Chemistry is Not the Science


  1. Leuchter, Fred A., THE LEUCHTER REPORT The End of a Myth: A Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland by an Execution Equipment Expert, Samisdat, 1988. Also available online at

  2. Lüftl, W., "The Lüftl Report, An Austrian Engineer's Report on the 'Gas Chambers' of Auschwitz and Mauthausen," The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 12, no. 4, Winter 1992-1993. A copy of this version is available online at

  3. Rudolf, Germar, The Rudolf Report, Ruediger Kammerer - Armin Solms (Hg), Das Rudolf-Gutachten, Gutachten ueber die Bildung nach Nachweisbarkeit von Canidverbindungen in den "Gaskammern" von Auschwitz, Cromwell Press, London 1993.

    A massively abridged English translation has appeared as The Rudolf Report, London: Cromwell, 1993.

    A version in German, apparently from 1997, is available online at

  4. A collection of online examples:

    "...because of the design and fabrication of these facilities, they could not have been utilized for execution gas chambers."

    Bradley R. Smith's CODOH website,
    Fred A. Leuchter Jr. Biography,
    quoting the Leuchter Report

    "May The Leuchter Report help to free, not only the Western world, but the entire literate world from the chains of an oppressive illusion -- the lie of the Hitler gas chambers."

    CODOH website,
    "The Leuchter Report Vindicated",
    by Paul Grubach

    "It is scientifically impossible to have used so-called 'gassing facilities' as described by many 'Holocaust survivors' and as explained to tourists, since science cannot be suspended - not even for the 'Nazis'..."

    Ernst Zundel's Zundelsite,
    "First Electronic 'Holocaust' Rebuttal
    in the History of Mankind

    "American execution expert, Fred Leuchter, delivered a scientific breakthrough in proving that the so-called gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have been used for their alleged purpose."

    Zundelgram of March 23, 1997

    "The Rudolf Report, authored by industrial chemist Germar Rudolf, formerly of the Stuttgart Max Planck Institute, proves the impossibility of homicidal gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Rudolf's work has not been refuted."

    Zundelgram of September 30, 1997
    quoting the Adelaide Institute


    Zundel Chronology

    "...check up on Dr. Roth's testimony [James Roth analyzed Leuchter's cyanide traces] and then forever hold your peace. Or else, come up with scientific proof that what we say is wrong."

    "Holocaust 101"

    "This answer comes from Germar Rudolf, a German scientist born after the war, now forced into political exile because he claimed that science does not lie. Rudolf is as fine a scientist as Europe can produce."

    Reply to Q&A #29

  5. Rimland, Ingrid, Zundelgram of April 18, 1999. Of course, he was earning his extra money using the facilities and letterhead of the Max Planck Institute without their knowledge. This Zundelgram consists largely of a Rudolf screed, ending in a complaint that Holocaust history ("the propaganda lie") helps to further the "alien cultural domination" of Germany.

  6. Lipstadt, Deborah, Denying the Holocaust, the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, New York: The Free Press, 1993.

  7. Daly, C.B., "Holocaust Revisionist Admits He Is Not Engineer" in The Washington Post, June 18, 1991, Final Edition p. A6.

  8. Chatwin, Margret, private communication.

  9. Maegerle, Anton, "Eine Spinnne im Netz," blick nach rechts, November 27, 1996 (13. Jahrgang, Nr. 24), p. 5; Bayerischer Verfassungsschutzbericht 1997, Hrsg. Bayer. Innenministerium, München.

  10. Maegerle, Anton, blick nach rechts, December 20, 1994 (11. Jahrgang, Nr. 26), p. 5. "Holocaust-Leugner als Zeugen. Prozess gegen Chemiker vor dem Stuttgarter Landgericht."

  11. blick nach rechts, August 6, 1997 (14. Jahrgang, Nr. 16), p. 4. Remer is quoted in this article as saying "Diese Scheiss-Demokratie muss weg!" - "this shitty democracy must go!" On Rudolf's contact with Phillip and Remer, see also Anton Maegerle, "Eine Spinne im Netz," op. .cit.; Maegerle, "Braunes Zentrum," blick nach rechts, March 11, 1999 (16. Jahrgang, Nr. 5), p. 8; trial transcript Landgericht Stuttgart, 4 Js 34417/93.

  12. Maegerle, "Eine Spinne im Netz," op. cit.

  13. Rembiszewski, Sarah, The Final Lie: Holocaust Denial in Germany, A Second-Generation Denier as a Test Case, Tel Aviv University Printshop, Tel Aviv, 1996, p. 35, note 103.

  14. Chatwin, Margret, private communication. We are grateful to Chatwin for the considerable amount of material regarding Rudolf's right-wing connections that she has provided.

  15. Mecklenburg, Jens (Ed.), Handbuch deutscher Rechtsextremismus, Elefanten Press, Berlin, 1996, pp. 518ff.

  16. Shermer, Michael, Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1997, p. 233.

  17. Morris, John, "The Ball Challenge. Where is John Ball?",

  18. Concentrations of trace gases in air are conveniently described in terms of parts per million by volume (ppm) as follows:

    Concentration of species X in ppm = 106*(volume of species X alone)/(volume of air)

    Holocaust denier "David Thomas" has informed Dr. Green that Degesch defines in their publications that they mean ppm as parts per million by mass (a convention brought over from the liquid phase). In the case of HCN, the point is moot. HCN has a molecular mass of 27 versus the atmosphere's roughly 28.8. Thus their densities are nearly equal at the same temperature and one may be loose about switching between the two conventions. Nevertheless, we denote parts per million by volume as ppmv for clarity.

  19. NI-9912, section IX, reprinted in Pressac, Jean-Claude, Technique and Operation of the Auschwitz Gas Chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1989, p. 19. This document is online at the CODOH (denial) website, at

  20. Singer, M., The New Yorker, p. 35, Feb. 1, 1999.

  21. Van Alstine, Mark, private communication. Van Alstine writes:

    Given that Zyklon B came in 200 g, 500 g, 1 kg, and 1.5 kg canisters, arguably "one of the smallest cans" would have been a 500 g can of Zyklon B. That would mean that in Krema II either 1.5 or 2.0 kg of Zyklon B (depending on whether or not one or both gas chambers of L.Keller 1 were used) would have been poured in. Since L.Keller 1 had a volume of about 500 cu m, that would mean a HCN concentration of about 3-4 g cu m. (Cf. Pressac, Technique, op. cit., pp. 16-17, 21, 494)

  22. Pressac, Jean-Claude, "The Deficiencies and Inconsistencies of 'The Leuchter Report'" in Shapiro, S. Truth Prevails: Demolishing Holocaust Denial: The End of the Leuchter Report, NY: The Beate Klarsfield Foundation (1990).

  23. See note 10 above.

  24. Fred Leuchter, for example. His testimony at the 1988 Zundel trial evinces a remarkable lack of understanding of the chemistry at the heart of his Report:

    "One of the main requirements for driving or evaporating the hydrogen cyanide gas out of the Zyklon B is excessive temperature. You have to heat it in order to get this to happen. It has to be heated above 78 or 79 degrees Fahrenheit."

    If the temperature is well below 78°, said Leuchter, the gas will be released very slowly.

    (Lenski, Robert, The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zundel, 1990, p. 375.)

  25. Perry, J.H. and F. Porter, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 48, 299 (1926)

  26. Du Pont, Hydrogen Cyanide: Properties, Uses, Storage, and Handling, Wilmington: Du Pont, 195071/A (1991).

  27. Du Pont, ibid.

  28. Höss, Rudolf, Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz, Steven Paskuly, Ed., 1996, p. 44:

    The door would be screwed shut and the waiting disinfection squads would immediately pour the gas [crystals] into the vents in the ceiling of the gas chamber down an air shaft which went to the floor. This ensured the rapid distribution of the gas. The process could be observed through the peep hole in the door. Those who were standing next to the air shaft were killed immediately. I can state that about one-third died immediately. The remainder staggered about and began to scream and struggle for air. The screaming, however, soon changed to gasping and in a few moments everyone lay still. After twenty minutes at the most no movement could be detected. The time required for the gas to take effect varied according to weather conditions and depended on whether it was damp or dry, cold or warm. It also depended on on the quality of the gas, which was never exactly the same, and on the composition of the transports, which might contain a high proportion of healthy Jews, or the old and sick, or children. The victims became unconscious after a few minutes, according to the distance from the air shaft. Those who screamed and those who were old, sick, or weak, or the small children died quicker than those who were healthy or young.

  29. Du Pont, Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Hydrogen Cyanide, 1130CR, Wilmington DE: Du Pont Chemicals, Engineering & Product Safety, (1993).

  30. Commandant Rudolf Höss wrote "I have never known or heard of a single person being found alive" (Death Dealer, Ed. Paskuly, 1996, p. 43), but just such an incident is described in Nyiszli, Miklos, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, New York: Arcade Publishing, 1993, pp. 114-120. Dr. Nyiszli simplifies the toxicology somewhat:

    I grabbed my instrument case, which was always ready, and dashed to the gas chamber. Against the wall, near the entrance to the immense room, half covered with other bodies, I saw a girl in the throes of a death-rattle, her body seized with convulsions. The gas kommando men around me were in a state of panic. Nothing like this had ever happened in the course of their horrible career. [...]

    I calmly related [to SS Sergeant Mussfeld] the terrible case we found ourselves confronted with. I described for his benefit what pains the child must have suffered in the undressing room, and the horrible scenes that preceded death in the gas chamber. When the room had been plunged into darkness, she had breathed in a few lungfuls of cyclon gas. Only a few, though, for her fragile body had given way under the pushing and shoving of the mass as they fought against death. By chance she had fallen with her face against the wet concrete floor. That bit of humidity had kept her from being asphyxiated, for cyclon gas does not react under humid conditions. These were my arguments, and I asked him to do something for the child. [...]

    "There's no way of getting round it," he said, "the child will have to die."

    Half an hour later the young girl was led, or rather carried, into the furnace hallway, and there Mussfeld sent another in his place to do the job. A bullet in the back of the neck.

  31. Peters, G.,: Blausäure zur Schädlingsbekämpfung (= Sammlung chem. und chem.-techn. Vorträge; N.F. 20) Verlag von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart 1933. Available on the web at

  32. Peters, G. and W. Rasch, Die Einsatzfähigkeit der Blausäure-Durchgasung bei tiefen Temperaturen.Zeitschrift für hygienische Zoologie und Schädlingsbekämpfung, 11 (1941) pp. 133ff. Available on the web at

  33. Irmscher, R., Nochmals: "Die Einsatzfähigkeit der Blausäure bei tiefen Temperaturen" (Once More: "The Efficiency of Prussic Acid
    at Low Temperatures"), Zeitschrift für Hygienische Zoologie und Schädlingsbekämpfung, Feb/Mar 1942, pp. 35-37. Available on the web at

  34. Note that Irmscher's report has swapped captions between cardboard and Erco, on either his tables or his graphs. The graph for cardboard depicts the numbers for Erco, and vice versa. We believe it is the tables which are wrong and that Erco outgasses faster than cardboard, and are seeking definitive confirmation of this. Our argument here stands regardless of which numbers are correct.

  35. Frölich's testimony in a Swiss trial as reported by the denier publication, JHR, 17, No. 4, pp. 2-4, July/Aug. (1998). Explanatory comments in brackets are presumably those of the editors of JHR.

  36. Note that Zyklon was measured by the mass of the hydrocyanic acid; a "1 kg" tin of Zyklon, containing 1 kg of HCN, actually weighed something like 3 kg. If Fröhlich was unaware of this and was trying to adjust for the weight of the carrier, perhaps his minimum estimate was only twice as large as a reasonable maximum.

  37. Porter, Carlos Whitlock, "Chemistry of the Holoco$ts," 1978, revised 1985, published in 1999 at Porter questions whether exhaust fans "are a smart way to get rid of cyanide gas in an industrial complex housing 200,000 people, etc.," and answers his own question: "No."

  38. Ibid:

    In practice, as opposed to theory, "mass gassings" require huge amounts of poison, because the air acts as a dilutant and filter. The liquid must evaporate and fill the entire chamber to an extremely high concentration, which takes time. To kill 2000 people in 2 minutes would probably require a ton of pure cyanide.

  39. Piper, Franciszek, "Gas Chambers and Crematoria," in Gutman, Yisrael, and Michael Berenbaum, Eds., Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, 1994, p. 166.

  40. Pressac, Jean-Claude, with Robert-Jan Van Pelt, "The Machinery of Mass Murder at Auschwitz," in ibid, pp. 210, 232.

    In mid-March [1942], Bischoff received new calculations from Schultz. After reviewing the original numbers, he had decided that it was better to increase the total capacity of the ventilation system of the new crematorium, now to be built at Birkenau, from 32,600 cu m of air an hour to 45,000 an hour. The room most affected by this was the B. Keller, which was to receive a system capable of aerating and deaerating 8,000 instead of 4,800 cu m an hour, that is, a 66-percent increase. Bischoff accepted Schultze's new proposal on April 2. He asked Topf to bring the designation on the firm's blueprints into line with the ones drawn up in the camp. 70 This meant that B. Keller became L. Keller 1 and L. Keller became L. Keller 2. The Topf design was modified accordingly and returned to Auschwitz on May 8. 71

    70. Moscow [Central State Special Archives of Russia], 502-1-312, letter Bauleitung April 2, 1942; Oswiecim, BW 11/1, 12.
    71. Moscow, 502-1-312, letter Topf May 8, 1942.

  41. Mattogno, Carlo, Auschwitz: The End of a Legend, Newport Beach: IHR, 1994, pp. 60-62. Available in German translation as "Auschwitz: das Ende einer Legende" at

    Mattogno misrepresents planned ventilation capacity that was at one point planned as if it were real:

    Consequently, for the supposed homicidal gas chamber, the SS had foreseen 4,800 ÷ 506 = 9.48 air exchanges per hour, while in the supposed changing room 10,000 ÷ 902.7 = 11 air exchanges per hour: thus the gas chamber was less ventilated than the changing room!

    However, he is at least honest enough to point out (two pages earlier) that a larger capacity ended up being used:

    Pressac states that Leichenkeller 1 of Crematories II and III was actually equipped with ventilators with a capacity of 8000 m3/h of air (p. 74 and 118), and even mentions the invoice of the ventilation system for Crematory III: invoice No. 729 of 27 March 1943 (p. 105, note 184).

    Industrial Hygiene calculation

  42. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists website, at The free demonstration version of the Industrial Hygiene Calculator was used to produce the screenshot shown. The screenshot shows the program solving for t with C(0) of 1000 ppmv and C(t) of 20 ppmv: 14.8 minutes.

  43. Pressac and Van Pelt, "The Machinery of Mass Murder at Auschwitz," op. cit., p. 224. Their footnoted source is Pressac, Jean-Claude, Technique, op. cit., pp. 481ff.

  44. The blue line is not extended all the way to the left because it would be meaningless at higher concentrations. It would not make sense to speak of the "mean concentration over fifteen minutes" starting from an initial concentration of 1000 ppmv, because the first few breaths might well prove fatal.

  45. Pressac, Technique, op. cit., p. 253:

    In a few minutes, five at the very most, depending on the humidity of the air and the ambient temperature, all the victims were dead. [...] The air extraction system was then switched on for at least 20 to 30 minutes, for there was a great deal of poisoned air still in the chamber, the amount absorbed by the victims being minimal. The gas-tight door was then unbolted and opened, and the work of extracting the corpses began immediately....

    Ibid, p. 475:

    Twenty minutes after the introduction of the gas the extraction fans were switched on and then the door was opened afterwards....

  46. Pressac, Technique, op. cit., p. 322. The blueprint showing "Belüftung" (aeration) and "Entlüftung" (deaeration) and is available online at images/k2-huta-430921-lkeller1-xsection.jpg.

  47. Reardon, J.T., C.Y. Shaw and G.A. Chown, "Ventilation Strategies for Small Buildings," paper presented at Building Science Insight '90: Small buildings: Technology in Transition. Available on the web at

    Figure 9 indicates the required separations and clearances for intake and exhaust vent openings. Vents should be at least 1 m from any corner of the building to minimize wind effects. Intakes should be at least 450 mm and exhaust vents at least 200 mm above the ground to avoid snow blockage and contamination by ground care products such as herbicides. Intakes and exhaust vents should be separated vertically or horizontally by at least 1800 mm to minimize the potential for cross contamination.

  48. Rudolf, Germar, The Rudolf Report, op. cit.. Available on the web in German at

  49. Nyiszli, Miklos, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, Arcade Publishing, New York (1996), pp. 50-51.

  50. Dragon, Szlama, The Höß Trial, Vol. 1, pp. 102-121. As cited in Pressac, Technique, op.cit., p. 171.

    Dragon also mentions donning a gas mask for work at the (also unventilated) crematorium V, in Kogon et al., Nazi Mass Murder, 1993, p. 167.

  51. Höss, Rudolf, Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz, Ed. Steven Paskuly, Da Capo Press, New York, 1996, p. 160.

  52. Rudolf, Germar, The Rudolf Report, op. cit.. Available on the web in German at

  53. Ibid. In stark contrast to his endless analysis of grams and parts per million for atmospheric poison, Rudolf can offer not a single number regarding poisoning through the skin. In reality, this is not a significant concern.

    It is also noteworthy that the allegedly lethal skin absorption factor is totally ignored when Rudolf calculates the quantity of Zyklon needed to murder the victims. If he really believed it to be an important factor (and if he were honest), he would take it into account in both situations. But it is only when he wants to show that the Sonderkommando would also be killed that he speaks of the "possibly deadly" results:

    Poisoning through the sweat-soaked skin would only be prevented if the laborers in the 'gas chambers' had worked with protective clothing [...] It should not be forgotten here that prussic acid is a contact poison. The transporting of corpses, on whose damp skin large, possibly deadly quantities of prussic acid are absorbed, would have required that the Sonderkommando handling the corpses wear protective clothing.

    Eine Vergiftung durch die schweißnasse Haut schließlich wäre nur dann zu verhindern gewesen, wenn die Arbeiter in den 'Gaskammern' unter diesen Bedingungen mit Schutzanzug gearbeitet hätten, ... Nicht vergessen werden soll hier, daß Blausäure ein Kontaktgift ist. Das Transportieren von Leichen, auf deren feuchter Haut große, eventuell tödlich wirkende Blausäure-Mengen absorbiert sind, hätte bei den mit den Leichen hantierenden Sonderkommandos das Tragen von Schutzkleidung erfordert.

  54. Robin, M. B., and P. Day, Adv. Inorg. Chem. Radiochem., 10, 247 (1967).

  55. P.W. Atkins, Physical Chemistry, p. 826, table 12.3, Third Edition, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company (1986).

  56. M.A. Alich, D.T. Howarth, M.F. Johnson, J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. 1967, 29, 1637-1642.

  57. Ibid.

  58. T. Ozeki, K. Matsumoto, and Seiichiro Hikime, Anal. Chem., 56, 2819-2822, (1984).

  59. L. Moggi, F. Bolleta, V. Balzani and F. Scandola J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem., 28, 2589-2597, (1966).

  60. G. Stochel, and Z. Stasicka Polyhedron., 4, 1887-1890, (1985).

  61. Rembiszewski, op. cit., p. 58.

  62. Markiewicz, Gubala, and Labedz, Z Zagadnien Sqdowych, z. XXX, 17-27, (1994) available at

  63. Prof. Wojciech Piekoszewski, the Institute for Forensic Research, Cracow, private communication.