The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

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Saggy
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The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 31 Aug 2008 12:36

This is a photo of the interior of the Majdanek 'homicidal gas chamber' ....

Image

The link is from the Holocaust Historiography website. The photo is also published on the USHMM site, but they appear to move the links around on that site rendering old links pointing to the wrong pics, so I'm using the HH site photo.

Note the unbarred window in the upper left corner.

Do you believe the Nazis designed and built a homicidal gas chamber with a glass window?

Note that there are exactly two 'homicidal gas chambers' shown to visitors to Holocaust sites, the 'gas chamber' at Auschwitz and 'gas chamber' at Majdanek. Both have large unbarred glass windows.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 31 Aug 2008 16:19

Saggy -- You wrote:
Note the unbarred window in the upper left corner.

Do you believe the Nazis designed and built a homicidal gas chamber with a glass window?

The blue stains sure give the room that Zyklon-B look. Now all you have to do is establish is the truth of your unlikely premise -- that the glass window was there and unblocked when the Nazis designed and built it as a homicidal gas chamber.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 31 Aug 2008 23:53

David Thompson wrote:The blue stains sure give the room that Zyklon-B look.


Just so. The room was used to fumigate clothing using Zyklon, a commercial insecticide. The room also contains fittings (a hole in the wall) for special equipment for converting the Zyklon pellets to gas, distributing the gas, and exhausting the room when the procedure was complete. This equipment was in use also used at Auschwitz to fumigate clothing. Thus, any reasonable person is able to ascertain the purpose of the room, which is perfect accord with its construction and present state.

The USHMM, I believe, has now dropped Majdanek as one of the 'death camps'. Let's see what they currently have to say about the delousing room ... in the section discussing 'killing centers' this is what appears...

"Though many scholars have traditionally counted the Majdanek camp as a sixth killing center, recent research had shed more light on the functions and operations at Lublin/Majdanek."

Indeed. Perhaps they will 'discover' that their 'homicidal gas chamber' is actually a delousing chamber used to delouse clothing to save lives.

David Thompson wrote: Now all you have to do is establish is the truth of your unlikely premise -- that the glass window was there and unblocked when the the Nazis designed and built it as a homicidal gas chamber.


Nonsense. The room is what it is. The window exists, it speaks for itself. It's purpose was to allow light into the room, and many of the rooms in the building housing the delousing chamber. There is no mystery as to the purpose of the room or any of the details of its construction and present state.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 01 Sep 2008 00:09

Saggy -- You wrote, quoting me:
Now all you have to do is establish is the truth of your unlikely premise -- that the glass window was there and unblocked when the the Nazis designed and built it as a homicidal gas chamber.


Nonsense. The room is what it is. The window exists, it speaks for itself. It's purpose was to allow light into the room, and many of the rooms in the building housing the delousing chamber. There is no mystery as to the purpose of the room or any of the details of its construction and present state.

If you think this sort of rubbish argument will cut it with our readers, you need to rethink your approach. You've already embarrassed yourself with your false premise in the "A picture of Auschwitz 'gas chamber"" thread at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=143240 . After that fiasco, you've got nothing coming. The forum and section rules are posted at:

H&WC Section Rules
viewtopic.php?t=53962

Comply with those rules, source your contentions and prove your claims, or watch your posts be gone like snow on the water.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 01 Sep 2008 15:38

Readers interesting in learning more about KL Majdanek can find a considerable amount of information on the Aktion Reinhard(t) Camps Majdanek webpage at http://www.death-camps.org/lublin/lublinoverview.html

See also these AHF threads:

Majdanek and Auschwitz - Testimony of Yisrael Gutman
viewtopic.php?t=51464
The Majdanek testimony of Ya'akov Friedman
viewtopic.php?t=51467
The Majdanek testimony of Joseph Reznick
viewtopic.php?t=51466
Liberation of Majdanek 1944
viewtopic.php?t=18281
Son of Majdanek revisited
viewtopic.php?t=28646
Majdanek death toll
viewtopic.php?t=6778
Questions about Majdanek
viewtopic.php?t=53279
Majdanek personnel
viewtopic.php?t=2341
SS women at Majdanek
viewtopic.php?t=45449
Majdanek overseer
viewtopic.php?t=5425
The second Majdanek trial
viewtopic.php?t=6727

For information about Aktion Reinhard(t) generally, see:

Documents relating to "Aktion Reinhardt"
viewtopic.php?t=64269
"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?
viewtopic.php?t=64215
Aktion Reinhard(t)
viewtopic.php?t=61664
Was Chelmno a Ops. Reinhard
viewtopic.php?t=44950

Inventory lists of personal property confiscated from Jews in Aktion Reinhard(t):

Document L-18: Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia [translation], in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VII: US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: GPO, 1947. pp. 755-770.
viewtopic.php?p=554279#554279
NO-060, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 5: United States v. Oswald Pohl, et. al. (Case 4: 'Pohl Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 704-705.
viewtopic.php?p=578546#578546
Document NO-061, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 5: United States v. Oswald Pohl, et. al. (Case 4: 'Pohl Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 706-709.
viewtopic.php?p=578553#578553
Document NO-2003, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 5: United States v. Oswald Pohl, et. al. (Case 4: 'Pohl Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 709-712.
viewtopic.php?p=578558#578558

Saggy
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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 01 Sep 2008 16:36

This photo shows other windows in the building housing the Majdanek delousing room....

Image

The website is A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust

http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/RESOURCE/ ... M#PTMAJ029

The purpose of these windows is clearly to provide light.

David Cole also discusses the window in the Majdanek gas chamber, noting "Gas chamber 1 has a plate glass window in it. There are no holes or fittings around the window where bars or any other kind of cover might once have been. Since the plaster around the window is covered with blue stains, we know that it is the plaster that existed during the time Zyklon B gas was used in this room. If there WERE bars or any other type of cover attached to this window, why are there no traces? What would have stopped the inmates from trying to climb out the window, or breaking the window and causing a gas leak? "

Also shown on the Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust site is a picture of a 'chute' in the ceiling where the Zyklon was supposedly tossed in. This one surprises me as I had not previously seen any mention of these chutes at Majdanek, and the scrapbook pages author, who usually seems pretty thorough as to the visitor's tour, does not mention them. Are these pictures legit? Are these chutes pictured, discussed, elsewhere?

Another photo 'patched holes in the stucco walls of a gas chamber' shows holes for the fittings of the fumigation equipment manufactured by Degesch, without comment.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 01 Sep 2008 20:25

Saggy -- (1) You wrote, in your initial post:
This is a photo of the interior of the Majdanek 'homicidal gas chamber' ....

What makes you think that this is a "homicidal" gas chamber?

Here is how western news correspondent Alexander Werth described the Majdanek gas chambers he saw in 1944, just after the camp had been liberated by Soviet troops:
Anyway, after the washing was over, they were asked into the next room; at this point even the most unsuspecting must have begun to wonder. For the “next room” was a series of large square concrete structures, each about one-quarter of the size of the bath house, and, unlike it, had no windows. The naked people (men one time, women another time, children the next) were driven or forced from the bath-house into these dark concrete boxes - about five yards square - and then, with 200 or 250 people packed into each box - and it was completely dark in there, except for a small skylight in the ceiling and the spyhole in the door - the process of gassing began. First some hot air was pumped in from the ceiling and then the pretty pale-blue crystals of Cyclon were showered down on the people, and in the hot wet air they rapidly evaporated. In anything from two to ten minutes everybody was dead ... There were six concrete boxes - gas chambers - side by side.

viewtopic.php?p=430239#p430239

The photograph you presented is substantially inconsistent with this description.

(2) You also asked:
Also shown on the Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust site is a picture of a 'chute' in the ceiling where the Zyklon was supposedly tossed in. This one surprises me as I had not previously seen any mention of these chutes at Majdanek, and the scrapbook pages author, who usually seems pretty thorough as to the visitor's tour, does not mention them. Are these pictures legit? Are these chutes pictured, discussed, elsewhere?

The chutes are mentioned in the 1944 Werth account, above, and also in Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Rueckerl (editors), Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT): 1993, pp. 174-77, quoted at viewtopic.php?p=480142#p480142

Note that the majority of homicidal gassings at Majdanek used carbon monoxide gas, rather than Zyklon-B.

Saggy
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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 01 Sep 2008 20:42

David Thompson wrote:What makes you think that this is a "homicidal" gas chamber?


The caption on the identical photo on the USHMM site is "Interior view of a gas chamber at Majdanek", and for the USHMM the only 'gas chambers' are 'homicidal gas chambers', as they somehow forget to mention the delousing rooms.

see, for example, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?la ... d=10005190

Also, the scrapbook pages author describes the visitors' tour at Majdanek, where the room in question with the window is presented as a 'homicidal gas chamber'.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/poland/ma ... nek02.html

Also Cole believed the room was being presented as a 'homicidal gas chamber'.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 01 Sep 2008 21:05

Saggy -- You wrote: (1)
The caption on the USHMM site is "Interior view of a gas chamber at Majdanek", and for the USHMM the only 'gas chambers' are 'homicidal gas chambers', as they somehow forget to mention the delousing rooms.

I'm not seeing the gas chamber picture on the USHMM page link, though there is a photo of a replica casting of a gas chamber door.

(2)
Also, the scrapbook pages author describes the visitors' tour at Majdanek, where the room in question with the window is presented as a 'homicidal gas chamber'.

Contrast Mr. Werth's 1944 description of the gas chambers:
For the “next room” was a series of large square concrete structures, each about one-quarter of the size of the bath house, and, unlike it, had no windows.

and
There were six concrete boxes - gas chambers - side by side.

with that given by the "Scrapbooks" webmaster on his tour:
If I had not had a guide with me, I could easily have missed the gas chamber building. Unlike the impressive brick buildings which once housed the gas chambers at Auschwitz II, usually known as Birkenau, this building is a very ordinary wooden, prefabricated horse barn set at right angles to, and only a few feet from, a row of wooden storage buildings outside the main barracks area of the camp.

and
There are a total of three gas chamber rooms, not including the small interior room used for observation, in this building. Some observers have referred to the first room with the alcove as two separate chambers. All the rooms are connected, with each room opening into the next one. The last gas chamber room in this building is smaller than the others and has no heavy blue stains.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/poland/ma ... nek02.html

To start with, there is a discrepancy in the number of gas chambers in 1944 and when the "Scrapbooks" webmaster visited it. Mr. Werth speaks of six gas chambers; the "Scrapbooks" webmaster says there were three or four. Mr. Werth's 1944 gas chambers are built of concrete, while the "Scrapbooks" webmaster speaks of a wooden barn with stuccoed interior walls. Also note that Mr. Werth said in 1944 that the gas chambers were square, and windowless. The gas chamber photo shown on the "Scrapbooks" webpage is long and rectangular. I can't tell whether it shows a window or not, but if it does, there's not any light shining through it. (The "Scrapbooks" webmaster mentions several of the gas chambers he saw had windows).

If Mr. Werth and the "Scrapbooks" webmaster are talking about the same building(s), it looks like there may have been some configuration changes to the gas chambers since 1944.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 01 Sep 2008 21:52

David Thompson wrote:I'm not seeing the gas chamber picture on the USHMM page link, though there is a photo of a replica casting of a gas chamber door.


It's not on that page. Go to the home page, use the search feature to find photographs (what you are looking for) of gas chambers (search phrase). It's sixth on the list. I don't usually provide the link because they move the links, right now it is

http://www.ushmm.org/uia-cgi/uia_doc/ph ... 10?hr=null

USHMM photo # 28512

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 01 Sep 2008 21:55

Thanks, Saggy. I got to it quickly enough to see it, and here is the USHMM picture for our readers. The USHMM caption reads:
Interior view of a gas chamber at Majdanek (post-liberation).

The blue stain is from the Zyklon B.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 02 Sep 2008 02:12

Here is some 1944 contemporaneous corroboration of the concrete construction used in the gas chambers, and the square shape of the chambers: The description is from part 1 of “Lublin Annihilation Camp," by Konstantin Simonov, published 29 Aug 1944 by the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. :

But we open a door and find ourselves in another disinfecting chamber which is built on an entirely different principle. It is a square room, a little over two meters high and roughly six meters long and as many wide. The walls, ceiling and floor are all built of solid gray concrete. There are no shelves for clothes here such as we saw in the other chamber. The room is absolutely bare. A single steel door hermetically closes the entrance to the chamber. It can be fastened from the outside by an impressive steel bar. In the walls of this concrete vault are three apertures. In two of them pipes are fitted which lead out into the open. The third aperture is a little spy hole, a small square window barred on the inside by a stout steel grid fitted into the concrete. A thick panel of glass covers the outer side of the aperture so that it cannot be reached through the grid.

What is on the other side of this spy hole? To answer this question we leave the chamber and find that next to it is another and smaller room, also built of concrete. It is into this room that the spy hole leads. Here there is an electric switch. And here too, on the floor, stand several hermetically sealed cylindrical tins on which is inscribed the word “cyclone" and in smaller letters “for special use in Eastern regions." It was the contents of these tins which was poured through the pipes into the chamber next door after it had been filled with people.

Here is 1944 contemporaneous corroboration of the number of gas chambers -- six. The quote is from the "Van Pelt Report" prepared for the Lipstadt and Irving libel trial. The quotations are taken from the report of a joint Soviet-Polish commission comprised of three Russian and eight Polish members (amongst whom a priest,the President of the Lublin Red Cross,two academics and two lawyers), which was assisted by a six-member Board of Medico-Legal Experts and a four- member board of Technico-Legal and Chemical Experts. The English-language version of the report was made available by the Soviet embassy in Washington D.C. on October 17, 1944:
One of the methods most widely used for the mass extermination of people in Maidanek Camp was asphyxiation with gas. A board of technico-legal and chemical experts - presided over by the architect engineer of the town of Lublin, KELLES-KRAUSE, and consisting of Major Engineer Assistant Professor TELANER, Master of Technical Science GRIGORYEV, and Master of Technical Science PELKIS, established that cells built on the territory of the camp had been used chiefly for the mass extermination of human beings.

There were six such cells. Some had been used for killing people with “S.O." gas, others for killing with the poisonous chemical substance called “cyclone." On the camp territory there were discovered 535 drums of “Cyclone-B2" preparation and several steel cylinders containing carbon monoxide....

On the basis of precise calculation used in the technical examination of the gas cells, chemical analysis of the carbon monoxide and “cyclone," the experts have ascertained:
”Technical and sanitary-chemical analysis of the gas cells in Maidanek Concentration Camp fully confirms that all these cells, especially cells Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, were destined and used for the large-scale extermination of people by poison gasses such as hydrocyanic acid (the 'cyclone' preparation) and carbon monoxide."

So far, no 1944 account of the gas chambers mentions any windows.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby Saggy » 02 Sep 2008 05:08

David Thompson wrote:here is the USHMM picture for our readers. The USHMM caption reads:
Interior view of a gas chamber at Majdanek (post-liberation).

The blue stain is from the Zyklon B.


Recall David Cole's observation (that can be verified from the picture) that "Since the plaster around the window is covered with blue stains, we know that it is the plaster that existed during the time Zyklon B gas was used in this room." That is, the window was not added after the Zyklon stains were made.

Now, can we get back to the original question? Do you think the Nazis designed and built a gas chamber with an unbarred glass window?

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby LWD » 02 Sep 2008 13:25

Saggy wrote:
David Thompson wrote:here is the USHMM picture for our readers. The USHMM caption reads:
Interior view of a gas chamber at Majdanek (post-liberation).

The blue stain is from the Zyklon B.


Recall David Cole's observation (that can be verified from the picture) that "Since the plaster around the window is covered with blue stains, we know that it is the plaster that existed during the time Zyklon B gas was used in this room." That is, the window was not added after the Zyklon stains were made.

Wait a minute. There are many ways that blue stains can occur. Given that there is considerable disagreement as to whether this is one of the gas chambers (see the 1944 quotes above) what evidence do we have that this is either a gas chamber, where it is, what the blue stains are, etc? Quoteing from a source that has been brought to question doesn't really help much.
Now, can we get back to the original question? Do you think the Nazis designed and built a gas chamber with an unbarred glass window?

This question is only relevant if
1) Someone is proposing they did.
2) Said proposition is not a strawman.

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Re: The window in the Majdanek 'gas chamber'

Postby David Thompson » 02 Sep 2008 14:18

Saggy -- you wrote: (1)
Recall David Cole's observation (that can be verified from the picture) that "Since the plaster around the window is covered with blue stains, we know that it is the plaster that existed during the time Zyklon B gas was used in this room." That is, the window was not added after the Zyklon stains were made.

This seems like a dubious proposition to me. While doing home repairs, I have plastered over stucco stains, only to have the stain re-emerge some time later, and even grow larger through the new coat of plaster and paint. What is Mr. Cole's expertise in the field of stains under plaster, and their tendency to spread over time?

(2)
Now, can we get back to the original question? Do you think the Nazis designed and built a gas chamber with an unbarred glass window?

We never left the original question, which was
Do you believe the Nazis designed and built a homicidal gas chamber with a glass window?

and to which I replied:
Now all you have to do is establish is the truth of your unlikely premise -- that the glass window was there and unblocked when the Nazis designed and built it as a homicidal gas chamber.


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