The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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= 45 m3, he calculates." (41, p. 63). This manner of presenting Gerstein's account necessitates a few observations.

First of all, Rassinier is inventing when he says that Gerstein "measured" the dimensions of the gas chambers that he had seen; for Gerstein, he who in another connection gave the detail that he had measured the duration of the gassing with a stop watch, says nothing like that. It is perfectly obvious that it is a question of an estimate by "the naked eye", with all of the approximation which it implies, particularly on behalf of a man who was profoundly and violently struck by what he saw in 1942 and who still remained at the height of his emotion in 1945, in the middle of the defeat, while writing his "report." This explains the fact that one time he indicates an area of 4x5 meters and another time 5x5. As for the number of gas chambers that he mentions – at one time 6 and at another time 4 (never ten as Rassinier abusively indicates), the contradiction is only apparent: an attentive reading of Gerstein's text reveals only that at the time of the first visit he saw six empty chambers ("Moreover, this afternoon I did not notice," he underscores) and the next day four in operation without one's knowing whether it was a question of the same and how many there were in all at Belzec. Based on his declarations, it is possible only to say that there were at least six, but there is no contradiction. Gerstein says twice that 700-800 or 750 persons had been piled into each of the chambers. It is evident that here, too, he gives not a precise figure which, besides, he had no means of establishing, but rather an estimate expressing an extreme piling up, underscored in the context: "In the chambers, the SS push the men. "Fill up well" – Hauptmann Wirth has ordered (it). The naked men are standing at each other's feet..." And further on he adds again: "At Belzec and Treblinka the trouble was not taken to count in any exact manner the number of Jews killed."

Finally, Gerstein speaks of a train containing 6,700 persons, which Rassinier finds unlikely, writing in the usual tone of mockery "(...) it is certain that with its mere 6,700 (...) persons, this train of forty-five carriages was the most nightmarish of all the trains transporting deportees (...). Thus Kurt Gerstein decidedly has not an accurate eye, and for an engineer that is not very flattering" (41, p. 64). Rassinier is wrong to exercise in this matter his ironic and acid verve; Gerstein indicates sufficiently clearly that it was in fact a question of a "nightmarish" train, since he says that upon arrival out of 6,700 persons there were already 1,450 dead. As for the accuracy of engineer Gerstein's eye, there is every chance that no one had ever taught him nor given him the opportunity before his journey to calculate with precision the area of the chambers of a slaughter-house for men, nor the number of persons that could be piled in there by force to exterminate them. It is perhaps more exact to say that confronted with the sight this engineer lost his calmness to the point of forgetting all of the compasses in the world, which is rather "flattering" for him.

It is undeniable that there are some flagrant contradictions in the "report" and that certain of them are real, for example the area of the
    
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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