Why They Said There Were Gas Chambers—or, Sing for Your Life!

Published: 2012-12-01

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They all said it, didn’t they? Or all of those testifying under oath anyway, no? Or nobody said there weren’t any, did they? Certainly not under oath, eh? The weight of testimonial evidence in support of the existence and use of gas chambers in German wartime concentration camps seems to be as overwhelming as it could possibly be given that no one actually killed in a gas chamber could testify to having suffered that fate. For that, of course, we have the bodies. Or, at least the ashes, bones and teeth. Or, at least the steep declines in the “Jewish” populations of European countries and worldwide.[1]

Testimony to the effect that there were no gas chambers, in any case, seems to be entirely lacking from the records of dozens of trials of people accused of having taken part in one way or another in the operation of “death camps,” or the process of rounding people up and sending them to those camps. It is hard to prove a negative, and just as hard to “observe” it. There are, to be sure, occasional accounts of camp experience that somehow omit reports of gas chambers. And there are even those veterans such as Paul Rassinier who claim[2] that their passages through multiple camps left them unpersuaded that such things existed, at least in the places he experienced. But these are so few and far between that they constitute the exceptions that prove the rule: that the Germans designed, installed, and operated gas chambers for killing people (the first ever, anywhere) in their infamous camps of World War II. Quite aside from their frequency (and certitude), their actual consistency provides that “convergence of evidence” whose “moral certainty” buttresses laws throughout Europe, and Israel, that provide jail terms for those who publicly express doubt as to any detail of the narrative.

The tsunami of “eyewitness reports” of this industrialization of murder constitutes a veritable “perfect storm” of evidence to confirm in the minds of all within the reach of Western media and educational systems the unassailable truth of the gas-chamber story. It is, indeed, a storm so very perfect as to require what in evolutionary theory is known as “intelligent design.” This, despite the fact that no gas chamber for killing people with a capacity above two (both victims strapped into their chairs) has ever been suggested, much less known to have existed, before or since.

The story had its beginnings, of course, before the facts—facts, indeed, that never did occur, not in German-controlled areas nor anywhere else, if only because of the numerous physical impossibilities or impracticalities involved. The earliest “reports” came via Polish agents who had, in some cases, actually visited or been imprisoned in concentration camps on Polish territory, by clandestine radio transmissions to the Polish government-in-exile in London[3]. These initially entailed mass killings by an improbable panoply of exotic means including electroshock, steam, engine exhausts, “gas vans,” and eventually the potentially lethal insecticide, Zyklon-B. The passage of time and the penetration of evidence-based inquiry have ineluctably eroded away the electroshock and steam mythologies, and are doing so to Diesel exhaust (which isn’t toxic), and “gas vans” (lack of evidence, and practicality), but the accounts alleging carbon monoxide (expensively available in low concentrations in the exhaust from gasoline engines) and Zyklon-B (unlikely on a dozen scores, including high time requirements for the processing of “batches” of killings) march on with nary a hitch, so compelling are the interests whose defense absolutely requires some credible vehicle with which to promote the tragedy of the mass injustice that befell the racial foes cited in National Socialist ideological rantings.

How, then, did this incredible groundswell of testimony arise, if, as growing numbers of revisionists now assert, “No one was gassed” (“Niemand wurde vergast,” in a language in which it is forbidden to publish such notions)? The facts of the matter lie somewhere between the “groundswell” and a nefarious conspiracy by some obscure Star Chamber to deceive the future masses of the world.

The capture of Rudolf Hoess

Rudolf Höss after his capture by the British. In a letter to his wife (11 April 1947) he wrote, "Most of the terrible and horrible things that took place there I learned only during this investigation and during the trial itself."
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But that groundswell is not entirely composed of victims (actual and self-styled) of the infamous camps. Involved also are various parties opposed, under more, or less, desperate circumstances, to the expansionist regime that controlled Germany from 1933 to 1945. It starts, of course, with the first victims, the Poles. But it doesn’t hit high gear until those Polish opponents of German rule are joined by the Soviet behemoth to the east, the one that after the war overthrew and subsumed the Polish polity and erected a simulacrum of it as the vehicle of its suzerainty over the people and territory of Poland, that only fell in 1989.

But the Soviets were not the only victorious power involved—far from it. Fired by a hard core of Jewish vengeance-seekers (as was the Soviet Union) were also recently occupied France, bombed Great Britain, and that distant, but Jewish-suffused behemoth, the United States—the four powers, in fact, that divided the former Germany into pieces occupied by each of them, not counting the large pieces sundered and parceled out to Poland and Czechoslovakia as their permanent territories. These powers, and their agendas, became literally the law of the land that once was Germany, and the features of that law reflected the inconceivably violent circumstances under which it had gained its supremacy over the people and territory of hapless Germany.

Under this “law,” then, proceeded the “trials” of those apprehended on suspicion of having caused or abetted the recent unpleasantness that had arisen among the various governments, and racial/religious groups, and armies, involved.[4]

This “law” governed all the land, and all the people on the land, and all the food, and even the water and shelter, that constituted the rump Germany that remained after the pre-war entity so known had been suitably divided among the neighboring powers that had ended up on the winning side of World War II. On this land was not only the decimated population that survived the bombing campaigns, the starvation, the disease, the ravagement of desperate, defensive combat, and the depredations of post-war prisoner-of-war camps, but also hundreds of thousands of various refugees including concentration-camp veterans and those fleeing, for many reasons, the Communist hegemony that even then was clearly arising in the east. The previous residents were “Germans.” The rest were “displaced persons” (DPs). In this witches’ brew of inchoate masses clinging desperately to whatever vestiges of life they could claw hold of to survive to the next day, arose the victorious Allies’ enterprise to visit “justice” upon those upon whom blame for the past five years of suffering and destruction could be fixed.

The process, though not orchestrated “from above” by some sort of vengeful divinity, worked as though so ordained. Jews, perhaps understandably, manned the vise that closed over that portion of the surviving German populace who could credibly be branded as perpetrators of either the alleged genocide or of the “aggressive war” that had so impinged upon the territorial prerogatives of the victors at the outset. All the prosecuting powers recruited from their populations those who might be: (a) in some way versed in legal procedures; and (b) able to speak German, and translate it into some other language (French, English, or Russian).

What group could form this cadre, but those who, born and raised in Germany, had escaped or otherwise left it because of their membership in a group disfavored (with increasing severity as the war progressed to its disastrous conclusion) by the National Socialist regime of Germany? Their spirit of vengeance was fired not only by the misfortunes (if any) they had experienced, but further by the worse misfortunes (as they understood them) of their co-racialists who had remained behind after they themselves had effected their fortuitous exits. Indeed, it seems inescapable that some of these avenging angels may even have felt some guilt arising from the contrast between their own fates and those imputed to their mischpoche who had remained behind. Perhaps they (thought they) had parents to avenge, or grandparents, or uncles, or . . . other family members, and only the most-scathing sorts of vengeance could expiate their own sins of having abandoned these relatives to their actual or supposed fates.

In any case, a horrific “Catch-22” arose in the prosecution of “war criminals” in occupied Germany after the War. Participants in the Recent Unpleasantness (of concentration camps) were divided up into two groups: Victims, and Accuseds. Victims were, for the most part, Jews, or people who could pass themselves off as Jews. With the returning Jewish-emigrant prosecutors, these formed the opposing “jaws” between which suspected Germans were easily and relentlessly crushed.

Accuseds (the term “defendants” was not used) were for the most part Germans, or other nationalities from which the Germans recruited guards and other such helpmates. There was some “leakage” between these categories, as some Jews were identified (though not prosecuted) as vigorous collaborators in the Nazis’ nefarious schemes, and a good few Gentile Germans, such as Seventh-Day Adventists, were identified as victims in the wartime control schemes of the National Socialists.

But matters seemed to sort themselves out, mostly along ethnic lines. It was, in the most lethal form imaginable, a swearing contest. The winners of this contest included many like Elie Wiesel, recipient of a Nobel prize and many other trophies for the prosecution he pursues even to this present day.

And in this contest, a certain kind of swearer seemed, ineluctably, to gain sway over the proceedings. This was the swearer who affirmed the legend, dating all the way back to clandestine broadcasts of 1942 from Polish resistance fighters, that the Germans had invented, designed, built, and successfully deployed, an entirely new technology for mass murder, the gas chamber—and this employing the crudest and most unlikely of vehicles, that of either the cyanide-based insecticide Zyklon-B, or of carbon monoxide produced, variously, by gasoline engines or even cylinders clearly marked CO2 (carbon dioxide, a totally non-toxic gas).

The support for these notions was considerable—even compelling—and compelled. First, perhaps, was the surrounding conditions in Germany at the time “witnesses” were recruited to provide their damning tales for the proceedings then underway.

The land, it might be said, was starving. Food, and warmth, and shelter, were to be found in only one place: the hands of the conquering Allies. These alone could provide the necessaries of survival; all else was cold, and hunger, and fatal exposure.

But this precious Allies-monopolized sustenance could be had, at a price that many were able, by hook or by crook, to pay: testimony as to German atrocities. This did not by any means require actual experience of said atrocities. It only required an awareness of what the dominant thrust of desired testimony already was and a credible account supporting the “witness’s” presence at or even just near the places where they were said to have occurred. And this, in turn, was available, perhaps for a price, from those conspicuous, well-fed and otherwise comfortable denizens of the enviable living that was provided for “witnesses” able to provide testimony of the desired sort. An “industry”—the first “Holocaust Industry”—was born.

Opportunists, not to mention those intent on mere survival, naturally piled on, including, no doubt, many who were “Jews” merely for the occasion, if it buttressed the particular testimony that they had managed to concoct. A testifying contest ensued, in which Allied prosecutors enjoyed the luxury of selecting those who by various means legitimate and otherwise managed to proffer the most-damning testimony with which to convict the many accuseds then held in the Allies’ well-populated prisons.

These “witnesses,” no doubt, included Jews, and included people who had endured the hardships of labor camps—even people who were both. But whatever these witnesses were or were not, they contrived to present barely credible tales of the depredations of “the Germans” upon their own and other persons, and while they were engaged in this activity, they received from the Allies good food, good clothing, and good shelter such as not even the surrounding native population were in most cases able to enjoy. And such incentives, no doubt, goaded them continually to provide testimony that satisfied their Allied benefactors—for one more winter, if for nothing more.

Such “witnesses” were not sworn to any truth, not on a Bible, nor on any tract pertaining to their actual or pretended beliefs. They were likewise immune, in effect, against any sort of charge of perjury. If a tribunal happened to discount their testimony, and mete out against the accused(s) some sentence a bit short of what might have been implied as appropriate by the testimony provided, that was the end of it. No witness in any of the post-war atrocity trials was ever even threatened with any such sanctions as those arising from perjury.

The accuseds, for their part, were subject to strictures that cut very much in the opposite direction. To begin with, they were barred from arguing against the alleged crimes having even been committed—the defense of corpus delicti (body missing) was denied them by a “judicial notice” the tribunals took to the effect that a practice of deliberate genocide had been pursued by the nation into which the accuseds had been born, and in whose service they took part, whether willingly or through conscription.[5]

Further to the “judicial notice” that the tribunals took regarding who was guilty of what, and why, was a blanket allegation of “constructive conspiracy,” in which any person who took any part in any function of any suspected camp or other such operation was held to be guilty of the alleged genocidal enterprise, even if he were able somehow to prove actual unawareness of the enterprise, and entirely aside from whether his duties entailed killing, sustaining, or having nothing whatsoever directly to do with the putative victims.[6]

Finally, a defense provided for the powerless underlings who constitute upwards of ninety percent of the muscle of every army or otherwise violence-based suasive force, the defense of “orders from above” was likewise arbitrarily suspended for the accuseds, though after the tribunals, it was hastily restored to the codes by which subordinates in the triumphant armed forces might defend themselves in tribunals as yet unestablished. No matter if you faced discipline, transfer to the dreaded Eastern Front, being broken in rank, or even the firing squad for insubordination, if you followed (or could not prove you refused to follow) those orders to do things of which you were accused, you were guilty.

This left only two recourses to accuseds who hoped to attain a prison sentence instead of a quick trip to the gallows, both recourses having similar effects. The first was, to confirm, amplify, and extend the overall tales of atrocity and genocide. Doing this was hoped, and was seen, to garner at least some degree of leniency on the part of the prosecution, whose goal was, after all, the incrimination of an entire nation, and not just of whatever hapless accused might occupy the dock at any particular moment. So, many accuseds, from Rudolf Höss[7] on down, took up this gambit as a desperate attempt to appease their inquisitors, quite like defendants in proceedings throughout history in which the verdict, if not the sentence, was quite foregone.

The second recourse was even more potent, but accordingly more demanding in terms of testimonial content: one could, given sufficient information and guile, accuse some other of the crimes of which one stood accused oneself. It was preferable, of course, to name some other accused who was within the reach of the prosecutors, and if one could somehow arrange the cooperation of victim-witnesses, this enabled the inquisitors to at least appear to be casting their damning nets so much the wider.[8]

Obviously, both of these techniques of self-defense broadened and deepened the channels in which the original lie ran—all the product of the efforts of accused perpetrators to avoid bearing themselves the brunt of the victors’ wrath—and of the vengeful refugees from, and of self-styled victims of, the racial policies of the vanquished. Thus did policies of ethnic cleansing and industrial enslavement become transmogrified in the eyes of later generations, by way of “judicial” testimony, into a gruesome, hideous program of torture and extermination that quite boggled the minds of all who heard of it.

Is that such a great leap, after all? Morally, it bridges the chasm that would seem to lie between racial and national survival, on the one hand, and inhuman hubris and cruelty on the other. But in tangible terms, the two in a retrospect beclouded by war can barely be distinguished one from another.

The only thing imaginable that could forever cement this critical, moral distinction—a distinction that forever damns the perpetrators and all their descendants in time, and ennobles their innocent victims and their issue forever, would be … gas chambers.


[1] An interesting discussion of the population effects appeared in Smith’s Report for February 2010 (No. 169) in N. Joseph Potts’s “Fighting Hatred, One Lie at a Time.”
[2] Paul Rassinier. The Holocaust Story and the the Lies of Ulysses. Institute for Historical Review, Newport Beach, Cal., 1978.
[3] The best review of the development of the Holocaust Narrative is the subject of Part 1 of The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes, by Samuel Crowell, Nine-Banded Books, Charleston, W. Va., 2011.
[4] An unforgettable account of the inner workings of these war-crimes trials is the subject of Innocent at Dachau, by Joseph Halow, Institute for Historical Review, Newport Beach, Cal., 1993.
[5] Article 21, Constitution of the International Military Tribunal, at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/imtconst.asp.
[6] The last line of Article 6 of the Constitution of the International Military Tribunal reads (emphasis mine): “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.” The term “accomplices” was relied upon to indict virtually any person present at, or otherwise involved in supporting, concentration camps who was not an actual detainee.
[7] Höss was the commandant of Auschwitz. He is the putative author of Commandant of Auschwitz, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1959. This book contains details (many of which have since been disproven) of atrocities at Auschwitz which Höss claimed to have witnessed and/or ordered.
[8] Perhaps the greatest example of this is KZ Auschwitz—Reminiscences of Pery Broad—SS Man in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim, Oswiecim, Poland, 1965, which SS Unterscharführer Pery Broad wrote while defending against charges in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials. His success in this endeavor may be gauged against his sentence: four years of imprisonment, or about the same as Germar Rudolf served for the crime of investigating and reporting allegations such as Broad’s.

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Author(s): Jett Rucker
Title: Why They Said There Were Gas Chambers—or, Sing for Your Life!
Sources: Inconvenient History, 4(4) (2012)
Published: 2012-12-01
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 18, 2014, 6 p.m.
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