Nizkor Lies about the Toxicity of Diesel Exhaust

Some comments to “The Toxicity of Fumes from a Diesel Engine under Four Different Running Conditions” [1]

by Friedrich Paul Berg

Of the hundreds of essays from technical and medical journals that I have cited over the last twenty years to refute the Holocaust hoax, the linked essay by Pattle et al. is, by far, the most important. Please see my most recent discussion in Dissecting the Holocaust (2003) which is also on this website–(see Section 8.2 of that text). According to Holocaust mythology, most Nazi gassings were committed with Diesel exhaust in approximately half-an-hour, or even less. The essay by Pattle and four other researchers in Britain in the mid-1950’s is the only known inhalation study ever on living animals in which the diesel exhaust exposures consisted of full-strength diesel exhaust and continued until the animals either expired from the exposures, or until five hours had elapsed.

My first essay on this subject—“The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within a Myth” (1984) was a highly theoretical analysis of the likely morbidity from diesel exhaust based on the well-established toxicity of carbon monoxide and reduced oxygen. A theoretical analysis in which all possible toxins in the exhaust could be considered seemed far too complex to have any real meaning. That shortcoming was answered, however, when the Pattle study was brought to my attention years later—and, it confirms everything I had written earlier about the inherent absurdity of diesel exhaust as a lethal agent for killing Jews or anyone else. But, it even shows that my earlier conclusions were actually quite conservative; the necessary conditions that one would have had to impose on any diesel to commit mass murder are even more preposterous than I had previously imagined.

The Pattle essay is thorough, rigorous and clear enough for all who are willing to read it carefully and honestly. There has never been any challenge to its findings either. Nonetheless, there are those who flagrantly misuse the Pattle essay and even claim, for example, that:

“In all cases, the animals died.


This blatant lie is spread primarily by one pro-Jewish organization called “Nizkor” See for example their internet essay entitled: “The Leuchter Report: Fumes from a diesel engine are not toxic enough to kill people.” But there are many other websites and organizations which simply repeat essentially the exact same Nizkor text and lie, even in German. Even more outrageous is the fact that such false propaganda is readily accessible in Germany and is even recommended by official organizations such as IDGR—but the refutation of the Nizkor lie, including this essay, are suppressed by German law and severe German internet restrictions on access providers.

Looking at the Nizkor text in a somewhat broader context, we have the following at the same internet address as above:

In a closed chamber, of course diesel fumes will kill. There was actually a study on this, and its results are reported in "The Toxicity of Fumes from a diesel Engine Under Four Different Running Conditions", by Prattle et al., British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1957, Vol 14, p. 47-55. These researchers ran a few experiments in which various animals were exposed to diesel fumes, and studied the results.

In the experiments, the exhaust of a small diesel engine (568 cc, 6 BHP) was connected to a chamber 10 cubic meters (340 cubic feet) in volume, and the animals were put inside it. In all cases, the animals died. . . .

Even in cases where the CO output was low, the animals still died from other toxic components - mainly irritants and nitrogen dioxide.

Clearly, Nizkor has lied repeatedly and continues to do so about the simplest words from an easily accessible source. The reader should confirm for himself that according to Table 1, Column A of Pattle et al.(page 50), all of the animals survived five hours of continuous exposure to the diesel exhaust from an engine running at idle, and even continued to survive for another 7 days after being removed from the gas chamber. None of them died!

The reader can also confirm for himself, that in the most lethal of the tests, D1, all of the animals were indeed dead within the five hour test period—but, the text on page 49 also states:

“ After one hour's exposure in D1 (0,22% CO), all except three of the 20 mice were dead. All the rabbits and guinea pigs were alive. After 3 hr. 20 min. all the animals were dead and the experiment was stopped.”

Pattle, Stretch, Burgess, Sinclair, Edginton

But even this was only achieved with an exposure time more than six times as long as Gerstein and others have claimed for the alleged homicidal diesel gas chambers of the Nazis. In other words, for exposures of half-an-hour or less, hardly any animals die even under condition D1 and D2 which simulated an extreme loaded condition on the engine. Clearly, Nizkor and especially a (Dr.?) Daniel Keren are scurrilous liars—but their lie will, no doubt, persist indefinitely because it is an “essential lie” or prop for the Holocaust hoax.

On page 52 of the Pattle essay as linked above we have the following words: “As five hours' exposure produced no fatalities, the results of two long exposures are reported.” On page 54 we have the following words: “In the main experiments five hours' exposure under conditions A caused no fatalities.

Surely, the Pattle et al. essay must be banned in Germany just as literature based on direct observations of the moons orbiting Jupiter were banned by the Catholic Church. Pattle et al. must be completely wrong in their conclusions since the Holocaust claims are legally established and binding on us all. If Pattle, Stretch, Burgess, Sinclair and/or Edginton are still alive, they must all publicly apologize for their shameful experimental tests on living animals and admit their errors. And most important of all, Pattle et al. must publicly humiliate themselves for having unwittingly, or wittingly, given such superlative aid and affirmation to the holocaust deniers.

[1] “The Toxicity of Fumes from a Diesel Engine under four different Running Conditions,” by R.E. Pattle, H.Stretch, F. Burgess, K. Sinclair, and J.A.G. Edginton, British journal of industrial Medicine, 1957, 14, pages 47-55. link


ADDENDUM as of July 2005

There are two more essays about diesel exhaust which are well worth examining. The first one has been consistently misused by Nizkor contributors. That essay is: “The Significance of Diesel-Exhaust Gas Analysis” by John C. Holtz and M. A. Elliott, Transactions of the ASME, 1941, 63, pp 97-105. link On the first page of that classic essay we have the following description of the elaborate arrangement that was used to impose various loads upon the engines--except for idle.


Engines and Dynamometer. The two Diesel engines tested are described in Table 1. Each engine was mounted in a “power unit,” including radiator, fan, clutch, fuel system, and starting mechanism. In the test, each unit was coupled to an electric dynamometer rated at 45 hp from 1200 to 2500 rpm.”

Holtz, Elliott

Some Nizkor contributors have insisted over the years that all one had to do to produce toxic exhaust was “tune,” or “mistune,” some adjusting screw on the diesels. The text above shows that it is not that simple at all; on the contrary, careful thought and contruction is definitely required far beyond what one can expect from any auto mechanic. There was no indication of how long the victims had endured the diesel exhaust before expiring. As any kind of refutation of my thesis, it means little. The vagueness of the assertions by the author tends to only support my thesis that for half-an-hour exposures with an idling diesel, there is no meaningful danger to life at all. If there had been any danger for short term exposures, that would have revealed itself in the experiments of Pattle et al.

Another essay which has some importance (but never used by Nizkor as far as I know) is: “Death from diesel fumes” by S. Sivaloganathan, Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine, 1998, 5, 138-39. link An 83-year old man had died in a car fitted with a diesel engine. His blood showed less than 5% carboxyhemoglobin saturation.

“Death was due to inhalation of soot from diesel fumes accelerated by ischaemic heart disease.”


There was no indication of how long the victim had endured the diesel exhaust before expiring. As any kind of refutation of my thesis, it means little. The vagueness of the assertions by the author tends to only support my thesis that for half-an-hour exposures with an idling diesel, there is no meaningful danger to life at all. If there had been any danger for short term exposures, that would have revealed itself in the experiments of Pattle et al.


ADDENDUM 2 as of July 2009

The diesel gassing claims are still an essential feature of the holocaust hoax and, therefore, NIZKOR will not make any concessions to truth on the diesel issue. The following link from NIZKOR contains grievous distortions, if not outright lies, about diesel emissions.


The area in orange in the graph does indeed represent the “normal operating range” of a diesel engine. But that has never been disputed by this author. What NIZKOR wilfully obscures is the fact that the orange area represents the whole broad range of operating conditions from idle (no external load) on the extreme left side of the graph to maximum load (on the right side) that the engine deals with before it starts making smoke.

To get a diesel engine to produce exhaust matching the right side of the orange area, the engine must be put under a heavy load—which is far from easy and not even remotely suggested by any of the holocaust accounts. Simply running a diesel engine at idle, or fast idle, will produce negligible toxicity as represented by the left side of the orangew area of the graph. Fiddling with the engine or “mistuning” it as NIZKOR suggests simply does not work at all. There is nothing to mistune, and altering the injection timing does nothing either. Because of the great abundance of excess air over the entire operating range, the diesel fuel will either explode and burn to near perfect chemical completion—or, it will not explode or burn at all, and it will simply pass out the exhaust pipe without any chemical change whatsoever. That is the nature of diesel combustion.

The first sentence of the Nizkor link is a carefully crafted and wilful distortion: “Holocaust-deniers often claim that it is impossible to obtain lethal exhaust from a diesel engine, unless it is run in highly abnormal conditions.” No holocaust-denier has ever made such a claim. Since I am the only revisionist who has focused much time on this subject, I would know. The word “abnormal” should be replaced with the words “unlikely” or “implausible” to put some truth into the sentence. The right side of the orange area represents conditions under which the engine is under a heavy load which means that for any stationary engine, the engine must be connected to something, like a pump or generator—and must be doing actual work. The Nazis could have certainly done all of that—but that represents an enormous amount of effort and complexity to get CO levels that are still below 1/2%. It makes no sense at all in view of countless alternative sources of carbon monoxide such as the exhaust from ordinary gasoline engines, even VW engines, running at idle (including fast idle) and the fuel itself which was widely used throughout the Third Reich, specifically Holzgas (woodgas) with between 18% and 35% CO.

Without any heavy external load, pushing the fuel pedal to the floor produces only a momentary spurt in the fuel/air ratio before the engine speed reaches redline speed by which time the internal engine speed governor will have cut back, automatically and severely, on the fuel/air ratio—even if the operator continues to push the pedal to the metal. All engines, diesel as well as gasoline, must have some kind of automatic internal speed governor to avoid self-destructing—even if the drivers want them to run faster and faster. In other words, there is simply no way to get those high fuel/air ratios needed for sustained toxic emission levels without some kind of external load (such as a pump, fan or generator) on the engine. Those heavy loads are necessary to allow the engines to run with high fuel/air ratios for more than a few seconds without redlining.


ADDENDUM 3 as of December 2011

The arguments of NIZKOR and Dan Keren were included in a footnote in John C. Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial (2000: University Press of America) page 156. Zimmerman (a professor of accounting in Las Vegas, Nevada) mistakenly claimed:

“..., Berg ignored one of the original studies on diesel fumes which shows that the emissions can reach lethal concentrations under the right conditions. John Holtz and M. A. Elliot. 'The Significance of Diesel Exhaust Gas Analysis' 63 Transactions of ASME (1943) 97-105. The authors were able to run two large diesel engines under various loads and fuel ratios. They didn't have any problem making the exhaust highly lethal -- with up to 6% carbon monoxide. The adjustment of the engine to increase the fuel ratio was a trivial process in order to attain the level of toxicity. However, the authors also demonstrated that exhaust is lethal even at normal operating mode -- 2.5% oxygen and 12% carbon dioxide -- without having to adjust the engine. Also , they did not report any damage to the engines as Berg claimed would happen when a diesel engine ran under those conditions. ”

John C. Zimmerman

Holtz and Elliot certainly were able to run their engines under "various loads and fuel ratios" given the rather elaborate and expensive "power unit" they had available to them--and with relative ease. However, brake dynamometer arrangements capable of imposing loads of several hundred HP as would have been needed for the engines, for example, of Soviet T-34 tanks would have been extremely expensive--and are still extremely expensive and even rare today. But, nothing even remotely comparable has even been suggested for any of the Nazi gassings. There is simply nothing in the claims of "eyewinesses" to suggest that the engines, except for Chelmno, ran under anything other than "idle" conditions--that is to say "without any load at all."

The Chelmno gassing claims are an exception. Those gassings were supposedly done while the trucks were in motion and presumably operating under the resulting loads on the engine from driving through the countryside. For the alleged "gas van" gassings in the Soviet Union as described in the farcical show trials of Kharkov and Krasnodar in 1943, the homicidal vehicles were first parked to allow the exhaust gas to be redirected into the compartment holding the intended victims. The vehicles remained "parked" during the subsequent gassing of the victims. The diesel engines would have been operating at the very worst at merely "fast idle" which yields hardly any carbon monoxide as the Holtz & Elliot essay and many others clearly show. The claims of the Soviets that victims' bodies were examined "spectroscopically" seem preposterous. Actual autopsy reports have been unavailable in the west and, no doubt, for good reason. At least the Soviets got the supposed color of the corpses right. They claimed the corpses were RED based, no doubt, on many years of gassing their own citizens with CO in vans equipped only with gasoline engines. In western trials, the courts did not even get that right.

"Hey folks, let's just use that little old VW gasoline engine without any brake dynamometer. Why not?" Using a "power unit" to load up a diesel engine just to get a few per cent of CO and/or reduced oxygen would have been totally absurd and insane. Professor Zimmerman should stick to accounting.



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