by Richard J. Green
Note (May 2, 1999): this response has been superceded by the more thorough essay Chemistry is Not the Science, by Dr. Green and Jamie McCarthy.
Earlier this year, Germar Rudolf dismissed my works The Chemistry of Auschwitz and Leuchter, Rudolf, and the Iron Blues. At a conference held by the Adelaide Institute, he:
...spoke by phone link, saying that Richard Green's attempt to refute his Rudolf Report fails. He claimed that the Prussian blue effect on the walls on the delousing chambers would remain bonded to concrete and it would not decay with time.
I have not made the claim that Prussian blue would decay with time. In my second essay, I explicitly agreed with Rudolf that Prussian blue-type compounds are less susceptible to weathering than simple cyanide salts such as potassium cyanide (KCN). I pointed out this discrepancy in an open letter to the Adelaide Institute. Frederic Toben responded by private e-mail to my initial private inquiry, but has never to the best of my knowledge taken remedial action.
Rudolf has offered a brief criticism on the VHO website. Gord McFee translates it from the German:
In a lengthy response on the Internet, Richard Green has devoted his attention to the Rudolf expert opinion, a response in which he essentially has allowed himself to be led by the expert opinions released by the Cracow Institute at the beginning of the 1990s (cf. section 6.6). His principal disadvantage is that he is not good in German and therefore has only reacted to a few sections of my expert opinion, which had been translated for him.
In addition, he seems to have no knowledge of the many subsequent and expanded works that have appeared.
When it comes to the architectural [bautechnisch] observation on the buildings under consideration, Green's knowledge is many years behind the current position, especially insofar as the alleged induction holes in Leichenkeller 1 of Kremas II and III are concerned.
Although Green principally accepts the development process for Prussian Blue from iron oxides from the construction materials and the developing cyanide in the walls on the occasion of HCN gassing, as I proposed, he considers it as unlikely, mainly because he considers the walls observed to be a pH neutral environment.
In this connection, he seems not to be aware of the case I presented in 1994 of building damage [Bauschadensfall] to a Bavarian church after only one Zyklon-B gassing, which proves that moist, cool and freshly plastered walls after a gassing are already in the condition of building up massive Prussian Blue residue - conditions, as they especially must have prevailed in the moist, cool "gas chambers" of Kremas II and III which allegedly went into operation shortly after their completion.
His response is based therefore on obviously insufficient knowledge and must therefore have been very erroneous.
Rudolf is correct about my German but little else. If his English is good enough, I invite him to translate any portions of his work that he thinks have been neglected.
First, it should be noted that Rudolf plays fast and loose with dates. A brief timeline may be helpful to set the record straight.
Rudolf's response is intriguing because he more or less admits that his earlier work is without foundation and that critics should now track down every modification he makes to them.
Rudolf claims that I am many years behind in understanding the introduction vents. Regarding these vents I cited two sources. Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic Magazine, in his book Why People Believe Weird Things (1997), published a photo analysis done by Dr. Nevin Bryant (Caltech/NASA/JPL) of air photos of Birkenau using methods not previously applied. Did Rudolf refute these findings many years ago? That seems unlikely considering it is now only 1998. I also cited John Morris, "The Ball Challenge. Where is John Ball?," published on Nizkor in 1997. Did Rudolf demonstrate years ago that John Ball has the courage of his convictions regarding the induction vents and will follow through on his fraudulent $100,000 offer? Perhaps Rudolf will put his money where Ball's mouth is, or perhaps Rudolf means to say that he has known for years that John Ball's claims are erroneous. That claim at least would be plausible.
Regarding the formation of Prussian blue, I agree that if the conditions are right that HCN can act as a reducing agent if Fe(CN)63- is already present. I do not agree that Rudolf has established that such conditions were present in the gas chambers. Of particular importance is the fact that the walls were washed with water. In my work Leuchter, Rudolf, and the Iron Blues I explain the significance of this fact. Rudolf should be aware of this significance as he himself cites M.A. Alich, D.T. Howarth, M.F. Johnson, J. Inorg. Nucl.Chem. 1967, 29, pp. 1637-1642. The pH is also an interesting question especially given the fact that carbon dioxide exhaled by the victims is an acid anhydride as is also explored in my work above. In fact, the Institute for Forensic Research in Cracow measured the pH of the gas chambers and measured values between 6 and 7.
To get his alkaline pH Rudolf relies on plaster that cannot be found. Although an alkaline environment is not sufficient to prove Rudolf's point, it would indeed increase the probability of Prussian blue formation. Rudolf claims that the pH is basic because of plaster walls in the gas chambers. There is presently, however, no sign of such plaster in the gas chamber ruins. Rudolf must first demonstrate that there was plaster present in the gas chambers. If he were able to do so, he would beg another question. What happened to this plaster? If Rudolf would like to claim that the plaster was removed, he undermines his own thesis as most of the cyanide traces would have been removed with the plaster.
(The claims about the church were published by "Ernst Gauss." Gauss is a pseudonym of Germar Rudolf - see Sarah Rembiszewski, The Final Lie: Holocaust Denial in Germany, A Second-Generation Denier as a Test Case, Tel Aviv University Printshop, Tel Aviv, 1996. Do honest people cite their own pseudonymous works without explicity acknowledging their authorship? I note, however, that Rudolf does implicitly acknowledge authorship in calling it his work.)
Rudolf's church displays interesting chemistry that may be worth a more in depth treatment, but the key element is pointed out by "Gauss" himself:
The specialists which the relevant companies called in to assist could not account for this effect, as nothing similar was described in the literature.
The staining in the church is an event that occurred, but it does not represent a phenomenon that always occurs. As "Gauss" notes, the specialists were surprised. HCN had been used routinely for fumigation without such effects taking place. As for the plastered walls in the gas chambers, perhaps Mr. Rudolf would like to inform the world of the present location of this plaster.
Richard J. Green
On January 17, 1999, after we contacted some denial websites which had contact with Germar Rudolf, we received an email from him. It read (in part):
Richard must have missed the link there leading directly to that paper on http://www.vho.org/GB/Contributions/Green.html. It would be unfair to response to Richards comments on that summary. Hence, before I am going to react, please read this paper and eventually update your response.
Dr. Green (and the rest of us) were unaware of this webpage, which apparently has been up since August 1998. It is a much more detailed criticism of Dr. Green's arguments than what we had been aware of. This illustrates why websites make for poor discussion forums. We will indeed update this response as soon as time permits.
January 17, 1999
It is apparent that there is indeed some evidence for the presence of plaster in the ruins of Krema II. This fact does not substantially affect the arguments I made in answer to Rudolf's brief criticism. A more substantial response to his more detailed criticism is in preparation.
Richard J. Green
January 27, 1999