-- PART 2 --

Diesel Gas Chambers: Ideal for Torture -- Absurd for Murder

7.7. Diesels in Underground Mining – a Brief History

Since tests with lethal emissions on humans are not possible, accidental human deaths have always been an invaluable, alternative source of information for toxicologists. Parts of underground mines can often become totally enclosed just like gas chambers from the inevitable accidents, especially roof failures, which often occur there. Gasoline engines have generally been outlawed for underground applications because of their notorious, toxic exhaust--but the history of Diesels underground is quite different.

Diesel engines were first used underground in coal mines in 1928 in Germany, in the Saar region, and quite safely from all this author has seen in the excellent German literature on this subject, especially in the German mining journal Glückauf.[60] In Britain, Diesels were first used underground in Yorkshire in 1939, more than ten years later, but in the following decades, thousands more were used throughout Britain.

For the mining industry, where heavy machinery is used in the most difficult and unnatural circumstances imaginable and where the industrial accident rate has always been among the highest anywhere, one might expect many fatal accidents. The British safety record with Diesels, however, was a stunning surprise to many mining professionals, especially in the USA, where Diesels were not permitted for underground coal mines until the 1970's. The British safety record was spelled out in June of 1974 when S. Gilbert of the British National Coal Board wrote the following in a major British mining journal about their experience going back 35 years to 1939:[61]

"Although it is accepted that there are potential hazards arising from the emission of noxious gases in the exhaust gases of Diesel engines, the degree to which these are controlled in British coal mines has proved to be very effective.. An examination of ALL safety records has revealed that no person has suffered any harmful effects either temporarily or permanently as a direct result of breathing any toxic gas emitted from any vehicle powered by a Diesel engine."

Another quote from the technical literature summarizes much of what can be found there. The following is from an American essay by Dennis S. Lachtman, Director for Health Engineering for the EIMCO Mining Machinery company in a section subtitled: "NO significant human hazard seen in over 20 studies."[62]

"A number of studies evaluating human response to exposure of Diesel have included experience among Diesel bus workers, Diesel railroad workers, and metal and non-metal miners working with Diesel production equipment and underground. There are more than 20 human health studies involving working populations exposed to Diesel exhaust emissions. As can be seen from a careful review of these studies, NO SIGNIFICANT health hazards have been associated with exposures to Diesel exhaust emissions.

More recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has reported on epidemiological studies it has performed in underground mines. One of these studies included an MSHA [63] and NIOSH joint study of the relationship between the underground environments in 22 metal and non-metal mines looking at the health of more than 5000 miners. This comprehensive study focuses on the health effects of both silica dust and other substances including those found in Diesel exhaust. The researchers reported that the data showed an ABSENCE of harmful effects from Diesel exhaust."

There was not even one injury from Diesel exhaust. No doubt, there must be some occasional deaths somewhere in the world, but they are certainly few and far between. This does not prove that Diesels cannot be used to commit mass murder, but it is all the more reason to believe that murder with Diesel exhaust is far from easy. The only evidence of Diesels having ever been used anywhere, anytime for murder in all of human history is within the 'Holocaust' claims and there the best evidence by far is the Gerstein statement.

The fact that the general non-toxicity of Diesel exhaust was rather well known in the pre-WW2 German mining industry and the fact that Kurt Gerstein had been trained as a mine surveyor with, no doubt, some practical experience in German mines suggest that his obviously concocted 'statement' near the end of the war may have been deliberately constructed around Diesel exhaust so that what would seem at first glance to be a highly incriminating eyewitness account would eventually, long after the war, be recognized as worthless.[64]

Every year, thousands of deaths occur worldwide due to carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline engines. Suicides in cars from gasoline engine exhaust are common also and are well documented in public health reports. The most common deaths from carbon monoxide occur, however, when people simply park their vehicles and run their car or truck engines to keep warm in winter – or cool in summer – by means of an automotive air conditioner. Approximately one thousand accidental deaths still occur in this way every year in the US alone, even though American cars are routinely equipped today with catalytic converters and emission controls. But there are no known deaths in cars or trucks with Diesel engines! Every night across the world, tens of thousands of truck drivers sleep in their truck cabs with the Diesel engines running throughout the night – to keep warm in winter or cool in summer. Although there are always some exhaust leaks into the van compartment of a truck, there is no evidence of even one trucker dying, or being injured, in such circumstances. It never happens. There are no known Diesel suicides either. Diesel exhaust is inherently safe.

7.8. An Expert Opinion from Israel

A major engineering textbook from 1998, which should contain just about everything one needs to know about Diesel emissions. is entitled: Handbook of Air Pollution from Internal Combustion Engines with the subtitle Pollutant Formation and Control. The book is co-authored by a dozen of the world's leading experts on automotive emissions. It should be an excellent source of information on precisely how one might kill people with Diesel exhaust. But in the entire 550 page book, which is rather typical of all other books one can find on this subject, there was only one sentence relevant to our subject.[65]

"Although carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are regulated, they will not be considered here, as the Diesel engine combustion process by definition inhibits the production of CO."

In other words, the toxic effects from carbon monoxide in Diesel exhaust, including long-term effects, were just not worth bothering with as a pollutant of any kind. What is ironic is that the editor is an Israeli professor of engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University. His name is Eran Sher. Someone should reach out to him and ask if he believes the National Socialists murdered people with Diesel exhaust and whether he had ever considered testifying as an expert in the trial of John Demjanjuk.[66] On whose side would he have testified?

Surely, if Eran Sher and the Israelis really believe it happened in National Socialist Germany, then it might happen again. Surely, we should be concerned that Arab leaders may use their tens of thousands of Diesel trucks to perpetrate another 'Holocaust.' Surely, the United Nations arms inspectors who are searching for weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East will miss the boat if they fail to investigate Arab Diesels.

8. Diesel Gas Chamber Operation

8.1. Imposing an Engine Load

To impose a substantial load on any engine is far from easy. For example, if one has an ordinary truck, a full load can be imposed on the engine by first filling the truck with a heavy cargo and then racing the vehicle up a steep hill with the fuel pedal to the floor. Under that condition, one would probably be putting out about 0.4%/vol. CO, which is indeed lethal, from the exhaust pipe of an undivided chamber Diesel. However, if the truck is simply parked in a driveway, it is practically impossible to impose any significant load on the engine. Merely 'racing' the engine with the transmission in neutral will impose no more than a few percent of load. Letting the clutch slip and stepping on the accelerator may impose a somewhat greater load on the engine – but the clutch will rapidly burn out. Jacking up the rear end of the vehicle and applying the brakes while racing the engine will impose a somewhat greater load, but the brake linings will rapidly burn out.[67]

The only way to realistically impose a significant load on any engine is by coupling to the engine some kind of brake dynamometer or other load, such as a generator with an electrical load, a fan, pump, or the like.

Brake dynamometers were available, but, although the Germans must have had many in engineering testing laboratories, they are not readily available. They are not the kind of equipment that one finds in auto repair shops even today. They cost far more than the engines to which they are attached, since they are not mass-produced – at least not at that time.

An electric generator arrangement seems possible, since Treblinka and Belzec would have needed electricity, even if only to keep the barbed wire charged and the lights burning, and also because in those days the rural areas of these camps in eastern Poland may not have been connected to a public power grid. However, such an arrangement suggests a continuous operation of both the generator and the Diesel engine, which is contrary to the Gerstein Statement. According to that statement, the engine had to be started just for the gassing. There is nothing in the statement to even remotely suggest that the engine served any other purpose than to kill Jews. If it had had a dual purpose, for example to also drive an electric generator, one would expect some comment about the lights going on as the gassings began, but there is nothing of the sort. In fact, according to the Gerstein statement, Pfannenstiel had "his eyes glued to the window in the wooden door" before the Diesel even started which strongly suggests that the "electric light which illuminated the interior of the room" must have been on before any gassing even started. In other words, there must have been electricity from a power source other than the alleged Diesel gassing engine.

Postwar 'eyewitnesses' for Treblinka related trials actually claimed that the same building where the 'gassing Diesel' was housed also contained a second engine which operated independently of the first and which supplied electrical power to the camp.[68] In other words, these accounts specifically show this generator not to be related to those engines that allegedly produced poison gas, just as accounts of the poison gas engines never suggest any other, continuous use of those engines. On the contrary: accounts describing events as the engine was supposedly being started are amazingly similar. The command given to the engine operator to start the engine – "Ivan, water!" (Treblinka) – or similar events for Belzec ("Heckenholt Foundation") appear not just in the Gerstein Statement, but run like a central theme throughout of the eyewitness literature.

From documents of the Central Construction Office of Auschwitz (Zentralbauleitung), we know that the SS provided this camp with emergency power equipment consisting of German Diesel engines rated at 440 hp and electric generators rated at 250 kW.[69] Witnesses stated explicitly that the power facilities were constantly running under some load in Treblinka due to the lack of a connection to a public network and that these engines operated in addition to the gassing engines which operated only sporadically. Something is obviously wrong with these 'eyewitness' stories. Anyone with any expertise would have used the exhaust of the engine driving the generator which was already operating under load, instead of an additional engine for gassing purposes without any load. Besides, the exhaust from the engine driving the generator was already there and available (where else would the exhaust go except into the sky). To start an extra Diesel with or without some specially-arranged load is ridiculous.

 

8.2. An Inhalation Study on Living Animals – Combining all Possible Effects

Arguably, the analysis of CO and reduced oxygen has until now been highly theoretical – and yet, it has still not included possible combinations of effects with all other ingredients in Diesel exhaust. A theoretical analysis of all such combinations of effects is beyond analysis. Happily, there is a detailed study of the actual effects of full strength Diesel exhaust on living animals. It appeared in the British Journal of industrial Medicine in 1957.[58] To my knowledge, this is the only study of this type ever undertaken and is the most important single piece of evidence for the analysis of Diesel toxicity anywhere.

Eight experiments were performed with undiluted exhaust from a small Diesel engine [70] under four different operating conditions – two essentially identical experiments for each operating condition. Each experiment was performed on four rabbits, ten guinea-pigs, and forty mice. The animals were only introduced into the chamber after the Diesel exhaust concentrations had had approximately half-an-hour to stabilize and purge the chamber of all other air.

In the two tests under "low" load (Condition A: no external load, only accessories such as the cooling fan), which was essentially an "idle" condition, there were no fatalities among any of the test animals even after five hours of continuous exposure. But even under Conditions B and C where the engine was under heavy load (with "a large fan and two hydraulic pumps to provide the load"), the survival rate was as follows:

  1. All rabbits survived the five hour exposure and even continued to live for a week thereafter.
  2. Of the guinea-pigs, only one died during the actual five-hour exposure period, although most died over the next seven days.
  3. Of the mice, only a minority died during the five hour exposure and most even survived through the following week.

Under Condition D, which was by far the most extreme test with a severely restricted air intake,[71] a maximum CO level of 0.22%/vol. was produced with an oxygen concentration of 11.4%/vol. Although many, but not all, of the mice died within an hour, all of the rabbits and guinea-pigs survived for more than one hour of continuous exposure.[72]

For exposures only as long as Gerstein alleged (32 minutes), the survival rates would have certainly been even better. In other words, on the basis of tests on living animals with full-strength Diesel exhaust, Gerstein's gas chamber would have been a complete fiasco.

8.3. Actual Concentrations of Poison Gas in a Gas Chamber

When the exhaust from a Diesel engine enters a gas chamber, the carbon monoxide concentration will initially be extremely low and the oxygen level will be high. As more and more Diesel exhaust fills the gas chamber, the carbon monoxide concentration will gradually rise to the same level as one finds directly inside the exhaust pipe of the Diesel engine – without ever exceeding that level.

It is impossible to determine from the Gerstein Statement how long it would have taken before the CO concentration in the gas chamber equaled that in the exhaust because Gerstein does not provide nearly enough information about the engine or alleged gas chamber in Belzec.

For Treblinka, the 'eyewitness' statements are somewhat more detailed, but still contradictory. It is generally alleged that the larger and more important of the two gas chamber buildings in Treblinka consisted of 10 chambers, five on each side of a corridor.[73] Each chamber measured 8 m in length, 4 m in width, and 2 m in height, totaling 320 m2 in area and a 640 m3 in volume. The chambers were allegedly filled with the exhaust from only one Russian Diesel tank engine, which could have only been the 550 hp V12 with a displacement of 38.86 liters.[74] The total area of 320 m2 could not have held more than 3,200 persons at one time.[75] Given an average body volume of 75 l, these people would have taken up a space of 240 m,3 leaving about 400 m3 air volume.

The Russian Diesel tank engines of those days had a maximum speed of 2,000 rpm.[76] Since a four-stroke engine discharges the contents of its cylinders only every second revolution, an engine running at 2,000 rpm blows an exhaust volume of one thousand times its cubic capacity into the chamber per minute, i.e., 38.86 m.3 Therefore, after a little more than ten minutes, enough exhaust would have been discharged to replace the entire air volume of the gas chambers only once. The eyewitnesses claim that the gas chambers were sealed hermetically; in other words, they were air-tight.[68] But this is impossible, since there must have been some openings for the excess gas to escape.[77] Also, without many holes and cracks, everyone would have already died during the "2 hours and 49 minutes" by Gerstein's stopwatch. However, since some of the Diesel exhaust would have also escaped through holes or cracks – not just normal air from within the chamber – and since the intended victims would have also consumed some of the carbon monoxide, a minimum of two complete air exchanges of the room volume seem entirely reasonable for filling the chamber entirely with the exhaust. At 2,000 rpm, therefore, one cannot expect the CO content to have reached the level of the exhaust itself in less than 20 minutes from the start of the gassing procedure. If a restricted air intake to the engine had produced a 0.22%/vol. CO content in the exhaust in the worst case possible, the average CO concentration would have then approximated 0.11%.[78] The full 0.22%/vol. CO would have been available for no more than the last twelve minutes of the gassing, which took 32 minutes at most. The 20 minutes with a CO level of 0.11%/vol. and the additional 12 minutes at 0.22%/vol. CO result in an effective average for thirty-two minutes of only 0.15%CO/vol. (simply on the basis of mathematical averaging). At an oxygen content of ca. 11.4%/vol., this amounts to an effective CO content of 0.28%/vol., which is not enough to kill all humans within half an hour. In other words, it is well below the 0.4%/vol. of CO that we had identified in Section 5 of this article as the minimum needed.

In the animal experiment previously described with a real CO concentration of 0.22%/vol., which was already established before the test animals were even introduced and which, because of the reduced oxygen content of 11.4%/vol., corresponded to an effective CO concentration of (0.22×21÷11.4=) 0.4%/vol., it still took more than three hours to kill all of the test animals. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable and even quite conservative to say that in a similar gassing attempt with humans and with only a gradually increasing CO concentration, the majority of people in the alleged gas chamber would still be alive after one or even two hours. Such a result would have been an utter fiasco.

8.4. Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Mass Murder

The remaining question is whether a Diesel gas chamber might have worked by recirculating the exhaust gas from the engine. This is actually a well-known problem with Diesel exhaust going back to at least the 1920's in Germany. The concept is to have the air intake, as well as exhaust, connected directly to the same gas chamber. The exhaust then goes around through the engine and the gas chamber, and on back through the engine, and around again, and again. Eventually, so much oxygen is consumed and so much carbon monoxide is produced, that together these changes kill everyone. But, the engine eventually also shuts itself down when there is no longer enough oxygen to sustain combustion; at that point, the engine also ceases producing any more carbon monoxide. The problem is that in order to receive an exhaust gas with a relatively high content of CO, the engine has to be suffocated to a degree

Carbon monoxide gas is an excellent fuel and actually burns far more easily than Diesel fuel or even gasoline. As the exhaust gas recirculates, any additive increase in carbon monoxide levels which one might at first expect will, in fact, not occur at all so long as there is still sufficient oxygen to allow the CO to burn in the cylinders. If the CO level is initially only 0.05% after the first pass through the engine, one might – wrongly – expect it to double to 0.10% after the second pass, and then rise to 0.15% after the third pass, and so on, and on. In reality, however, the carbon monoxide concentration is not at all accumulative so long as the air to fuel ratio remains above 15:1. Since the initial fuel/air ratio is probably more than 100:1, there will be no significant change in CO concentration until several complete exchanges of gas have occurred and just shortly before the engine shuts down. This is confirmed by results in a US Bureau of Mines study which also shows that the CO levels remain low until just shortly before the engine shuts down.[79]

Whether the engine dies before the intended victims die is the important question. In order to obtain 0.22%/vol. of CO in the experiment conducted by Pattle et al., the engine's air intake had to be so severely restricted that it did misfire during warm-up.[71] This means that choking the engine even more by reducing the oxygen concentration from 21%/vol. of normal air down to 11.4%/vol. of recirculated exhaust gases would have shut down the engine most likely well before all victims had died. There is no mention in the Gerstein statement or anywhere else of the engine shutting down. The only reference to engine problems is that Mr. Heckenholt allegedly needed more than two hours just to get the engine started, during which time the survival of the victims would have required many air leaks into the gas chamber. It seems about as reasonable as anything else to conclude from the Gerstein statement that the engine ran throughout the 32-minute gassing period without any problem from lack of oxygen, or for any other reason. In other words, even the recirculation argument fails to fit any of the Diesel gas chamber scenarios from Gerstein, or anyone else.

 

8.5. The most likely Diesel Arrangement for Mass Murder

Without a thorough understanding of the basic characteristics of Diesel engines, the simple-minded method that would have come to mind most readily would have been to simply park a Diesel truck or a T-34 tank outside the gas chamber building and pipe the exhaust into the gas chamber without any load on the engine. Such an arrangement would have annoyed the hell out of any group of intended victims, but would have given them nothing worse than a headache. The headache would have been due to the stench, and smoke, and noise, but certainly not to carbon monoxide and/or lack of oxygen. As a method for mass murder, it would have been a fiasco.

For any Diesel arrangement to have been even marginally effective for mass murder, it would have required an exceptionally well-informed team of individuals to know and do all that was necessary. They would have had to be familiar with the carbon monoxide and oxygen emission curves for their particular engine. Such information is probably not known even today by most engineers. The Diesel gas chamber designers would also have had to know either 1) how to impose and maintain an engine load of more than ¾ of full load on their engine, since anything less would just not have been enough, or 2) how to combine a restricted air intake with some lesser degree of engine loading to achieve the same effect. If they had overloaded the engine or had operated it for too long at or near full load (more than 80% of full load is generally considered unsafe for continuous operation), they might after each gassing have had to overhaul and perhaps replace the engine because of fouling and damage from engine smoke. Merely to gather and assemble the appropriate equipment, including the equipment for imposing and controlling an artificial load, would have been a major undertaking which would have required the expertise of experienced engineers, not just ordinary auto mechanics. If the engine (550 hp!) had been mounted on the floor of the building, it would have required a proper foundation with some provision to isolate vibrations so as to avoid tearing the building apart.

The all-important question is: if any persons had been smart enough and resourceful enough to know and do all that was necessary to make a workable Diesel gas chamber, why would they have bothered with a Diesel engine in the first place? For all their efforts, they would have had an average effective concentration of less than 0.4%/vol. carbon monoxide and more than 4%/vol. oxygen, resulting in execution times of probably more than two hours. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given them ten times more carbon monoxide at idle as any comparably-sized Diesel at full load.. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine would easily have given them 7%/vol. carbon monoxide and less than 1%/vol. oxygen. If one had fiddled with the carburetor, one could have had as much as 12%/vol. carbon monoxide by merely turning one small screw, namely the idle-mixture adjustment screw. Comparing the two types of engines with both operating at idle or under light load, the difference is even more dramatic. At idle or under light load, any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given more than one hundred times as much carbon monoxide as any comparably sized Diesel.

The hoax becomes even more obvious when one discovers that far better sources of carbon monoxide, better even than gasoline engines, were readily available to the Germans – and required neither Diesel fuel nor gasoline.

9. Half a Million Poison Gas Generators on Wheels Never Used for Mass Murder!

During World War Two, most European countries relied for most of their non-military automotive transport upon vehicles which used neither gasoline nor Diesel, but burned solid fuels such as wood, coke, or coal instead. The solid fuel, which was generally wood, was first converted into a mixture of combustible gases by burning in a generator, usually mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The gases were then withdrawn from the generator by engine suction through a pipe beneath the vehicle, and then burned in a modified gasoline or Diesel engine located at the front of the vehicle. The combustible gas produced in this way always contained between 18%/vol. and 35%/vol. carbon monoxide. The exhaust of engines operated with this producer gas never contained more than 0.3%/vol. CO, since nearly all of the CO was consumed in the engine.[80]

Illustration 1: A typical gaswagon which had originally been a conventional bus but which was subsequently retro-fitted with a gas-generator and a modified Saurer engine.[81]

In German-speaking parts of Europe, these vehicles were called Generatorgaswagen, or simply Gaswagen. If they burned wood, which most of them did, they were also called Holzgaswagen which translates literally as "woodgaswagons." In English-speaking countries, these vehicles were generally called "producer gas vehicles." However, they could just as appropriately have been called "poison gas vehicles" because that is precisely what they were. The operation of these vehicles required special safety procedures as well as special government-approved training and licensing of the many hundreds of thousands of drivers who drove these vehicles daily throughout German-occupied Europe.[82]

Every driver of a producer gas vehicle was required to know and comply with the following guidelines and to keep them at hand in the vehicle:[83]

"Safety Guidelines for Producer Gas Vehicles

dated November 28, 1942.

The gas from the gas generator contains up to 35% carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide can be fatal at concentrations as low as 0.1% when inhaled. For this reason – especially while starting the fire or during refilling – there is a danger of poisoning!

Start and refill the gas generator only out-of-doors! Do not linger unnecessarily near the blower discharge. Do not let engines run in garages.

Responsibilities of the supervisor and driver:

All persons who work with producer gas generators are required to learn and conform to the necessary procedures for a safe and orderly operation. The manufacturer's operating instructions must be strictly followed and kept available within the vehicle. Furthermore, these safety guidelines must also be kept with the vehicle documents for each producer gas vehicle " (emphasis as in original)

Illustration 2: Saurer BT 4500 with producer gas generator.[84] A Saurer truck similar to this type allegedly was used for mass murder in Kulmhof/Chelmno – not with producer gas, but incredibly with its exhaust gas.[85]

Illustration 3: Austro-Fiat 4 D 90 A, producer gas generator as standard fitting.[84]

Illustration 4: Another German war-time producer gas truck form Saurer (Type 5 BHw)

Already the first two sentences of these "safety guidelines" tell every driver the two most important facts they should know if they wish to commit mass murder. Producer gas is poison gas! All producer gas vehicles were, in effect, self-propelled gas generators. The fuel itself was poison gas.

Wherever possible, liquid fuels had to be reserved for the military, at least for the duration of the war. The interest which even Adolf Hitler showed is demonstrated by his remarks at an exhibition of Mercedes-Benz heavy trucks with Mercedes-Benz gas producers that burned coal:[86]

"Vehicles of this kind will retain their special significance after the war as well; for given the trend towards increasing motorization, we will never have a surplus of liquid fuel and will always be dependent on imports. The additional domestic fuels thus benefit our own national economy."

By the autumn of 1941, some 150,000 producer gas vehicles were already in use in Germany and the areas controlled by her. The conversion of existing trucks to producer gas resulted in a monthly savings of about 45 million liters of liquid fuel. The goal was "to free every bit of dispensable fuel for the Wehrmacht."[87] By the end of the war, more than 500,000 producer gas vehicles had been put into service by the Germans.[88]

On May 30, 1942, Reichsmarschall Göring established a "Generator Central Office" for his Four-Year Plan:[89]

"to boost generator production, to determine new types on the basis of the fuel situation at hand, to develop new solid fuels for use in the generator, and to develop suitable processes for preparation and low-temperature carbonization etc."

Göring stated:[90]

"I refer to the explanations in my aforementioned decree, regarding the urgency of making Germany as well as the occupied territories and dependent lands largely independent of liquid fuel as quickly as possible, and would ask you to vigorously support the efforts of the Central Office through the increased use of generators."

As the war continued, conversion to solid fuel became more and more urgent. On September 22, 1942, Reich Minister Speer, acting in his capacity as plenipotentiary for armament production (GBRüst), ordered the conversion of all medium and heavy vehicles including buses in all German-occupied regions.[92] A year later, the GBRüst's amendment of September 13, 1943, eliminated all exemptions. Now the conversion of all civilian vehicles was mandatory as well, including even the smallest automobiles.[93] After the war, in a long report about German oil production, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey stated that even some of the best German tanks, 50 Königstiger, had been driven with producer gas just before the war's end.[94]

Illustration 5: The Imbert-Generator was the most widespread producer gas generator of the Third Reich, here in mass production on an assembly line in Cologne 1943.[91]

The vast numbers of producer gas vehicles as well as the fervor with which the Germans developed new vehicles and uses for this gas technology, which is so evident throughout their wartime automotive literature, undermine the Holocaust story in general. If the Germans had ever intended to commit mass murder with carbon monoxide, they certainly would have had enough brains to employ this superb poison gas technology long before using anything as idiotic as Diesel exhaust. And, it would have worked!

Eichmann and the other 'transportation experts' involved in the "final solution of the Jewish question," which was indeed primarily a transportation problem, would certainly have been fully aware of these vehicles. If they had had any expertise at all, they would have also been aware of some of the unique features of these vehicles as well. For example, each generator had a startup blower which was powered by either a small electric motor or by hand. It would have been childishly easy to attach a hose, or pipe, to the exhaust of that blower so as to force poison gas into any cellar, barracks, or prison, but nowhere in the vast Holocaust literature is any such technology even suggested.

Another irony is the fact that the same producer gas technology was actually used to gas rats and other vermin. According to the public health literature from the Third Reich, producer gas equipment from the firm of Nocht-Giemsa for killing rats was "very common."[95] And yet, no one thought of using this obvious, practical, effective, simple, and cheap technology on humans – even Jews who had sometimes been compared to rats as in the film "Der Ewige Jude" (The Eternal Jew). Obviously, the National Socialists were not nearly as fiendishly clever, as exterminationists often claimed they were, in connecting Jews to rats.

10. Vans with Diesels for Mass Murder?

10.1 Origins of the Diesel Story

The producer gas vehicles are not the same as the "gas vans" allegedly used for mass murder in Chelmno and by the Einsatzgruppen in Russia, despite the ironic circumstance that the words used in German for both kinds of vehicles are similar. According to all the 'evidence,' the murderous "gas vans" were ordinary heavy vehicles whose exhaust (most often from a Diesel operating at idle) became the lethal gas. The gas van story is based primarily on a strange Nuremberg trial document known as PS-501, which is a probable fabrication based upon an unavailable, innocuous letter from SS-Untersturmführer Becker to SS-Obersturmbannführer Walther Rauff, in which Becker requested all-wheel-drive vehicles so that he could more easily travel the muddy Russian roads. The letter suggests modifications to an S-vehicle.[96] The text of an unavailable original seems to have been rewritten with several changes to give it an incriminating significance. There are several different versions of this 'document' which has been critically assessed in the chapter (pages 215-241) in Dissecting the Holocaust written by Ingrid Weckert.

Illustration 6: German war-time producergas generator made by Kromag

The Diesel murder claims probably originated in mid-1943 Soviet propaganda. A short time earlier, in April 1943, the German discovery of the massacre of thousands of Polish officers at Katyn had exposed the Soviets as ruthless mass murderers. The Germans had openly invited internationally-renowned forensic scientists, even from enemy countries, to thoroughly examine the victims.[97]

To avenge themselves on the Germans for the debacle of Katyn, the Soviets staged show trials a few months later in Char'kov and Krasnodar. In the course of those trials, some unfortunate German prisoners provided 'confessions.' However, the Soviets denied any and all non-Soviet experts access to the alleged sites of the massacres. The Soviets accused the Germans of having driven civilians into the countryside in Diesel trucks. After the trucks containing the victims were parked, the Diesel engine exhaust was allegedly redirected into the interior, and the victims expired shortly thereafter.

Illustration 7: Design of an Ostmark producer gas generator--also shown is the typical "blower" in the lower left. (Click to enlarge.)[117]

In this scenario, the Diesel engines would have been operating without any load and at fast idle at the very worst. The CO concentrations under such conditions would hardly have caused a headache in half an hour.

Some of these trucks were said to have been manufactured by the firm of Saurer.[85] The ironic part of this tale is that even before the war, Saurer was arguably the manufacturer of the world's best and most efficient producer gas trucks. During the war, this Swiss-Austrian firm continued its technical leadership over Mercedes, Opel, and Ford who were actually manufacturing far more producer gas vehicles.[98] More than 6,000 Saurer trucks were built in Vienna during the war and most, if not all, had producer gas generators and Diesel engines. How absurd to believe anyone with even a minimum of technical understanding would even try to use the exhaust from these trucks for murder, when the fuel itself was a thousand times more lethal!

A television series produced during the collapse of the Soviet Union and aired in the United States in 1993, provided further insight into the Soviet origins of the gas van tale. The four-part broadcast was entitled: "Monster: A Portrait of Stalin in Blood." At one point in the second part, subtitled "Stalin's Secret Police," KGB officer Alexander Michailov claimed that the gas trucks were invented in Moscow by Isai Davidovich Berg – no relation to this author – and were already in use a few years before the war. According to Michailov, these may have served as a model for Hitler's SS and the Gestapo. Diesel engines were not mentioned. This is explained by the fact that all pre-war trucks in the Soviet Union had only gasoline engines. There were no Diesel engines since the entire transportation system in the USSR was based on earlier, western engine types such as that of Ford Motor Co. More than likely, the Soviet allegations of gas trucks are truly based on the Soviets' own mass murder technology to which they simply added Diesel engines to make them seem more sinister and, most of all, more German.

The gas van story is an adaptation of some documentary materials relating to the perfectly innocent use of producer gas vehicles – supported, of course, by appropriate 'eyewitness' testimony. It is within the gas van story, however, that one can see in miniature the process by which the Holocaust story in general has been confabulated.

The earliest reference to mass murder in gas vans that I have ever found is from July 1943, when Pravda reported on the show trials of a number of German prisoners who had supposedly murdered Soviet citizens in Krasnodar with Diesel powered vans. English translations of the Pravda stories appeared in The Trial in Britain through Hutchinson & Co. and Foreign Languages Publishing House where we have the following text:[99]

"In the autumn of 1942, the Germans began to use specially equipped automobiles which the population called 'murder vans,' for the purpose of doing away with Soviet citizens.

These 'murder vans' were covered five-ton or seven-ton gray-painted motor trucks, driven by Diesel engines."

From a later trial in Kharkov in December of 1943 we have the following claim:[100]

"The vans are lined inside with galvanized iron and have airtight folding doors at the back. The floor is equipped with a wooden grating under which passes a pipe with apertures. The pipe is connected to the exhaust pipe of the engine. The exhaust gases of the Diesel engine, containing highly concentrated carbon monoxide, enter the body of the van, causing rapid poisoning and asphyxiation of the people locked up in the van."

The simple fact is that Diesel exhaust never contains "highly concentrated carbon monoxide."

In a later publication entitled "Soviet War Documents" from December 1943 and published by the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC, we have a description of the gas van on page 172. According to that description, the engine was a "Sauer" engine. There is no "Sauer" engine manufacturer but there is the famous company called "Saurer" which was discussed earlier. The connection that is made here to a company called "Sauer" is significant because it reappears in the infamous fake letter from Becker to Rauff in Nuremberg File PS-501.[101] By their common errors one can recognize the work of the forgers. There is never any mention anywhere of the engines having been gasoline engines – although that would have certainly made sense technically – nor is there any mention of producer gas wagons which would have made all the sense in the world.

10.2. The Vans of Chelmno

The least important of the six supposed extermination camps, in terms of numbers of victims, is Chelmno. Oddly enough, it is the Chelmno story that seems to have some persistence even among Holocaust skeptics. The 'evidence' is especially vague and consists essentially of anecdotes, many describing events long after September 13, 1943, when all use of liquid fuels (gasoline or Diesel fuel) for non-military vehicles was strictly prohibited and when producer gas was required as the only alternate fuel. The anecdotes invariably allege that the driver, just prior to departure with a batch of entrapped victims, would work on something or other (always totally undefined as to what and how) beneath the vehicle to redirect the exhaust from the engine (Diesel or gasoline – take your pick) into the van compartment to kill the victims. For producer gas vehicles, a lengthy startup procedure (half-an-hour seems to have been common) involving many adjustments to the gas generator and piping below the vehicle was, indeed, always necessary, but this was not the case for vehicles using liquid fuels. More than likely, some 'witnesses' had actually seen a producer gas startup procedure and then, after the war, embellished that true experience to make something atrocious. But what argues most strongly against all such stories is that the use of trucks (medium and heavy) using any kind of liquid fuel had already been prohibited a year earlier by Speer on September 22, 1942; smaller vehicles were still exempt until a year later (see section 9). To break the law for a few per cent of CO from gasoline engine exhaust – or even only a fraction of a percent from Diesel engine exhaust – when the legally required fuel was far more lethal, is too ridiculous. It never happened!.

10.3. Accidental Gassings from Producer Gas Vehicles

Producer gas is poison gas – extremely poisonous with CO concentrations as high as 35%. Although there is no credible evidence of any deliberate gassings with producer gas vans, there were no doubt many fatal, accidental gassings. These arose almost inevitably from the nature of the half million producer gas vans which made their own CO. Fatal accidents were inevitable from the earliest uses of these vehicles and, no doubt, became more frequent as the war made it more difficult to properly train drivers. However, this author has found no actual record of any such accidents in the German wartime literature. The severe dangers of accidental poisonings and explosions are, however, clearly spelled out in the German literature including the safety guidelines.

In the German technical journal ATZ Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift, 1941 Heft 18, p. 449-50 we have an essay entitled: “Die Gefahr der Kohlenoxydvergiftung beim Generatorbetrieb (The Danger of CO poisoning through Generator use).” The essay tells us there were 17 fatal cases of CO poisoning in Sweden between December 1939 and March 1941. Ten fatalities occurred when generators were started inside closed garages. Four fatalities occurred when the drivers were sitting in their truck cabs as the generator blowers were running. This led to special strict regulations regarding ventilation of garages with harsh penalties.

It is in the post-war literature of Scandinavia that one can, however, find the most startling detailed information as to the many medical problems arising from producer vehicles. Poisonings from producer gas were so common in Sweden, for example, that two special clinics were established to treat the victims.[102] When the war ended, the use of these vehicles declined only gradually. In the early 1950's in West Germany, at least 20,000 were still in use, and their safe operation was still of great concern to medical professionals.[103]

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