Charles D. Provan and "Nazi Gas Chamber" Nonsense

Published: 2007-01-01

I had no intention of ever again writing about the "Nazi gas chamber" theories of the late Charles Provan until I saw this statement in the highly influential Wikipedia online encyclopedia: "Provan has demonstrated the scientific feasibility of mass murder by diesel gas vans against the thesis of Friedrich P. Berg." See

Despite the fact that Holocaust revisionism's opponents (the Exterminationists) were well aware of Provan's work, there was not one orthodox Holocaust journal that would publish his work, nor were there any orthodox Holocaust scholars, diesel engine experts, scientists, or engineers who would publicly endorse his Nazi gas chamber theories. If his research did indeed refute Holocaust revisionism, our opponents would have used it.

There are those who dispute this. They say the reason that the Exterminationists did not use Chuck's research is because he repeatedly compared Roosevelt and Churchill to Hitler; claimed Jews operated gas chambers at Treblinka; praised SS officers like Konrad Morgen; and supported free speech rights for revisionists.

In other words, the Exterminationists did not use Chuck's "gas chamber" research because of all of the aforementioned reasons. In the February 2001 Esquire article on Holocaust revisionism, all of these reasons did not stop Exterminationist John Sack from using Chuck's research in an attempt to disprove it, nor did it stop newspaper reporter Dennis Roddy in the March 4, 2000 issue of the Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh) from doing the same.

The Exterminationists main concern is with killing and ending Holocaust revisionism. If they thought that Provan's research refuted it, they would have used it. They could not care less what Chuck said about other matters. By the mere fact that mainstream Holocaust scholars would not publicly endorse or even publish Chuck's "gas chamber research" suggests that it was for the most part worthless.

I have no intention of denigrating the memory of Charles Provan. He was a very likeable and intelligent man who was capable of good scholarship. If I've said it once, I've said it thousand times. Charles D. Provan was a fine human being, family man, citizen, theologian, Bible scholar, public speaker, and at times, a very good investigative historian. To be sure, he made contributions to the Revisionist movement, for which he deserves the thanks and praise of all revisionists.

Nevertheless, I also want to demonstrate what I've always maintained and told him while he was alive. Some of his Holocaust theories were downright foolish, and this will help counter the claims of influential sources like Wikipedia.

The following essay was sent to Charles Provan and others on November 29, 1992. To the best of my knowledge, Chuck never responded. This article is non-technical, easy to understand, and it should suggest to the reader how weak and even foolish his "Nazi gas chamber" theories really were.

Provanian Exterminationism, the "Death Camp" Treblinka,
and the Demjanjuk Case

By Paul Grubach

© 2007

Charles Provan believes the Nazis used gasoline engine exhaust to murder Jews at Treblinka concentration camp during WWII. In this context, he attempted to explain why the false story that the Germans used "steam chambers" to commit mass murder got started in the first place.

In his well known anti-Holocaust Revisionist article for Christian News, Provan wrote: "In a separate category, however, are the stories that the Germans were killing Jews with 'steam chambers' in places like Treblinka. In fact, these stories were related quite early in the war by Jewish escapees such as Abraham Krzepicki. They can be easily explained. First, only a few Jews were allowed close inspection of the gassing facilities. For example, at Treblinka, Yankiel Wiernak (the head carpenter) had much more freedom to travel in the death area, so he knew that the Jews were killed primarily with engine exhaust from an old Soviet tank. For other Jews, such as Krzepicki, all that they knew was derived from observing bits and pieces; they could observe that the Jews went off to a building after being given a speech by the Germans about being disinfected in a bath building. If they saw what looked like real showerheads in the ceiling, and observed dead Jews covered in sweat, and saw steam coming from the gas chambers when the doors were opened, then what is more reasonable than those witness Jews interpreting what they saw as a 'steam chamber.' The Revisionists often ridicule the stories in the The Black Book of Polish Jewry (published by Jewish groups in 1943) for repeating varied stories of 'methods of execution' like steam at places such as Treblinka, but I've never seen the Revisionists ever mention the fact that the writers of Black Book of Polish Jewry really weren't positive about what was happening, only that many thousands of Jews (even millions) in the east were going to places like Treblinka, never to be heard from again."[1]

Chuck then asks a rhetorical question: "'how could Jewish groups have known (about Treblinka) what we know now, when even Jews who had escaped from Treblinka during its operation weren't sure?" Further on he asserts that "every single Jew who survived Treblinka" claimed that Jews were murdered there by means of a gas chamber.

Consider all that Chuck is claiming. The Holocaust survivors weren't positive about what was happening at Treblinka; only a few Jews were allowed close inspection of the murder facilities; the steam chamber stories were related only early in the war; and every single Jew who survived Treblinka claimed the Germans operated homicidal gas chambers. They are all false.

The 8 August 1943 (p. 11) New York Times published an "authoritative eyewitness account" of the "steam chambers" of Treblinka. Here is an excerpt: "The victims now realize their doom is near. At the entrance to the death house the No. 1 chief himself drives them to cells, freely using a whip. The floor of the cell (steam chamber) is slippery. Some fall and are unable to rise because of the pressure of those behind. Small children are flung over the heads of women. When the cells are filled they are closed and sealed. Steam is forced through apertures and suffocation of the victims begins. At first cries can be heard but these gradually subside and after fifteen minutes all is silent. The execution is over. When the trap door is opened to let the bodies drop down they fall in a compact mass, stuck together by the heat and steam. Cold water is sprayed on them with a hose after which the grave-diggers pile the corpses on a platform like the carcasses of slaughtered animals. At times not all the victims can be squeezed into the death cells at once, and those remaining are kept near the house of death. They can see and hear all that takes place [emphasis added]."

Notice how the "Holocaust survivors" describe in great detail the steam chambers they must have "closely inspected," and are absolutely "positive" about what happened. More specifically, notice how they describe in great detail the alleged murder weapon: "Steam is forced through apertures and suffocation of the victims begins." This clearly contradicts Provan's claims that A) the Jewish prisoners who escaped Treblinka weren't positive about the camp's alleged method of murder, and B) every single Jew who survived Treblinka affirmed the gas chamber story.

In December 1945, an official Polish Government Commission made a "definitive study" of the "steam chambers" of Treblinka. Here are few excerpts: "The German authorities acting under the authority of Governor General Dr. Hans Frank established in March 1942 the extermination-camp Treblinka, intended for mass killing of Jews by suffocating them in steam-filled chambers. Late in 1942, the erection of the first three chambers was finished in which these general massacres were to be performed by means of steam."[2]

Contrary to what Provan writes, those Jews who described the "steam chambers" did travel in the "death area," they did "closely inspect" the "steam chamber facilities," and they were "positive about what they saw."[3] Again contradicting Provan, the "steam chamber" stories were not only related early in the war, but were "authoritatively confirmed" at the war's end by the Polish Government Commission. Provan's claim that "only a few Jews were allowed close inspection of the murder facilities" is false. The Polish government Commission "inspected" them at the war's end and found steam chambers, not gas chambers.

The reader should keep this important point in mind. The official "Holocaust" history of today says that Jews were gassed with Diesel exhaust at Treblinka; the "steam chambers" did not exist! Thus, all of the foregoing "proofs" given for "steam chambers" are fraudulent! This demonstrates the extremely unreliable nature of the "evidence" used to "prove" Nazi mass murder claims.

In 1947, the testimony of Elias Rosenberg was published. He was another "Holocaust survivor" who saw the "extermination system" at Treblinka with "his own two eyes." He said the Jews were killed with the exhaust from a Diesel engine. In his own words: "As it was very dark in the chambers, one could not see that alongside the walls ran several pipes, about five centimeters in diameter through which the gas—exhaust gas from a single diesel motor—was piped into the cabin."[4] Let it suffice to say that he was one of John Demjanjuk's chief accusers at the latter's trial in Israel. Indeed, at Demjanjuk's show trial it was again "proven" that a Diesel engine was used at Treblinka to generate the deadly gas.[5]

Provan's chief "eyewitness," SS officer Kurt Gerstein, also claimed the Nazis used a Diesel engine at Treblinka to gas Jewish prisoners.[6] At the Treblinka Trials in Germany (1965), it was again "authoritatively determined" that a Diesel engine was used at Treblinka.[7]

Enter Chuck Provan. He makes a study of Diesel engine exhaust, carbon monoxide and the like, and comes to the conclusion at Treblinka Jews were killed with the exhaust of a gasoline engine, not a Diesel engine. He even cites an eyewitness who "saw the gasoline engine with his own two eyes."[8]

If Gerstein and the Holocaust survivors are correct (a Diesel engine was used at Treblinka), then this disproves Provan's theory that a gasoline engine was used to murder Jews. Yet, if Provan is correct, then the credibility of his chief eyewitness Kurt Gerstein and the standard "Diesel Gas Chamber at Treblinka" story is undermined. But even more importantly, Provan's theory would strengthen the case of John Demjanjuk by undermining the credibility of the latter's accusers, the "Holocaust survivors" who "actually observed the Diesel engine."

And don't think for one second that I'm "nitpicking," or being unduly critical of these testimonials. One of the key issues in any murder case is the type and operation of the murder weapon.

As for Chuck's claim that only a few Jews were allowed close inspection of the alleged "Treblinka gas chambers," this is contradicted by the findings of Rachel Auerbach and the Central State Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, which made an official inspection tour of Treblinka on 7 November 1945. They claimed there were about "300 [Jewish workers] near the [gas] chambers. Their main duties were to clear away what was left by those killed, to take away the corpses and then to mask and clear away the traces of the killings."[9] If there really were 300 working Jews near the gas chambers—taking away the corpses, clearing away traces of the killings, etc.—then a large number of them must have been able to "inspect the murder facilities."

If Provan is correct, then the credibility of Rachel Auerbach and the Polish Commission is undermined. Yet, if Auerbach and company are correct, Provan's theory is undermined. In short, they cast grave doubt on each other and show how contradictory the mainstream Holocaust story really is.

The reader should note how the propaganda just keeps changing. First, "official history" told us there were "steam chambers" at Treblinka; now it's said there were "Diesel chambers." Along comes Chuck Provan who contradicts them all and says there were "gasoline chambers." The Treblinka mass murder claims are changeable and contradictory—exactly what one would expect from a historical hoax.


© 2007

Christian News, 9 September 1991, p. 19.
Nuremburg Document 3311-PS, reprinted in Carlos Porter, ed., Made in Russia: The Holocaust (Historical Review Press, 1988), pp. 2-7.
Ibid, p. 5.
Rosenberg's testimony is reprinted in Hans Peter Rullman, Victim of the Holocaust (UNCHAIN, 1987), p. 47.
Tom Teicholz, The Trial of Ivan the Terrible: State of Israel vs. John Demjanjuk (St. Martin's Press, 1990), p. 10.
See Henri Roques, The "Confessions of Kurt Gerstein (Institute for Historical Review, 1989), pp. 98-99, 106.
See Alexander Donat, ed., The Death Camp Treblinka (Holocaust Library, 1979), p. 300.
Charles D. Provan, "A Reply to Paul Grubach's Provanian Extermination Article," (manuscript sent to Paul Grubach), pp. 9-10.
See Donat, p. 58.

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Author(s): Paul Grubach
Title: Charles D. Provan and "Nazi Gas Chamber" Nonsense
Published: 2007-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 2007, 7 p.m.
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