The Dachau Gas Chamber

Question

Dear Team

My compliments on a very informative site.

I have a question about the gas chambers at Dachau.

During a tour of Dachau in 1998 our tour guide told us that no one was = gassed there and that the gassing cubicles were built to give an indication of what they would have been like if they had been there. He was a middle aged gentleman who seemed very knowledgable about all facets of the camp.

I would be very interested in hearing your views on this.

Best regards

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you for your recent query.

I am one of the persons at the Holocaust History Project who responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other answers from my colleagues.

It is not known for certain if either the homicidal gas chamber in Dachau and/or the four smaller ones designed for fumigating clothes were ever used. I have spent a considerable amount of time both in Dachau and in researching the subject, all of which resulted in my essay on the subject:

"The Dachau Gas Chambers" which you may view on our web-page at:

http://holocaust-history.org/dachau-gas-chambers/

In this essay which is heavily illustrated I come to the following conclusion:

[...] Neither the reports by the U.S. Army, Father Hess nor Sack prove conclusively that the homicidal chamber was used to kill people. Until further evidence is discovered, historians will have to conform themselves with the knowledge that it was technically possible to have murdered human beings with poison gas in that room, and that the room, some 16x16x12ft high, was designed for the exclusive purpose of carrying out such a grim task. [...]

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Question:

Dear Sir or Madam,First let me commend you for putting together a much needed resource to combat with confidence holocaust denial.However an essay on your site written on Dachau gas chambers maintains that some of the gas chambers were used for homicidal purposes

http://www.holocaust-history.org/dachau-gas-chambers/

I read Shermer's "Denying History" which states that Dachau did not usehomicidal gas chambers at all, and that mainstream historians agree onthis. The book is mainstream and the author works with the SimonWiesenthal Center.What is the final verdict?

Thank you again for your services and in advance for your reply,

Harry W. Mazal OBE Responds:

Thank you very much for your recent e-mail concerning the Dachau Gas Chambers.

I am one of the persons that responds to questions from our readers.It is possible that you will receive other responses from my colleagues.

By coincidence I am also the author of the essay on the gas chambersin Dachau.

It is quite probable that you have not read my paper in its entirety, as the verylast paragraph clearly states:

"Neither the reports by the U.S. Army, Father Hess nor Sack prove conclusively that the homicidal chamber was used to kill people. Until further evidence is discovered, historians will have to conform themselves with the knowledge that it was technically possible to have murdered human beings with poison gas in that room, and that the room, some 16x16x12ft high, was designed for the exclusive purpose of carrying out such a grim task. [...]"

I refer in the paper to several instances where the gas chamber *might* have been used experimentally. The most provocative one is a letter by written by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Reichsführer Himmler. Rascher fell out of favor with Himmler towards theend of the war and was incarcerated, ironically enough, in Dachau. Before he was executed in 1945, he also made several interesting statements about the use of the homicidal chamber which I invite you to read in my paper.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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