment because of grave errors in law and ordered that
a new trial be held. The retrial began on January 18, 1988 and at the time
of this writing is still proceeding.
My initial conversations with Fred Leuchter took place in Boston on
the 3rd and 4th of February, 1988. I was impressed with the conciseness
of his answers to my questions and by his ability to explain every detail
of gassing procedures. He confirmed to me the particularly dangerous nature
of an execution by hydrocyanic gas.
Executions using this gas were carried out for the first time in the United
States in 1924, but as late as 1988 major difficulties still existed in
the construction of execution gas chambers, including the problem of leakage.
I noticed that Fred Leuchter did not question the standard notion of the
After my return from Boston to Toronto and after I had reported to
Ernst Zundel on my discussions with Fred Leuchter, Mr. Zundel decided to
ask the latter to prepare an expert opinion on the alleged gas chambers
at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek.
Mr. Leuchter accepted the assignment after a weekend in Toronto reviewing
wartime aerial photographs of the camps, plans of the crematoriums and
alleged gas chambers, documents on Zyklon B and slides taken of the sites
in the 1970's by the Swedish researcher Ditlieb Felderer.
On February 25, 1988, Mr. Leuchter left for Poland together with his
wife Carolyn, his draftsman Howard Miller, cinematographer Jurgen Neumann,
and Polish language interpreter, Tijudar Rudolph. They returned eight days
later on March 3rd.
Upon return, Fred Leuchter wrote his report of 192 pages including
appendices. His conclusions were clear: the evidence was overwhelming that
there were no execution gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek
and that the alleged gas chambers at these sites could not have been, then
or now, utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers.
On the 20th and 21st of April, 1988, he stood in the witness stand
in Toronto. At first, he
replied to the questions put to him by Mr. Zundel's defense lawyer,
Douglas H. Christie, the latter assisted by Keltie Zubko and Barbara Kulaszka.
Mr. Leuchter then faced cross-examination by the Crown Prosecutor, John
Pearson, an official who had been assisted throughout the trial by another
Crown Attorney, a law clerk and frequent consultations with Jewish advisors
sitting immediately behind him in the courtroom.
The examination and cross-examination took place in the presence of
a judge and an eleven-member jury. In the courtroom, the atmosphere was
one of extreme tension. I was sitting beside a number of Revisionist experts,
including Dr. William Lindsey, chief research chemist for Dupont Corporation
before his retirement in 1985. Everyone in the courtroom, regardless of
their own personal viewpoints on the topic under examination, were acutely
aware, I think, of participating in a historical event. The myth of the
gas chambers was ending.
previous day, the director of the Missouri
State Penitentiary, Bill Armontrout, had given testimony explaining
the procedures and practical operation of a cyanide gas chamber. For every
attentive listener it was revealed that if it was so difficult to execute
a single person in this manner, then the alleged execution of hundreds
of thousands of persons by the Germans using Zyklon B would equal the problem
of trying to square the circle.
Following Fred Leuchter on the witness stand came Dr.
James Roth, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ.), Manager of Alpha Analytical Laboratories
in Ashland, Massachusetts. Dr. Roth reported on the analysis of samples
taken from the walls, floors, ceilings and other structures inside the
alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz I and Birkenau. These tests revealed
either no detection of traces of cyanide or extremely low levels. The only
exception was the control sample number 32 taken from Delousing Facility
Number 1 at Birkenau. These results were graphically produced in Appendix
I of the Report and displayed to the jury on an overhead projector. the
difference in detected cyanide between the delousing facility on one hand
and the alleged gas chambers on the other, was spectacular. The extremely
low levels of cyanide found in some crematoria was likely, in my opinion,
to have resulted from disinfection of the premises during the war.
I think I was the first to point out that all studies of the alleged
German execution gas chambers using Zyklon B should commence with a study
of the American execution gas chambers. As early as 1977, with the help
of an American friend, Eugene C. Brugger, a lawyer in New York City, I
began an inquiry into this area. During this research, I obtained information
from six American penitentiaries, those of San Quentin, California; Jefferson
City, Missouri; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Raleigh, North Carolina; Baltimore,
Maryland; and Florence, Arizona. I was forced to conclude at that time
that only an expert in American gas chamber technology could finally determine
whether the alleged German execution gas chambers were capable of having
been used as described in Holocaust literature.
During the next several years, my articles on German gas chambers always
referred to the American gas chambers. These articles included "the
Rumor of Auschwitz or the Gas Chamber Problem", published on the 29th
of December, 1978 in a French daily newspaper, Le Monde, and a long interview
published in August, 1979 in the Italian periodical Storia Illustrata.
I visited the gas chamber in Baltimore, Maryland in September, 1979 and
obtained eight photographs of the chamber and additional documentation.
Then, during a meeting held in New York City under the chairmanship of
Fritz Berg, I showed the Gas Chamber Procedure Check Sheet of the Baltimore
penitentiary and discussed its implications. In 1980, in the first issue
of the newly-created Journal of Historical review, I published an article
entitled "The Mechanics of Gassing", in which I described in
some detail the gas chamber procedures used in the United States. In the
same year, I published in "Verite Historique ou Verite Politique?",
the eight photographs of the Baltimore gas chamber. My video entitled "The
Gas Chamber Problem", made in 1982, began with an analysis of the
American gas chambers.
In 1983, I prepared for the Institute for Historical Review, Los Angeles,
a book in English on the Holocaust controversy which was to include, for
the first time, a list of the questions put to the penitentiary wardens
and their answers. The book, however, was never published: on July 4, 1984,
American Independence Day, the archives of the Institute were destroyed
by arson. This fire, for all intents and purposes, destroyed the financial
viability of the Institute and a number of projects, including that of
my book, were abandoned.
The Holocaust has appeared to be a subject of enormous proportion.
But this "giant", as Dr. Arthur Butz has pointed out in "The
Hoax of the Twentieth Century," is a giant with feet of clay. To see
the feet of clay, one need only go to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland.
In the words of Dr. Wilhelm Staglich, "the extermination thesis stands
or falls with the allegation that Auschwitz was a 'death factory'."
And for me, the whole mystery of Auschwitz is, in turn, concentrated on
the 65 square metres of the alleged gas chamber of Auschwitz I and on the
210 square metres of the alleged gas chamber of Birkenau. These 275 square
metres should have been forensically examined immediately after the war
by the Allies, but no such examination was ever carried out then or since.
The Polish examining magistrate, Jan Sehn, ordered some forensic examinations
at Auschwitz but not of the alleged execution gas chambers themselves.
by revisionists has shown that the places alleged to have been execution
gas chambers could not have been used for such a purpose. Ditlieb Felderer
published photographs indicating the flimsy construction of vents and doors
to the gas chambers and the lack of Prussian blue stains on the walls.
I myself had discovered in 1975 in the archives of the Auschwitz State
Museum (archives which are well-guarded by the Communist officials) the
plans of these alleged gas chambers and was the first to publish them in
various books and articles. These plans were also shown at the first convention
of the Institute for Historical Review in Los Angeles in 1979, when Mr.
Zundel was present. In reality, these alleged gas chambers had been mortuaries
or, as indicated on the plans, "Leichenhalle" for Krema I (later
transformed into an air-raid shelter) and "Leichenkeller" for
Nevertheless, in order to obtain an entirely scientific confirmation
of what simple common sense compelled us to see and what revisionist research
work and documents had revealed, it was necessary to look for an American
gas chamber specialist. I desperately tried to find such a specialist,
but frankly, I had little hope of finding a man who was not only an expert
in gas chamber technology, but also one courageous enough to carry out
such an investigation in a Communist country and to publish the results
if ever they confirmed revisionist conclusions. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Fred Leuchter was this specialist. He went to Poland, conducted the
forensic examination, wrote his report and testified in a Canadian court
on behalf of Mr. Zundel. In so doing, he has quietly entered history.
Fred Leuchter is a modest but quietly determined man who speaks precisely.
He would be an excellent professor and has the real gift of making people
understand the intricacies of any difficult problem. When I asked him whether
or not he was afraid of any dangerous consequences, he replied, "A
fact is a fact." Upon reading the Leuchter Report, David Irving, the
famous British historian, said on April 22nd, 1988 during his testimony
in Toronto that it was a "shattering" document which would become
essential for any future historian writing on the Second World War.
Without Ernst Zundel, almost nothing of what has now transpired would
have been conceivable. He sacrifices everything in his search for historical
accuracy and lives under difficult conditions, facing influential and powerful
enemies. The pressure on him is permanent and takes the most unexpected
and sometimes, the most vicious forms. But he has a strong personality
and charisma. He knows how to analyze any given situation, to evaluate
the ratio of forces, to turn adversity into advantage. From all parts of
the world he attracts and mobilizes competent people. He is a profound
man, a genius who combines common sense with a keen understanding of people
He may once again go to prison for his research and beliefs or be threatened
with deportation. All this is possible. Anything may happen when there
is an intellectual crisis and a realignment of historical concepts of such
a dimension. Revisionism is the great intellectual adventure at the end
of this century. Whatever happens, Ernst Zundel is already the victor.
He is the pacifist-activist who has achieved this victory through the powers
of reason and persuasion.
P.S. Ernst Zundel was found guilty by the jury on May 11, 1988 of knowingly
spreading false news about the Holocaust. He was sentenced to nine months
imprisonment and was granted bail after signing a gag order, promising
not to write or speak about the "Holocaust" until the end of
his appeal proceedings. He thus joined Galileo.
P.S.S. The Supreme Court of Canada, on August 27, 1992, overturned
the conviction of Ernst Zundel and declared the law under which he was
dragged through the courts of Canada for nine years as unconstitutional.
Canada has refused to apologize to Ernst Zundel for his ordeal, and has
turned down his request for compensation for his legal costs etc.
Continue on to Introduction