The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/butz.arthur/butz-mattogno

Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 23:32:52 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: Jamie McCarthy 
Subject: Mattogno

Mike Curtis wrote me regarding Mattogno:

> Do you have examples?

I originally wrote the below with just Mike in mind, then I figured I 
might as well share it with the rest of the nizkor list, then it occurred 
to me that it might be worthwhile posting on CIS (since the deniers are 
the ones who brought up Pressac).  So feel free to post the below, if you 

My best example so far of Mattogno's stupidity is his explanation of the 
Vergasungskeller.  You'll recall that a letter in 1943 (?) referred to 
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II, what we now know to be the gas chamber, as 
the "Vergasungskeller."  It sounds exactly like what it means:   "gassing 
cellar."  That captured letter has given deniers no end of fits, of 

Butz's explanation circa 1976 was that "Vergasung" could only mean 
"carburetion," i.e. converting a solid or liquid into a gas.  Specious.  
"Vergasung" can certainly mean "gassing" with everything that English 
word implies:  exposing people to gas.  Butz even admits trouble with 
this theory in his 1976 book, saying that he did realize that "Vergasung" 
was used to describe battlefield gassings in W.W. I!  But -- get ready 
for this -- his explanation is that perhaps the battlefield gassings 
involved explosion of a very fine powder, so that what was really 
happening was not "gassing" but "carburetion"!!

A splendid example of the ridiculous lengths to which deniers will go to 
avoid the truth, by the way.

So Butz's explanation was that the "Vergasungskeller" was the 
"carburetion cellar" where solid coke was converted into a gas by some 
process involving steam and high temperature, I think.

There's a small problem with this -- the Auschwitz crematoria used 
_solid_ coke, not any coke gas.  No carburetion required, you just shovel 
the stuff in.  Somehow Butz did not realize this.  Oops!

Anyway, in the late 80s Pressac pointed out to Butz that there was no 
chamber in the Krema II complex that the word "Vergasungskeller" could 
possibly refer to -- every room in the complex was accounted for.  Butz 
acknowledged this, but then made the bold suggestion that the mysterious 
"Vergasungskeller" was actually a room in _another_ complex, presumably 
located _near_ Krema II.  Well, anyone who knows anything about the camp 
realizes that there is no such building, there's nothing much near Krema 
II (except Krema III) and there is no room that was used to "gasify" coke 
even if coke _needed_ to be gasified for the Auschwitz furnaces in the 
first place which it didn't!

Butz has not progressed any further with his "revisionist scholarship," 
to my knowledge -- he still thinks people should be out there looking for 
some mysterious "Vergasungskeller" when of course the damn thing is the 
Krema II gas chamber, as every Holocaust historian knows and has known 
for fifty years or so.  Splendid, splendid example of rationalization and 
cognitive dissonance (I think -- I'm not a psychologist).

Anyway, all that is just lead-up to Mattogno's explanation of the 
Vergasungskeller, which is, p. 64:

   The term _Vergasungskeller_ designates a disinfestation basement. 
   In the explanatory report on the construction of KGL Birkenau dated
   30 October 1941, the two Zyklon B _Entlausungsbaracken_
   (disinfestation installations) subsequently built, BW5a and 5b are
   equipped with a _Vergasungsraum_. ^77

In other words, he jettisons Butz's explanation, admits that "Vergasung" 
_does_ mean gassing, and simply claims that it means gassing of _lice_ 
instead of human beings.  He also jettisons the tradition denier 
explanation that the Leichenkeller (1 and 2) were morgues (Leuchter et 

I _love_ it when they can't agree, it so clearly demonstrates that 
"revisionism" is not a theory but an attack on truth.  Just as any stick 
will serve to beat a Jew, any lie will serve to contradict a historian.  
They don't really know what the Vergasungskeller was -- they just "know"
what it wasn't.

Anyway, consider what Mattogno is saying here:  that Leichenkeller 1 was 
used to disinfect clothes, mattresses, and other possibly lice-infested 
sundries.  Presumably that applies to Leichenkeller 1 in Krema III as 
well as in Krema II.  Does he have any idea what this means?

I seem to recall a certain Fred Leuchter saying that both Leichenkeller 
was totally unsuitable for gassings.  Not gas-tight, no way to introduce 
the gas, etc.  "These facilities would be very dangerous if used as gas 
chamber and this use would probably result in the death of the users and 
an explosion when the gas reached the crematory," says Leuchter.

I also seem to recall a certain Fred Leuchter saying that his forensic 
analysis demonstrated that Leichenkeller 1 was not used for gassing, 
finding over 1000 mg/kg of cyanide compounds in the control sample taken 
from the real delousing chamber, and approximately zero in Leichenkeller 
1.  If one were to believe Leuchter, one might suggest that maybe this 
puts a crimp in Mattogno's theory about Leichenkeller 1 being used for 
_exactly_ the same purpose as the real delousing chamber.

I would _love_ to confront revisionists with that contradiction, and 
watch them start offering explanations that unravel all the myths they've 
spun around the Leuchter Report:  that the acid rain didn't leach away 
the Leichenkeller's cyanide compounds, that the explosion didn't disturb 
them, and so on.  I just _love_ it when they can't agree.

Mattogno goes on to contradict himself.  He claims, p. 68:

   Pressac must therefore explain why, given that hydrocyanic acid (as
   he says) is corrosive, the engineers of the Bauleitung replaced a
   wooden blower with a metal one....  Why would they have done this --
   so that they could have been "corroded" by hydrocyanic acid?

Of course, this is the blower in the same Leichenkeller 1 that he says 
would be exposed to delousing hydrocyanic acid (much higher 
concentration, much longer duration).  I think Mattogno is the one who 
has the explaining to do.

Also, Mattogno goes on to run down the list of "criminal traces" that 
Pressac gives for Leichenkeller 1:  the showerheads, the gas-tight door, 
the gas-testers, etc., and all of it is nonsense.  For example, we know 
that there were 14 showerheads in Leichenkeller 1 when it was invoiced in 
1943, because they're clearly indicated on the invoice.  Witness 
Mattogno's explanation of this, p. 67:

   Regarding the presence of 14 showers in Leichenkeller 1:  According
   to Pressac, this is a _bavure_ because these showers were false (p.
   80), and were used therefore to deceive victims of alleged homicidal
   gas chambers;  that these showers were _false_ is a simple arbitrary
   statement by Pressac.

That's it!  That's his explanation!

I'd sure like to hear what showerheads, real or otherwise, were doing in 
a _disinfestation_ room, a room for delousing.  Mattogno doesn't seem to 
want to go into that, though.

And I'd also like to hear what happened to the piping, if they were real 
showers, since there is no piping visible today.  "Revisionists" have 
been only too happy to point out that witness testimonies of gas coming 
through showerheads are false, because no extant piping has ever been 
found in any Nazi gas chamber.  But they'll let the point slide a little 
bit when they're in a tight spot, like Mattogno is.

There's more, but this is long enough already.  My main point is that 
deniers claim the homicidal gas chambers were morgues sometimes, and they 
claim they were delousing gas chambers other times, and their arguments 
for each claim nullify the other.

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