Thursday, January 29, 2009


[The following provides links to various articles and sources which explicitly expose the lies and obfuscations of Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson. We hope they are helpful to you. My profound thanks to Dan Leshem and Maureen McLaughlin for helping prepare this material.]

1. Williamson says: “I believe there were no gas chambers."

This claim is one of several pillars of Holocaust denial. For an overview on the design, number, and operation of the gas chambers and some pictures. Click here or here.

In addition you can go to the following sites on which address some of the common claims made by deniers about the gas chambers:

  1. Auschwitz Gas Chambers were really air raid shelters

  2. Gas Chambers could not have been used for gassing

  3. Gas Chamber in Auschwitz I is a fake for tourists

  4. Scientific tests prove the Gas Chambers never existed

  5. There were holes in the roofs of the gas chambers"

2. Williamson says: “. . . between two and three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber.”

For charts breaking down the numbers of Jews killed by country and location see the Holocaust Chronicle and the Jewish Virtual Library sites. There are other sources but they are generally quite complex.

3. Williamson says: “You may have heard of the Leuchter Report? Well, Fred Leuchter was an expert in gas chambers. He designed three gas chambers for three states, three of the fifty United States, for the execution of criminals. So he knew what’s involved. And he studied what the supposed gas chambers in Germany at some point in the 1980’s, what remains of the supposed gas chambers. The crematoria at Birkenau-Auschwitz, for instance. And his expert conclusion as that it’s impossible for these ever to have served for the gassing of large numbers of people.”

An extensive rebuttal of Leuchter’s “qualifications” can be found here.

4. Williamson says: “. . . it’s very dangerous to go in to pull out the corpses. Because of whiff of gas that’s trapped in the clothing escapes from the clothing will kill the person. . .

When the Sonderkommandos had to unload the cottage gas chambers they did use gas masks since there was no ventilation system. This discussion can be found in the RJvP Report, Chapter VI; Attestations here. Note that the Sonderkommandos talk about using gas masks.

There is extensive literature on how the victims had to undress BEFORE they went into the gas chambers. During the trial Irving v. Lipstadt, expert witness Robert Jan van Pelt gave the court multiple descriptions of the undressing process. [If you click on this link it will take you to the entire chapter. Scroll down and you will find the descriptions.]

Here is one observation from Hoss, the commandant at Auschwitz, on the arrival, selection and killing of the deportees.

. . . All the luggage remained on the ramp and, after those unfit for work had also been sent off, it was brought to the store of personal effects, to be sorted out. Those unfit for work were classified according to sex--men, women, and children--and marched off to the nearest available extermination installation. Those unable to walk and women with small children were transported there on trucks. When they arrived, all of them had to strip naked in rooms which gave the impression of being delousing installations. The permanent labour unit of prisoners who worked in these installations--and who were also housed there and did not come into contact with other inmates of the camp--helped with the undressing and coaxed the hesitant to hurry up, ss that the others would not have to wait so long.

They were also told to take note where they put away their clothes, so that they would be able to find them again immediately after taking their bath. All this was done on purpose, in order to dispel any fears which might arise. After they had taken off their clothes, they were taken into a nearby room--the gas chamber itself. It had been prepared to look like a washroom--that is to say, showers and pipes were installed throughout, water drainage channels, etc. The moment the entire transport had entered the chamber, the door was closed, and simultaneously the gas was forced in from above through a special aperture. . . .

5. Williamson says: “Once you’ve gassed people, you’ve got to evacuate the gas to be able to get into the chamber to us it. To evacuate the gas, you need a high chimney. If it’s a low chimney, the gas goes onto the pavement and kills anybody walking by.”

The gas chambers did not have chimneys of the smokestack-type to vent the Zyklon-B.

They had ventilation systems.

The only “chimneys” in the gas chambers were the small ones of the roof to pour in the Zyklon-B. They may qualify technically as “chimneys” but they are, or course, not “high.” You may see their design here. This short article reconstructs the introduction columns from testimony and even shows a design. Visual and short.

There is a discussion of the ventilation system in the trial's Van Pelt Report. See especially the section found at here.

Furthermore, as chemist Harry W. Mazal of the Holocaust History Project reports, Williamson's claims that a tall chimney is required else the gas from the gas chambers would fall to the pavement and kill various and sundry reveals "a remarkable ignorance of basic chemistry." Since Hydrogen Cyanide (Zyklon B) is a GAS, its vapor pressure tells us that once released into the atmosphere it would dissipate instantly. This same happens with the majority of all gases!

True there are war "gases" that are heavier than air and will tend to float down to earth (fog is one example where water vapor descends to earth under certain conditions), but these are not typical, standard gases (as is hydrogen cyanide, oxygen and carbon dioxide) but rather more like suspensions. However, Hydrogen Cyanide is an extremely volatile gas, more so than oxygen or nitrogen or carbon dioxide, none of which "drift town to earth." 

6. Williamson says: “You need a high chimney, right? . . . If there was a high chimney, then the shadow at most times of the day, the shadow would have fallen on the ground. And the Allied aerial photographers that flew over the camps would have picked up the shadow of this chimney. There were never such shadows. There was no such chimney.”

The“tall” chimneys for the crematoria and the “low” chimneys for Zyklon-B introduction both show shadows on aerial photographs (photo #4).

This article is the classic one on the aerial photography. It is presented in full with photographs including close-ups of the crematoria, showing shadows. This is the definitive answer to this assertion.

7. Williamson says: “Which, according to Fred Leuchter’s testimony, they can’t have been chambers.”

See our article on Leuchter: “Scientific Tests Prove the Gas Chambers Never Existed

8. Williamson says:“He looks at the doors, and he says that the door has to be absolutely airtight because again, the gas escapes and kills the people outside. The doors of the gas chambers that are shown to tourists at Auschwitz are not airtight, absolutely not.”

See our Myth/Fact sheet discussing the evidence for air-tight doors: “Auschwitz Gas Chambers were really air raid shelters.”

Pertinent part of our FAQ:

  • On January 1, 1943, three gas-tight doors were ordered for Crema 2.

  • On February 13, 1943 an order was issued for twelve "gas-tight doors of 30/40 cm." These "doors" are more like shutters in size (about 12 x 16 inches). These shutters can be seen at Auschwitz today. They are 30 x 40 centimeters in size and equipped with a butterfly nut that can be screwed tight from the outside. The plan for Crema/Gas Chamber 4 specifies shutters 30 by 40 centimeters in size. Crema 4 was a brick building builtentirely above ground. Of what use would it be as an air-raid shelter?

  • On February 26, 1943, ten gas detectors were ordered by telegram from Topf & Sons. (Gas detectors would be needed to determine when it was safe to enter the gas chamber rooms and remove the bodies.)

  • On March 31, 1943, one gas-tight door was ordered for Crema 3 was ordered.

Williamson’s statement about the gas chambers that are shown to “tourists” is answered in our Myth/Fact Sheet: “Gas Chambers in Auschwitz I is a fake for tourists.


Unknown said...


The interview is a very frustrating video to watch. Williamson is so slick and cool. The interviewer clearly doesn't believe him, but he has nothing more specific to say than -- "You are obviously an anti-semite". It is a true statement, but it doesn't *shred* Williamson's argument, as it so richly deserves to be shredded.

You have done the shredding. Thanks so much.

Noga Tarnopolsky said...

I hate to even ask this question, but isn't Floriano Abrahamowicz's surname a distinctly Jewish surname?

Molnár Simon said...

Thank you very much for this compilation - it is very important to put forward such precise rebuttals against these dishonest people - repeatedly and in as many languages as possible.

Somehow I always feel ashamed, disgusted and at the same time personally attacked when people deny Holocaust on the grounds of the size of a shadow or the impossibilities of gassing, burning, ditching so many bodies of men, women, children per day, etc.

I was born 20 years after the war and I have only few distant relatives (Hungarians, Polish, Russian, whichever) murdered at camps or on the way to them or in ghettos for their ethnicity, etc. Still the skycraping lies these people are able to put forward repeatedly with a straight face as if in ignorance hurts me in my feeling towards all those who suffered.

These people deny history, deny the individual suffering of each and all who were forced to leave their homes, relatives, loved ones, who were tortured, killed, burned alive, kept in inhuman circumstances, and the memories and reports of all those who saw this, survived this and lived to tell, and behave as if they could tell me, anybody, what did not happen and how it did not happen - while it is quite clear that it is only their personality that needs attention.

SaraS said...

Some of us have spent lifetimes and thousands of hours researching and refuting Holocaust denial. One loony lke this gets thousands of words of ink and undoes years of study and research. It's very discouraging. To see more denial refutation, please visit The Holocaust History Project at


I have a few *genuine queries* about the Birkenau Gas Chambers which others on this site might know the answers for:

[Q] In all the photographs showing the four gas chambers, they look massive well built brick and tile structures of some size. Yet the ruins you see today are rather *small in area when compared to these photos and amongst the exiting ruins there's no broken roof wood or flooring timber, no broken tiles, pipework, doors, window frames or metal and steel from the crematorium, and the quantity of demolition debris you would normally expect to find from a buildings of this size is not there. Also the visible depth seen looking downwards into the underground - undressing room area is not that deep and appears a lot shallower than you would expect? For the avoidance of all doubt, I state that these are the actual sites of the four notorious 'Birkenau gas chambers' in which 850 000 people [+] died. Does anyone know when, these 4 sites were stripped off all re-usable building materials. It appears these scavengers left what was no use to them meaning a quantity of heavy concrete slabs and broken concrete. All the red bricks have been taken [Q2] In the Auschwitz Album photo it shows in one photo the Birkenau *part-concreted rail-ramp*, yet today there is no raised ramp, or signs of one. This is the photo that shows three Jewish illegally held detainees, waiting to assist passengers being unloaded from a nearby train, it's the same photo that shows the man 'with no trousers' stood amongst the crowd of unfortunates.

I'm guessing that after the war numerous Birkenau barracks were taken down by local farmers for livestock use, it's said some were shipped to Warsaw for housing, but did a Polish builder move in and strip the site for building materials and hardcore. Maybe the Russians were responsible for this. Anyone got any answers?

Deborah Lipstadt said...

The plans and the photographs correspond to the size of the sites.

Regarding the reason you don't see debris is that in the immediate aftermath of the war people from the town of Auschwitz came to the camp and stripped of bricks and other materials to use in rebbuilding their own homes.

The "ramp" was not raised. Look at the which consists of pictures taken by the SS.

And the dressing rooms are not shallow.

Molnár Simon said...

To Fairplay: write to A-B Museum on their contact page; they'll have the answer to any of your questions regarding the camps there. You might then want to share their answer with this blog.

Check out the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum website. Seems an authentic place to start first off.

Also, has huge online documentation related to this inhuman endeavor.

This might not be the answer you look for, but certainly moves you closer to it. Hope this helps.



On my second visit to Birkenau I raised these two questions with the Auschwitz Museum information centre staff, but no one knew the answer. One staff person said there was a laid out ramp area but she did not know what had become of it. My suspicion is that a local builder wanted the stone hardcore underneath the ramp and used an excavator shovel to take it away. I suspect that the original gas chamber site/s were bulldozer cleared and some of the underground area/s filled in. So what you see today is not the whole crematorium area/s but the initial 'underground undressing room area'. This would account for the m2 sq discrepancy mentioned.

I clicked on the 2nd link provided by Deborah,thank you, I wish I hadn't because it made me sick for the last 2 days. Like most people I get depressed and angry over the sheer helplessness of these Jewish family detainees. Our respective nations have codes of chivalry, and honour codes protecting woman and children and neutrals. The USA Lendlease, 9-11, and the recent Hudson Bay aircrash staff conduct represents what we believe in. So the Popes reinstatement of this Bishop [Bishop of what - certainly not compassion] is a blow to all fairminded people. Thank you for the replies.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Please forgive my delay in getting back to you. Yes this priest does have a "Jewish" name. On his father's side there were Jews. [I am not sure if his father converted or a preceding generation did.]

No surprise here.