Harry W. Mazal OBE 1

During an interview in Germany for the Swedish television program Uppdrag Granskning that was aired on January 21, 2009, Bishop Richard Williamson made a number of statements that conflict with the established history of the Holocaust. He made further statements that fly in the face of science. This document will respectfully try to address these issues in the hope that they might help convince the Bishop to recant his statements and focus his attention on his religious vocation.

Our experience with Holocaust deniers has shown that rarely, if ever, will any of them change their opinions no matter how much evidence is placed before them. Deniers are invariably antisemites who use Holocaust denial as a tool to harass and demean the Jewish people. Truth rarely colors their utterances or writings. Let us pray that Bishop Williamson is mature and intelligent enough to make an informed decision.

Bishop Williamson recently stated that his knowledge of this subject came from books and pamphlets that he had acquired during the time in the 1980's when he was the Rector of the Saint Thomas Aquinas seminary at Winona, Minnesota. These sources will be addressed later on in the body of this document.


Question: Bishop Williamson, are these your words: "There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies." Are these your words?

Bishop Williamson: You are quoting me from Canada, I believe, yes, many years ago. Hmm. I believe that the historical evidence, the historical evidence is strongly against, is, is, hugely against, six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.

Analysis: The Bishop is distorting the truth within an apparently truthful statement; a sort of literary Trojan Horse, as it were. Holocaust deniers employ this technique frequently to try to make a point. The Bishop's statement that "… the historical evidence is strongly against, is, is, hugely against, six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler," is at first glance quite true. However it is important to dissect the statement and explain how it is being used to promote a lie:

  1. Six million Jews were not deliberately killed in the gas chambers. No historian in the world has ever claimed this. Nonetheless, approximately six million Jews were killed, either in the gas chambers in Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau; or shot with pistols, rifles or machine-guns by the Einsatzgruppen, such as occurred in Babi Yar; or in the gas vans initially located in Chelmno and elsewhere; or through medical experiments; or by injections of phenol into their hearts; or by premeditated starvation, etc.
  2. Adolf Hitler's deliberate policy was to rid all of Europe of all the Jews, but not necessarily through the use of gas chambers as the Bishop's statement implies. The list showing the Jewish population of Europe presented to the participants of the Wannsee Conference could not have shown the intentions of the Nazi policy of extermination more clearly.

Question: But you say not one Jew was killed …

Bishop Williamson: … in gas chambers, I think …

Question: There were no gas chambers …

Bishop Williamson: I believe there were no gas chambers. Yes. I think. As far as I have studied the evidence; I am not going by emotion, I'm going by … As far as I have understood the evidence, I think, for instance people who are against what is very widely believed today about the quote-unquote "The Holocaust," I think that people, those people conclude, the revisionists as they are called, I think the most serious conclude, that between 2 and 3 hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but not one of them by gassing in gas chambers.

Analysis: The Bishop insists that there were no gas chambers. In an ironic twist, Holocaust denier David Irving - who had hosted Bishop Williamson at his home in Windsor ten days before this interview - responded to the Bishop's question concerning the use of gas chambers for killing the Jews:

"I am keeping out of this. My advice, which you might like to pass to His Excellency, is to accept that there were organised mass killings from the spring of 1942 to October 1943 at Himmler's three sites on the Bug River - Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec; there is much dispute over numbers and methods of killing, but he should not dispute that there were such killings".

Mr. Irving does not touch on the killing facilities in Auschwitz-Birkenau for reasons that are not germane to the main thrust of this document.

The Bishop goes on to claim that he has "understood the evidence" wherein Holocaust deniers (whom the Bishop identifies as 'Revisionists') "conclude, that between 2 and 3 hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but not one of them by gassing in gas chambers." This is patently untrue.

Bishop Williamson depends exclusively on statements and publications issued by known Holocaust deniers and antisemites. He does not attempt to consult the evidence published by academic historians such as: Richard Evans, Peter Longerich, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Deborah Dwork, Robert Jan van Pelt, Raul Hilberg, Sir Martin Gilbert, Christopher Browning, Martin Broszat, Eberhard Jäckel, Gerald Fleming, to name but a few of the hundreds of historians who have written about the Holocaust. Note that many of these are not Jewish.

Nor has the Bishop - as he should have - consulted the diaries, records, biographies confessions or cross-examinations of the perpetrators, such as Rudolf Höss, Johann Paul Kramer, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, etc.

In spite of the fact that there are millions of documents, photographs, war crime transcripts in every European language, and statements by survivors and Righteous Gentiles, Bishop Williamson appears to ignore them completely. Righteous Gentiles are people of another faith who risked their lives to save Jews. One would think that their testimony was unassailable. Yet he appears to show an exclusive predisposition for material produced by people who are neither accredited historians, nor, much less, recognized scientists.

It is also apparent that the Bishop is not a specialist in statistics, let alone in demography. A careful scholar seeking evidence would analyze the demographic records published by the American Jewish Yearbook for over 100 years. These show the population of Jews throughout the world, country by country and year by year. A population curve from 1900 to 2005 shows that there was a gradual increase of the world population of Jews until 1941. At that time the curve began to turn sharply downward. In 1938 the American Jewish Yearbook showed the number of Jews in the world as being approximately six million Jews greater than those alive in 1946. In fact, the present world population of Jews in 2009 is far smaller than it was in 1939. A scholarly article by a proper demographer in the now-defunct Journal of Holocaust Education reiterates the American Jewish Yearbook population figures.

Should the Bishop choose not to use Jewish source material, he can get a fairly accurate count of the Jews in Europe in a document produced by the Nazis themselves. A document was distributed to the officials that attended the Wannsee Conference showing the population of Jews in every country in Europe. A copy of the list of European Jews included in the Wannsee Protocol appears in the body of this document.

From a purely ethical point of view, it is not whether three hundred thousand or six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, but rather whether the Nazis had the right to kill even a single person simply because of his/her ethnicity.

Bishop Williamson: You may have heard about the Leuchter report? Well, Fred Leuchter was an expert in gas chambers. He designed three gas chambers for three states, three of the fifty American states, for the execution of criminals. So he knew what's involved. And he studied the supposed gas chambers in Germany, at some point in the 1980's, what remains of the supposed gas chambers, the crematoria of Birkenau Auschwitz and his conclusion is, his expert conclusion was it's impossible that these could ever have served for the gassing of large numbers of people.

Analysis: Bishop Williamson is terribly misinformed. Fred Leuchter can hardly be called an expert in gas chamber technology, let alone an engineer. When he was found to be lying about his experiences as an engineer specializing in execution technology, the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors of the State of Massachusetts prosecuted him for falsely making claims about his experience. He signed the following statement on June 11, 1991:

I, Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., agree to immediately cease and desist from the following, while I am in Massachusetts and remain unregistered pursuant to G.L. c. 112, a.81D-T:

  1. Using in any manner whatsoever the title "engineer",
  2. Offering to practice engineering by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or in any other way represent myself to be an engineer, or in any other way offer to practice engineering as defined in G.L. c 112 while in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  3. Practicing engineering as defined in G. L. c. 112. s 81D-T while in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  4. Issuing or distributing any reports where I hold myself out as an engineer or alternatively, provide engineering specifically but not limited to "An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek."

Leuchter is, quite simply, a fraud:

"I can inform you, however, that San Quentin has not contracted with Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. for the installation of a heart monitoring system or for any other work." Signed: DANIEL B. Vasquez, Warden (California)


"I discussed your request with Mr. Nathan A. RICE, Former Warden, and he stated that he vaguely recalled a telephone conversation between him and a gentleman professing to be an expert on execution chambers. Mr. Rice further states that the gentleman called him for the purpose of selling a lethal injection machine...

Also, our records do not support that Mr. Leuchter performed either consulting or any service...I can attest that the planning and work was performed by the Department of Correction Engineering Section and our institution maintenance department." Signed: Gary T. Dixon, Warden (North Carolina)


The only other state with which Leuchter has alleged consulted regarding gas chambers is Missouri. Yet, even though Leuchter has allegedly "designed" a gas chamber for the state, we have to take his word for it since that gas chamber was never built nor installed and, in fact, Missouri does not have an operational gas chamber to this day even though Leuchter had allegedly designed one for them …

Leuchter is also an extortionist:

On July 20, 1990, Alabama Assistant Attorney General Ed Carnes sent a memo to all capital-punishment states questioning Leuchter's credentials and credibility. Carnes stated that not only were Leuchter's views on the gas-chamber process 'unorthodox' but that he was running a shakedown scheme. If a state refused to use his services, Leuchter would testify at the last minute on behalf of the inmate, claiming that the state's gas chamber might malfunction. [Memorandum from Ed Carnes, Alabama Assistant Attorney General, to all Capital Punishment States July 20,1990; Shapiro 'Truth Prevails' pp. 17 and 21; Newsweek, Oct. 22, 1990, p. 64; Swampscott Journal, Nov. 1, 1990.] According to Carnes, Leuchter made 'money on both sides of the fence.' [Associated Press, October 24, 1990.] Describing Leuchter's behavior in Virginia, Florida, and Alabama, Carnes observed that in less than thirty days Leuchter had testified in three states that their electric-chair technology was too old and unreliable to be used. In Florida and Virginia the federal courts had rejected Leuchter's testimony as unreliable. In Florida the court had found that Leuchter had 'misquoted the statements' contained in an important affidavit and had 'inaccurately surmised' a crucial premise of his conclusion [Carnes, Op.Cit., 2. In Virginia, Leuchter provided a death-row inmate's attorney with an affidavit claiming the electric chair would fail. The Virginia court decided the credibility of Leuchter's affidavit was limited because Leuchter was "the refused contractor who bid to replace the electrodes in the Virginia chair [Shapiro, "Truth Prevails, 22]." (Lipstadt, 170)

Anything Leuchter has ever said or published must be rendered suspect.

Bishop Williamson: Because cyanide gas is very dangerous … if you … let's suppose that you gas 300 people that you've crowded into one chamber and you gas them, they are all wearing some clothes, for instance if they are wearing their clothes, it's very dangerous to go in to pull out the corpses because one whiff of gas that is trapped in the clothing or stays in the clothing will kill the person. It's extremely dangerous. In order to … once you've gassed people you have got to get rid of … to evacuate the gas to be able to get into the chamber to use it.

Analysis: It comes as a surprise that a graduate from Cambridge University in Great Britain should be totally uninformed about the Gas Laws. In order to enter that prestigious university, students need to have a high score in their O-level and A-level examinations. These place great importance on, among other things, the knowledge of chemistry, physics, mathematics and history. Presumably Bishop Williamson has at least an O- level knowledge of these subjects.

While it is true that hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a highly poisonous gas. it is also true that it follows all of the laws of physics pertaining to gases. Hydrogen cyanide has a very low molecular weight (27.02), a high vapor pressure of 630mm Hg at 20° C, and a low density of .90 (i.e. lighter than air). In keeping with the gas laws it would disperse almost instantly when released in a closed space. The concentration would be uniform in every corner of any space where it is released within seconds. Clothing is porous to gas. According to Graham's Law of Diffusion (or Effusion):

Gases under no change of pressure that either diffuse in all directions from an original concentration or effuse through a small hole move into mixture at a rate that is inversely proportional to the square root of the formula weight of the gas particle.

Stated simply, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide would be exactly the same in the unoccupied space of the closed space as it would be in the folds of clothing (if indeed they were wearing clothes) of the unfortunates who were within that space. The small holes in the fabric (spaces between the woven material) would ensure that the concentration within or without the fabric would be exactly the same. This signifies that if the level of gas in the gas chamber was safe enough for people to enter it to remove the bodies, whatever "gas is in trapped in the clothing" would also be safe enough. In the case of Crematoriums 2 and 3 the gas chambers were equipped with powerful ventilating systems that would reduce the concentration of the gas within the chamber (and in the folds of clothing) to a safe level within half an hour. Crematoriums 4 and 5 were above ground. Simply opening the doors to the gas chambers would have allowed the gas to disperse into the atmosphere at a very high rate:

In his memoirs Höß says that the doors to the gas chambers, presumably meaning those in the industrially efficient Kremas II to V at Birkenau, could be opened about half an hour after the ventilation process had begun. An article by Richard Green and Jamie McCarthy gives a mathematical model of the dissipation of the gas after ventilation that is consistent Höß's statements.

All of the above is moot, of course, since all descriptions of the killing process in Auschwitz-Birkenau (and all other killing centers employing poisonous gas) describe the victims as removing their clothing before entering the gas chambers, something that the "expert" Leuchter does not seem to address.

Bishop Williamson: To evacuate the gas you need a high chimney, if it's a low chimney the gas goes on to the pavement and kills anybody walking by. You need a high chimney; I forget how high he says it must be. If you … if there was a high chimney, then the shadow … most times of the day … the shadow would have fallen on the ground and the Allied aerial photographers that flew over the camps would have picked up the shadow of this chimney. There were never any such shadows. There was no such chimney; which, according to Fred Leuchter's testimony, there can't have been gas chambers.

Analysis: There was no need whatsoever for any chimney, high or low, to dissipate the hydrogen cyanide gas from the gas chambers. Referring to the Gas Laws mentioned above any hydrogen cyanide gas released into the atmosphere would dissipate immediately and uniformly, becoming part of the atmosphere surrounding the earth. This intrinsic quality of a gas explains why every time one takes a breath of fresh air, one is breathing in a minuscule portion of every breath ever taken by every person (or animal) that has ever lived. And, indeed, the same occurs with every other gas that has been uniformly disseminated in the atmosphere since the creation of the earth.

If it were true - which it is decidedly not - that when hydrogen cyanide is released to the atmosphere "the gas goes on to the pavement and kills anybody walking by" then the same would be true of almost every poisonous gas. Men, women, and children (including the Bishop) would drop like flies simply by walking beside a road with motor vehicles that produce abundant amounts of carbon monoxide gas. There are no reports in the scientific literature showing that carbon monoxide gas had "gone to the pavement and kill(ed) anyone walking by", nor do any vehicles in the world have "high chimneys" connected to their exhaust pipes. Yet, petrol-driven motor vehicles produce carbon monoxide gas by the ton, which coincidentally has many similar characteristics to hydrogen cyanide. Production of that deadly gas occurs every hour of the day and in every part of the globe.

Carbon monoxide, (CO), has a molecular weight of 28.01, HCN of 27.03; both gases are lighter than air: CO = 0.976; HCN = 0.90; and both gases are extremely poisonous to human beings. As for any gas floating down to the pavement and killing 'anyone (that) walks by', Bishop Williamson (and of course Mr. Leuchter) would do well to read a simple tutorial on how gases behave.

Perhaps Leuchter and Bishop Williamson are confusing the physical characteristics of hydrogen cyanide gas with those of a product known as "mustard gas." For the record, mustard gas is not really a gas, but a dense, oily liquid:

Mustard gas is a clear amber colored oily liquid with a faint odor of mustard/garlic. It is not readily combustible. Its vapors are heavier than air, are very toxic, and can be absorbed through the skin. The effects from exposure to the material include blindness which may be delayed. Prolonged exposure of the container to fire or intense heat may cause it to violently rupture and rocket. Mustard gas is also known as dichlorodiethyl sulfide.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While mustard gas might appear to be a "gas" it is not governed by the Gas Laws. In use it is a finely dispersed heavier-than-air liquid. Like all aerosols it is affected by gravity (which gases are not) and tends to slowly drop to earth. It boils at 215.5°C, and is dispersed as a fog.
J. Bebie, Manual of Explosives, Military Pyrotechnics and Chemical Warfare Agents (Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 1942)

Hydrogen cyanide was, from about 1870 until the advent of DDT and Warfarin, the most effective and inexpensive fumigant for killing noxious insects, rats and other pests. HCN was - and continues to be - used in warehouses, ship's holds, flour mills, greenhouses, orchards, homes, etc., none of which have high chimneys to rid themselves of the gas. Some very simple precautions which will be discussed further in this paper, have ensured that the operators of these processes were not at risk.

Bishop Williamson: He looks at the doors and he says "The door has to be absolutely air tight," otherwise again the gas escapes and kills the persons that are outside. The doors of the gas chamber that they show tourists at Auschwitz are absolutely not air tight. Absolutely.

Analysis: "Absolutely"? Bishop Williamson is referring to the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp. This facility is known as Crematory 1, which was adapted from an old Polish Army munitions bunker. The first major gassings of Jews with Zyklon B - a commercial formulation of hydrogen cyanide - took place in this bunker. When gassing and cremation facilities became available in Birkenau, the gas chamber and crematory were dismantled together with a large chimney used to exhaust combustion gases, not hydrogen cyanide, that was attached to the crematory. The holes through which the Zyklon-B pellets containing the poison gas were dropped into the gas chamber were sealed up, and the building was turned into a bomb shelter of sorts. A new entry door in the form of a gas lock was opened at that time in the wall of the gas chamber. The roof of the ex-gas chamber was used for SS social activities such as dances and dinners. The decision to move the homicidal activities to Birkenau was partly because the original gas chamber was located in the middle of the Auschwitz main camp, and could easily be observed by inmates of the camp.

The Soviet army liberated Auschwitz in January 1945 and was shown how the gas chamber had been used. A few years later when the authorities decided to turn Auschwitz and Birkenau into living memorials to the dead, a reconstruction of the Auschwitz gas chamber, the Crematory and the large chimney was undertaken. In the reconstruction of the gas chamber the door from the ex-gas chamber to the outside (referred to previously) was kept open to allow visitors to enter or exit. It is to this door that Bishop Williamson and Leuchter are referring. The door now incorporates a glass pane allowing light to get into the gas chamber and to keep people from bumping into each other as they enter or exit.

The question of sealing a door to a gas chamber so that it is "absolutely airtight" is another frivolous piece of fiction promoted by Leuchter. Although such doors were built and can be found in Birkenau, much simpler methods were employed in Birkenau and indeed for the sealing of buildings, ship's holds, flour mills, ordinary private homes and orchards where hydrogen cyanide was employed as a fumigant.

Given that hydrogen cyanide is an exceptionally poisonous gas, it might come as a surprise that it has been used freely by professionals and housewives long before, and indeed since, World War II, for the purpose of destroying insects, rodents and other vermin. Some examples follow:

From: Fumigation Methods, Willis G. Johnson, Orange Judd Company, 1902. P. 8

In 1898 I first suggested the use of hydrocyanic acid gas as a remedy for the destruction of insects in mills, elevators, and warehouses. The system has since been perfected under my direction, and it is now in general use in this and other countries. In 1900 I demonstrated that the gas could be used in tight buildings with perfect success and safety, even in the thickly populated districts of a city, when properly handled, for the destruction of certain pests, including rats and mice. The fumigation of street-cars and railroad coaches to destroy bedbugs and other vermin is commonly practiced in many places. The gas is also employed to rid houses of undesirable pests, but in such cases should be handled with great care.

From Henley's Formulas for Home and Workshop (pp. 419-420): Originally published as Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes and Processes © 1907

The Use of Hydrocyanic Gas for Exterminating Household Insects. Recent successful applications of hydrocyanic gas for the extermination of insects infecting greenhouse plants have suggested the use of the same remedy for household pests. It is now an established fact that 1-½ grains of 98 percent pure cyanide of potassium volatilized in a cubic foot of space will, if allowed to remain for a period of not less than 3 hours kill all roaches and similar insects.


The materials employed and the method of procedure are as follows … a glass or stoneware (not metal) vessel of 2 to 4 gallons capacity for each 5000 cubic feet of space to be fumigated. […] Distribute the jars according to the space, and run a smooth cord from each jar to a common point near an outside door … support the cord above the jar by means of the back of a chair … in such a position that when the load of cyanide of potassium is attached it will hang directly over the center of the jar. … Next weigh out … about 17 ounces of 98 percent pure cyanide of potassium … wrap up and place in a paper bag and tie to the end of the cord over the jar. … place a little more than a quart of water [in the jar] and … add 1-½ pints of sulphuric acid … Close all outside openings … in order that the full strength may … reach the insects. See that all entrances are locked or guarded to prevent persons from entering. … leave the building releasing the cords as you go. The gas will all be given off in a few minutes, and should remain in the building for at least 3 hours.


At the end of the time required for fumigation, the windows and doors should be opened from the outside and the gas allowed to escape before anyone enters the building.


This method will be found very advantageous in clearing old buildings and ships of cockroaches.

Tents used for the fumigation of plants were sealed as follows:

From: Fumigation of Citrus Trees, Farmer's Bulletin 923, United States Department of Agriculture, March 1918

In February, 1906, a set of fumigation experiments was started to test the diffusion of hydro-cyanic gas in fumigating houses, with the object of determining the rapidity with which this gas diffuses, both in empty houses or boxes …

The cover was hinged at one end and was opened by using a rope and pulley at the other end. It shut on strips of felt…
The Ohio Naturalist. [Vol. VII, No. 5]

The Fumigation of Plants with hydrocyanic-acid gas for the destruction of insect pests is one of the most important discoveries in the field of insect control. No other known gas so quickly destroys insect life and at the same time has so wide a range of usefulness. It was first used as an insecticide in 1886 by the late D. W. Coquillett, an agent of this department, for controlling certain scale insects on citrus trees in California.

Material for tents must be of the tightest possible weaves, comparatively light, and of sufficient strength to prevent tearing when trees are being covered. Heavy stiff tents are not only difficult to manipulate but they break branches, injure fruit, and, moreover, will not fit closely to the ground around the trees, thus permitting rapid escape of the gas. The materials now in general use for sheet tents are 6-ounce and 7-ounce special drill, 8-ounce double-filled duck, and 7-ounce and 8-ounce special Army duck. A special, closely woven, 8-ounce United States Army duck is recommended as superior to any other cloth for fumigation tents, as it is strong and durable and retains the gas much better than the other grades of cloth.
Fumigation of Citrus Trees, Farmer's Bulletin 923, United States Department of Agriculture, March 1918.

The following excerpts are from:

Willis G. Johnson
c. 1902
Orange Judd Company, New York

Kindly note the simple hydrogen cyanide gas generator, the places where HCN fumigation was carried out, and the methods employed to seal the cracks and external openings. In spite of these primitive designs, there is not one documented incident where any workers lost their lives while fumigating ship's holds, private homes, barracks, flour mills, railway coaches, greenhouses, etc.

(page 115)

The bag of cyanide is placed on a shelf and the generator in the box, A, at the end of the sliding board, B. This board is pushed down the incline, C, and when under the board the outer end is pushed down and held in place by a sliding door. The shelf upon which the cyanide is placed rests on a pivot, as shown in Fig. 69 at D. Projecting upward from it is a rod, E, forming a trap. When the box is thrown up beneath the hood the shelf is tipped and the cyanide dumped into the generator. This device is simple and cheap.

Necessary preparations: in fumigating a mill, elevator, warehouse or other enclosure containing stored grain or manufactured products, several things are to be taken into consideration. […]

3. The building should be made practically gas tight by closing up all the cracks and external openings. This can be done best by pasting strips of ordinary paper over the cracks. Special attention should be given to windows and doors, and they should be thoroughly secured before the gas is generated.

(pages 164//)


"The screw-eyes should be firmly secured and only strings of good quality used. The bags of cyanide should be thoroughly fastened and suspended over the vessels before the acid and water are placed in them. A small wire hook, as shown in the figure, can be used, but a string tied firmly around the neck of the sack is less trouble and more secure. With each three-pound bag of cyanide use 4½ pounds, liquid measure sulphuric acid and 6¾ pounds water.

Cars and ships.-Not infrequently railroad coaches, street-cars and ships become badly infested and overrun with vermin of various sorts. Such enclosures can be readily fumigated with hydrocyanic acid gas by following the directions given herewith. In South Africa some railroad companies have found it expedient to fumigate their passenger coaches to keep them free from bedbugs and other pests. Very often ships are overrun with cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs, etc. The gas can be supplied in such places with perfect success for the total destruction of the vermin. In any case whatever enclosure is to be fumigated the same precautions and methods for handling and generating this gas should be observed.

Dwelling-houses and storerooms.- This gas can also be used with perfect safety in the hands of an expert in dwelling-houses or storerooms infested with the ordinary household pests. In such cases, however, great care should be taken in handling the material, and no person should be allowed to remain inside the house during the period of fumigation."


None of the examples cited above reports the use of tall chimneys, gas-tight doors, peepholes, nor any of the extraordinary and overly dramatic precautions taken when using hydrogen cyanide to execute criminals. Workers employing this poisonous gas in the examples above are seen standing next to semi-permeable tents made of cloth within which the concentration of the poisonous gas was in considerable excess of what would have been necessary to kill human beings. Poisonous gas was constantly leaking through the cloth. There is no evidence, nor is it physically possible, that the hydrogen cyanide gas would have "gone to the pavement" (or in this case to the ground) rather than instantly dispersing into the atmosphere as gases do. This suggests that hydrogen cyanide gas, though highly poisonous, could have easily been and was used with a minimum of safeguards to exterminate human beings even in very primitive constructions, as indeed happened in Birkenau.


The seals for the doors in the original delousing chambers in Birkenau, where extremely high concentrations of hydrogen cyanide were employed to delouse clothing, were nothing more than simple gaskets made of ordinary felt:

The doors closed against the felt strips sealing off the chambers sufficiently, ensuring that the operators of the facility who were walking and working immediately outside those doors were neither harmed nor killed.

Question: What you are saying now, is that the Holocaust never occurred, not in the way historians say…

Bishop Williamson: I'm saying … I am going by what I judge to be the historical evidence according to people who have observed and examined that evidence, I believe what they conclude. They may change their conclusion; I'm delighted to follow their conclusions because I think that they judge by the evidence. I think that 2 to 3 hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but nothing like, none of them by a gas chamber.

Analysis: Bishop Williamson is apparently predisposed to accept only such "historical evidence" as has been produced by Holocaust deniers. His endorsement of the propagators of denial is not new. While Bishop Williamson was the rector of the Society of Saint Pius X's Saint Thomas Aquinas seminary at Winona, Minnesota he gave a talk in 1989 at the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes church in Sherbrooke, Canada while touring Quebec. Among other things he stated the following:

"Not one Jew was killed in the gas chambers. It's a lie... the Jews invented the Holocaust so that we would kneel before them and accept their state of Israel...the governments don't touch the Jews but they persecute the Zundels who fight for the truth."8 The bishop himself was unapologetic, claiming that "The church is going badly because of the Protestants, the Freemasons, the Communists, the media and the Jews.... I don't believe that 6 million Jews were killed (in the Holocaust), it's a physical impossibility." 9

8 "La GRC ne porte pas d'accusation contre l'eveque Richard Williamson," by Lynda Baril, La Presse 15 avril 1989
9 Ibid. One year later, at the ordination of thirteen new Lefebvrist priests in Econe, Williamson praised what he called Lefebvre's "beautiful racism" which was going to "create a new race of priests." (Agence France-Presse, 30 juin 1990)

When a complaint was lodged against him under the Canadian hate laws, the RCMP found that there was no basis to charge Williamson because he "wasn't inciting violence". The Bishop himself was unapologetic.

Sadly, Bishop Williamson appears to bear a strong resentment against the Jews. He has promoted Holocaust denial for over 20 years. He has befriended Holocaust denier David Irving and defended Ernst Zündel, a convicted hate-monger, proven distorter of the truth, and renowned Holocaust denier. This suggests that the Bishop is pursuing an antisemitic agenda.

Question: If this is not antisemitism, what is antisemitism?

Bishop Williamson: Antisemitism. If antisemitism is bad it's against truth; if something is true it is not bad. I am not interested in the word antisemitism the word is very dangerous…

Question: The Bishop calls you an antisemi…

Bishop Williamson: The Bishop can call me a dinosaur, he can call me an idiot, he can call me what he likes. It's not a question of name calling. This is a question of historical truth. Historical truth goes by evidence and not by emotion.

Analysis: Historical truth does indeed go "by evidence and not by emotion". Bishop Williamson has however made no attempt to review the historical evidence published by hundreds of serious academic historians (not the least of whom is the Chair of the Department of History at his alma mater); witnesses to the extermination process; reports and diaries of the perpetrators; photographic evidence; physical evidence in the camps; contemporary photographs, etc. He has depended exclusively on "evidence" produced by discredited Holocaust deniers whose only common goal is to demean the Jews.

While he is researching legitimate sources about the Holocaust, His Excellency might also wish to reread the Nostra Aetate from Vatican II.

Bishop Williamson: There is certainly a huge exploitation. Germany has paid out billions and billions of Deutschmarks and now Euros because the Germans have a guilt complex about their having gassed six million Jews, but I don't think six million Jews were gassed.

Analysis: Once again Bishop Williamson employs a literary Trojan Horse by embedding falsehoods within a truth. Nobody has ever claimed that six million Jews were gassed. Six million Jews were killed, many by gas, many by firing squads, many by hanging, many by deliberate starvation, and many by disease, but all by Nazi policies that considered Jews to be sub-human and expendable.

It does not seem to bother Holocaust deniers or Bishop Williamson that all Jews under the Nazi regime were stripped of their rights as citizens; despoiled of their property and money; unceremoniously, brutally and without trial remanded first to ghettos and finally to concentration camps; were subjected to slave labor, beaten, starved, shot, gassed, incinerated and their calcined bones used for industrial purposes. Does the Bishop deny that those who were robbed and victimized by the Nazis have a right to demand and receive just retribution? Or does he believe that the Nazis had the right to steal every single possession rightfully belonging to millions of people and to kill them simply because they were Jews?

If that is the case, it does not speak highly of Bishop Williamson's Christianity.

Bishop Williamson: Now be careful, I beg of you. This is against the law in Germany. If there were a German here, someone who is of the German State, you could have me thrown into prison before I leave Germany. I hope this is not your intention.

Analysis: Nobody should deny Bishop Williamson the right to express himself freely. His is not an ordinary case, however, in that he is answerable to a Higher Court.


Bishop Williamson has referred to a book by Jean Claude Pressac entitled Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers as the source he would be consulting to determine whether or not the Holocaust took place. As this is an extremely rare and expensive book we direct him to:

There he can read both a facsimile and an html version of the book. While on that web site he can also read about the Einsatzgruppen who were responsible for shooting some 1.5 million Jewish men, women, and children:


Even should Bishop Richard Williamson retract his statements concerning the Holocaust recorded on video tape, he has opened up a veritable Pandora's Box of evil. His hateful and mendacious television interview has been copied onto thousands of sites on the Internet where they will forever continue to attack the truth and plague the victims of the Holocaust. Such dissemination of his television interview will unfortunately be given great credence in that a Roman Catholic priest, nay, a Roman Catholic Bishop has uttered those words in a public forum.

It is one thing for a member of the National Alliance, or the Ku Klux Klan, or a neo-Nazi group, or any of the hate-mongering organizations, to hate the Jews and to deny the Holocaust. It is quite another for a Bishop of the highly regarded and respected Roman Catholic Church to endorse such hateful - and hate-filled - falsehoods.

It is respectfully suggested that Bishop Williamson consider the consequences to a person of his rank and stature for bearing false witness.

Harry W. Mazal OBE
The Holocaust History Project, Inc.,
14427 Brook Hollow Boulevard, Suite 281
San Antonio, TX, 78232


This section includes a number of additional references related to the statements made by Bishop Williamson.

Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel - aggressively defended by Bishop Williamson in 1989 - believes:

"Nazi gas chambers didn't exist and no more than 300,000 Jews died in concentration camps."

Bishop Williamson is a notorious anti-Semite and an outspoken supporter of neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel

In the late 1980s, Bishop Williamson spoke in Quebec where he told a packed church that Ernst Zundel was right! … Next Bishop Williamson invited battling barrister Doug Christie - a Canadian lawyer who regularly defends Holocaust deniers, racists, antisemites and even an accused Nazi war criminal in many Canadian courts – to St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minnesota to give an address.

Before his death in 1991, Lefebvre consecrated Auxiliary Bishop Richard Williamson, a British convert to the church, to carry on the archbishop's work. Williamson has upset the liberal community by admitting that he personally agrees with revisionists in recognizing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, questioning the holocaust, and sympathizing with imprisoned holocaust revisionist Ernst Zundel.


When his Eminence [sic] Bishop Williamson was the rector of the Society of Saint Pius X's Saint Thomas Aquinas seminary at Winona, Minnesota he stated that the "holocaust" is all Jewish lies, invented as a scheme to further Jewish aggression against the nations. In 1989, at the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes church in Sherbrooke, Canada, Bishop Williamson stated, "regarding this devilish concoction of the Jews":

"There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel ... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism."


Excerpts from an Interview conducted by Peter Wensierski and Steffen Winter:

SPIEGEL: How can an educated Catholic deny the Holocaust?

Williamson: I addressed the subject in the 1980s. I had read various writings at the time. I cited the Leuchter report (Author's note: a thoroughly debunked theory produced in the 1980s claiming erroneously that the Nazi gas chambers were technically impractical) in the interview, and it seemed plausible to me. Now I am told that it has been scientifically refuted. I plan now to look into it.

SPIEGEL: You could travel to Auschwitz yourself.

Williamson: No, I will not travel to Auschwitz. I've ordered the book by Jean-Claude Pressac. It's called Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. A printout is now being sent to me, and I will read it and study it.

SPIEGEL: The Society of Saint Pius X has set an ultimatum for the end of February. Are you not risking a break with the group?,1518,606323,00.html

Williamson bases his belief on the Leuchter report, a document commissioned by and in the defense of Ernst Zündel at his second trial. The science behind it (or lack thereof) has been completely dismantled by Richard J. Green and Jamie McCarthy of The Holocaust History Project. Nonetheless, a dead horse is still a horse, and deniers are seemingly still willing to flog it regardless of how long ago it died.

The video clip referred to in this paper was taken from the Swedish program Uppdrag Granskning which aired on Wednesday 21th of January. Bishop Richard Williamson from SSPX (Society of St Pius X) tells the truth about the Holocaust.

Argentina has ordered an ultra-traditionalist British bishop who denies the Holocaust to leave the country or face expulsion.

The interior ministry said Richard Williamson had been given 10 days to leave Argentina.

Holocaust denier and Professor of Literature Robert Faurisson categorically states:

It is accurate to say that the Germans employed Zyklon (made from a base of hydrocyanic acid and in use since 1922) to safeguard the health, by disinfection, of large numbers of civilians, troops, prisoners, and internees. But they never used Zyklon in order to kill anyone, let alone to put to death throngs of human beings at once; because of the draconian precautions for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, the gassing of inmates as it is alleged to have been done at Auschwitz and at other camps would, besides, have been fundamentally impossible. I explain this point at length in the body of the present work.

Too many people imagine that a gas chamber amounts to a mere room with gas inside: this reveals confusion between an execution gassing and a suicidal or accidental one. An execution gassing, such as those carried out in some United States prisons for the killing of one man, is necessarily a highly complicated task for, in this case, care must be taken to kill only the condemned without causing an accident, and without putting one's own life, or that of one's associates, in danger, especially in the final phase, that is, at the moment when the room must be entered in order to handle a contaminated corpse and remove it.

Robert Faurisson

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops finds abhorrent the notion that somehow the terrible evil of the Holocaust is not a fact of history, and joins the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in calling on all people to recognize that the Holocaust is "an admonition against oblivion, negation and reductionism"

An event which took place on the sidelines of a deaconing at the end of last year on All Saints Day can only severely damage the, in any case, tense relations between Catholics and Jews.

Williamson travelled to Zaitkofen (near Regensburg, Germany) where the Society operate a seminary in a small baroque castle to make a Swedish convert, Sten Sandmark into a deacon of the Society. As his departure from the Protestant church was taken as a scandal in the far north, a Stockholm TV reporter Ali Fagan was there. After the deaconing, they both placed themselves in the chapel for an interview in front of the camera.

The following is an excerpt of a SPIEGEL-article (Der Spiegel, no. 4/2009, page 33):

Monsignore Williamson:

"In the matter of the holocaust I associate with the revisionists. None of the Jews died as a result of gas in gas chambers."

Talk turned to the Nazis. One sees in the film Williamson breathing in and then says he does not believe six million Jews to have been gassed.

To the surprised counter-question "Were there no gas chambers?" "I believe there were no gas chambers, yes".

In the matter of the Holocaust, he associated himself with the "revisionists" who believe that "two to three hundred thousand Jews died in Nazi concentration camps. But none of them died as a result of gas in gas chambers".

Then the cleric talked much about technically unsuitable chimney heights and unsuitable, as they could not be sealed doors which can still be seen by tourists in Auschwitz.

That same year, Williamson gave a speech at a Canadian church in which he decried the Canadian government's persecution of Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel. At the time Williamson was the rector of SSPX's main North American seminary - in Winona, Minn. It was at that pulpit that he issued the statement above: "It was all lies, lies, lies." He went on to say …

Those persecuted holocaust researchers, those truth-bringers, are now being supported by a strong Catholic Congregation. Richard Williamson, the Auxiliary Bishop of the St. Pius X brotherhood, has publicly sided with the revisionists. The St. Pius X brotherhood and the revisionists, a phalanx to pursue the mission of truth.

The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) - whose stock in trade is Holocaust denial - praised SSPX bishop Williamson in its 1989 newsletter. It claimed that that after he spoke at an IHR conference in Quebec in the late 1980s, Williamson was harassed by the Canadian authorities and...

During his tenure as rector at the seminary in Winona, he had the reading shelves stocked with "holocaust revisionist" literature like The Revisionist and The Barnes Review as well as neo-Nazi Ernst Zündel's Power Report.

Williamson's antisemitism is no secret to former SSPX seminarians:

"He called the Holocaust the biggest theatrics known to mankind - I remember sitting in a conference one time when he said those words, and I couldn't believe it - he looked around the room and saw the jaws dropping," said Joseph Rizzo. "I walked around the lake with him, and I said, 'Why would you say that?' and he said, 'There's no documentation.' He said it was all staged, and when I asked why, he said because the Jews own the country, they own the banks, and he felt it was some kind of effort to generate some sympathy toward them."

Vatican rejects bishop's apology
The Vatican has rejected an apology by a British bishop who denied the full extent of the Holocaust.

It said the bishop needed to "unequivocally and publicly" withdraw his comments.

Earlier, Jewish leaders said the bishop had failed to address the issue of whether he believed that the Holocaust was a lie.

Richard Williamson said if he had known the full harm his comments would cause, he would not have made them.

'Ambiguous' apology

The bishop said that his opinions had been formed "20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available".

But Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi said the bishop "does not seem to respect the conditions" it set after he had made the comments.

Meanwhile Renzo Gattegna, the president of Italy's Jewish Communities, described the apology as "absolutely ambiguous".

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said the statement "is not the kind of an apology that would end this matter" because it failed to address the central issue.

The row began after Bishop Williamson was reinstated into the Church.

The Vatican has been embroiled in an international row after Pope Benedict XVI lifted an excommunication order on the British bishop in January.

Church leaders said the Pope had not been aware at the time of an interview given by the bishop, a member of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X (SSPX), to a Swedish TV program last November.

In it, he disputed that six million Jews had been killed by the Nazis, and said that none had died in gas chambers.

The Pope has since called on Bishop Williamson to recant his views.

Astoundingly, this was not the first time that Bishop Williamson had taken a stance on the Holocaust. He has in fact, by his own admission, been a Holocaust denier for over two decades.

"The one thing he doesn't say, and the main thing, is that the Holocaust occurred, that it is not a fabrication, that it is not a lie."
Rabbi Marvin Hier

In a statement published on the SSPX website, the bishop says his superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and the Pope "requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy".

"Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them."

He added:

"On Swedish television I gave only the opinion… of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. "

However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise."

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott says the apology stops short of fully recanting the bishop's earlier statements.

The bishop was one of four ultraconservative SSPX bishops whose excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI on an unrelated matter.

He is back in the UK after being expelled from Argentina earlier this week for concealing "the true motive for his stay in the country".

Bishop Williamson had been the director of a seminary in La Reja, but had said he was an employee of a non-governmental group rather than declaring "his true activity", Argentina's interior ministry said.

"IN KRAKOW the trial of the principal culprits for the Auschwitz concentration camp came to an end before a Polish court. The defendants were German camp guards or members of the German camp administration staff. Unheard-of atrocities against the camp inmates, particularly against female prisoners, were proved against them. Altogether nearly 300,000 people from the most different nations died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The court sentenced 23 of the accused to death, six to life sentences, and ten to lengthy jail terms; one was acquitted. The Auschwitz concentration camp remains as it stands today, as a monument of shame to the lasting memory of its three hundred thousand victims."

On the matter of "only 300,000 Jews were killed": In its judgment of Höss the Supreme Court of the People of Poland convicted Höss

"for the murder of around 300,000 people who were delivered to the camp and registered into the camp, and [for the murder] of a number that cannot be determined, but which was at least 2,500,000 of people, mostly Jews, who were brought with transports from various European countries into the camp for immediate extermination, and [for the murder of] at least 12,000 Soviet prisoners of war."

In other words, the number of 300,000 quoted by Bishop Williamson only refers to the mortality of registered inmates.

The source is the Höss Trial Transcript, vol, 32, p. 6. Quoted in:
Franciszek Piper, Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz (Oswiecim: Verlag
Staatliches Museum in Oswiecim, 1993), 93.

The Efficiency of Prussic Acid Fumigation at Low Temperatures

The poison that the Nazis finally settled upon for the murder by gas of Europe's Jews was hydrogen cyanide, also known as hydrocyanic acid or Prussic acid, chemical symbol HCN. One of the reasons this deadly gas was chosen was its ready availability, by the ton, in a stable, transportable, and reliable form: it was the principal ingredient of the trademarked poison Zyklon-B.

A lethal concentration of 270 ppm (300 mg/m³) would kill every mammal in that space almost immediately. The gas chambers in Crematorium 2 and 3 in Auschwitz-Birkenau were equipped with powerful ventilators designed to clear the gas chambers in a few minutes.

The vapor pressure of hydrogen cyanide does not seem to play a part in any of the Holocaust denier's arguments. This important physical attribute explains why hydrogen cyanide can disperse quickly even at low temperatures.

Vapor pressure is the pressure at which a liquid and its vapor are in equilibrium at a given temperature. The vapor is said to be "pushing" against the atmosphere. In other words, the higher the vapor pressure the faster a liquid evaporates. When the vapor pressure reaches atmospheric pressure,(i.e. 760 mmHg) the liquid is at its boiling point.

Hydrogen cyanide has been widely employed for fumigating dry foodstuffs including cereals and milled cereal products, seeds, pulses, nuts and dried fruit and also tobacco. It has also been used for the disinfestation of buildings, such as flour mills, warehouses, domestic houses, and ships (the latter usually directed against rats).

A concentration of 135 ppm (150 mg/m³) of HCN by inhalation is given as lethal after 30 minutes, whereas a concentration of 270 ppm (300 mg/m³) is immediately lethal (Patty, 1942).

In his memoirs Höß says that the doors to the gas chambers, presumably meaning those in the industrially efficient Kremas II to V at Birkenau, could be opened about half an hour after the ventilation process had begun. The article by Richard Green and Jamie McCarthy at:
presents a mathematical model of the dissipation of the gas after ventilation that is consistent with Höß's statements.

The following statement formed part of the Protocol of the Wannsee Conference held in Berlin on January 20, 1942:

"Approximately 11 million Jews will be involved in the final solution of the European Jewish question, distributed as follows among the individual countries:"

AGermany proper131,800
General Government2,284,000
Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia74,200
Estonia - free of Jews0
France/occupied territory165,000
France/unoccupied territory700,000
Italy including Sardinia58,000
Rumania including Bessarabia342,000
Turkey (European portion)55,500
White Russia, excluding Bialystok446,484
Total over11,000,000


  1. A very good French language analysis of Bishop Williamson's statements is available at the Pratique de l’histoire et dévoiements négationnistes website.