The Walls of Auschwitz
A Review of the Chemical Studies by Nicholas Kollerstrom, PhD

In his essay, Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom argues that the alleged massacre of 
Jewish people by gassing during World War II was scientifically impossible.

The distinguished academic was dismissed on April 22, 2008 without any 
explanation and a Holocaust conference held on 16-18 May in Berlin refused his 
article and warned that he would be arrested if he attended the conference and 
presented his essay.

The West punishes people for their scientific research on Holocaust but the 
same western countries allow insults to prophets and religious beliefs…

I. The Leuchter Report, 1988

In February 1988, Fred Leuchter came to the Auschwitz crematoria ruins, with 
his wife and a team, and took 32 samples chiseled out of the wall. His Report 
published in April of 1998 contained five maps as appendices which indicated 
where the samples had been taken from, and in addition a film was made of his 
sampling'. The locations are important, because some of the 'gas chamber' 
locations are postwar-reconstructed, and the obtaining of original brickwork 
was essential for his purpose.

Leuchter in effect tested the hypothesis, as to whether or not certain large 
rooms, designated in the Auschwitz design-plans as either morgues or washrooms, 
had in fact been used for large-scale human cyanide gassing on a daily and 
lethal basis. As America's only professional cyanide-gas execution expert, 
Leuchter was primarily concerned with whether it would have been feasible to 
perform such executions using the designated rooms; this however will not 
concern us here, our concern being solely with the wall samples he took. These 
were analyzed in March 1988 by Alpha Analytical Laboratories Ltd, in ignorance 
of their source.

He managed to take one one sample of a 'Disinfestation Chamber,' by breaking 
and entering a locked building: but prowling guards and snowy blizzards 
prevented further sampling from a second such chamber at camp Majdanek . His 
swiftly-published 'Report' in effect grouped his data into two, that of the 
sample 32 which he called perhaps unfortunately his 'control,' and all the 
others, as the graph shows. The latter came from five 'Crematoria' sites in the 
Auschwitz complex.

Duality of the 'Gas Chamber' concept in Leuchter's Report

The terms that will here be used, that are as far as possible non-judgmental, 
are AHGCs or alleged human gas chambers for what Leuchter called 'Crematoria' 
and DCs or disinfestation chambers for what in the German design-plans were 
called 'gas chambers' (gaskammers). The latter had been used in Germany since 
1924, much as we would ?nowadays use DDT, for killing the flea that carried the 
typhus bacillus.

They were operated using 'Zyklon-B' granules, composed of liquid hydrogen 
cyanide (boiling-point 27° C) that would evaporate over a couple of hours from 
its clay substrate. In the German labor-camps, clothing and bedding were 
repeatedly fumigated in such chambers. Prior to Leuchter's work, pro - 
Holocaust books had not acknowledged such chambers, and had rather carried the 
message of the Nuremberg trials, whereby any use of Zyklon-B was merely 
presumed to have been for human extermination.

After Leuchter, Pressac's magnum opus reproducing design-plans of 
Auschwitz-Birkenau located and described the 'Gaskammer' or DCs . These were 
quite a lot smaller than the AHGCs, and designed by the industrial-chemistry 
firm 'Degesh.' Pressac also observed that their walls tended to be blue: they 
had gradually developed that hue after the War, owing to their saturation with 

Fred Leuchter found one thousand -fold difference in residual cyanide levels 
between these two types of 'gas chamber' - that designated in German 
design-plans as gas chambers but whose existence was ignored at Nuremberg, and 
the much larger rooms alleged to have functioned as gas chambers. Together with 
Pressac's acknowledgement of the DCs, this meant that all future pro-Holocaust 
books had to work with a duality: that the very same cans of ' Zyklon-B' were 
used for two extremely different purposes on the same campsite: for taking 
lives via the extermination procedure, whereby millions died, in the 
extraordinary manner described at Nuremberg, and also for saving them by 
combating the typhus epidemic.
This did not make a great deal of sense and some noted that one could more 
readily have not bothered and just let the typhus epidemic do its work.

There was controversy over the extent to which all of Leuchter's samples had 
indeed been taken from walls of chambers allegedly exposed to the cyanide, 
given that much of the 'gas chambers' are now acknowledged to be 
postwar-reconstructed; as likewise there was disagreement over the extent to 
which exposed walls may have had any cyanide leeched out from them over six 
decades, a theme we return later on with the work of Mr Dan Desjardins.

The iron-cyanide bonding which takes place once the HCN has entered the brick 
and mortar of the walls, is permanent: the complex ferric ferrocyanide 
otherwise known as "Iron Berlinate" or "Prussian Blue" is, according to The 
Merck Index, " ... practically insoluble in water." It is used as a pigment in 
printing inks and artists' colors, and remains stable in water, air, 
ultraviolet radiation and with the elevated temperatures of summer.

Following Leuchter's discovery, some suggested that the DCs had been more 
heavily used than the AHGCs, after all did not beetles or fleas take longer to 
kill than humans? And, were not the DCs heated in order to promote the release 
of the HCN, and would that not give a higher degree of wall-absorption? Others 
replied that, if half a million people had allegedly been gassed in 'Krema I' 
over a two-year or so period then that would have been a rather intensive use, 
and not easily reconcilable with Alpha Analytical Laboratory's finding that all 
seven wall-samples taken therefrom had total cyanide too low to be measurable. 
Should not all the moisture from the body sweat have rather promoted HCN 

Others had a different criticism, that the cyanide gas would have only been 
adsorbed onto the wall surface, and that the concentrations found would to a 
large extent merely reflect the extent to which surface material of the wall 
had been scraped off, while deeper samples would hardly contain any. We leave 
these questions for now and review the two further chemical investigations, 
performed in the wake of Leuchter.

II. The Rudolf Report, 1993

…fortunately it is precisely the one 'gas chamber' in which the largest number 
of people was allegedly killed by poison gas during the Third Reich which has 
remained almost entirely intact: morgue 1 of crematorium II' Germar Rudolf

Germar Rudolf found that the Leuchter Report 'embedded the thorn of doubt in my 
heart' while he was a PhD chemist at the prestigious Max Plank Institute. In 
1991 he visited Auschwitz and took 24 samples, analyzed by the Fresenius 
Institute using a comparable procedure. He was later criticized for having used 
the Max Plank Institute notepaper for having asked them to do this, without 
explaining where they had been taken from. Both Leuchter and Rudolf used their 
professional position to request the chemical analysis, and both had their 
professional existence terminated by that act.

Although Rudolf's sample-taking was photographed, he was criticized for not 
having had enough by way of witnesses checking his sample-taking and how the 
containers were labeled for his thirty-odd samples. Both Leuchter and Rudolf 
took their samples without having obtained permission - which assuredly would 
not have been given, had they asked. The samples were boiled for an hour with 
hydrochloric acid to drive out the cyanide gas, collected by absorption with 
caustic potash, then assayed photometrically.

?The method gave cyanide levels down to 0.1 - 0.2 ppm in the mortar, obtaining 
measurable values for almost all of his samples, despite which Rudolf remained 
doubtful over the value and reproducibility of results below several parts per 
He sampled extensively both from the inside and outside of the blue-stained DCs 
at Birkenau, where his grouped results were:

Table 1: Mean Cyanide DC Birkenau wall-sample values, Germar Rudolf data, 1991
De-lousing room, inside: 5830 ± 3700 ppm (n=l0)
outside: 3010 ± 3600 ppm (n=5)

This indicates that the cyanide gas was able to penetrate right through the 
brick walls, and would not merely have been adsorbed onto the surface; and 
suggests that weathering over half a century has not greatly affected the 
cyanide concentrations. This data has a central importance, because Leuchter 
had only managed to take one single sample of de-lousing chamber wall.

The 'Control' samples of Germar Rudolf

Rudolf only took three samples from the AHGC walls (from what is called the 
Krema-II morgue), which was the weakness of his survey. Their wide divergences 
(7.2, 0.6 and 6.7 ppm) give little idea of this key parameter!". He took more 
samples from 'controls' - i.e., rooms where no-one had alleged that systematic 
cyanide gassing had taken place. His 'control' group is here subdivided into 
samples taken from the mortar between the bricks, and the rest.

Table 2: As before, sampling AHGC walls vs 'controls'
AHGC walls 4.8 ± 3 ppm (n=3) His samples 1-3 of Table 19.
Controls, plaster: 1.1± 1.3 ppm (n=6) His samples 4,5,7,8, 10,23.
Controls, mortar: 0.2± 0.1 (n=3) Samples 6,21,24

This indicates a significant elevation of residual cyanide in the AHGCs.

The Ball Report 1993

It is hard to obtain copies of this Report, or to gain details of where the 
chemical analysis was performed'". J.C. Ball has a degree in geology, and 
worked as a mineral exploration geologist. Given the intensity of criticism to 
which anyone publishing in this area is exposed, one should perhaps refrain 
from criticism on this matter. Its six samples were:

Table 3: Mean values of the cyanide measurements found by John Ball, 1993
>From a DC 3000 ppm (n=2)

11.The Rudolf Report, 8.3.3, Table 19; also Table 3 in 'Dissecting the 
Holocaust' Chapter by GR.
12. Dissecting the Holocaust 2003 http://vho.orglGB/Books/dth/fndgcger.html 
Table 3 ofRudolfCh.
13. For his difficulties here, see: www.ihr.orglleaflets/inside.shtml
14. Table 19, p254 of The Rudolf Report 2001.
15. John Clive Ball, The Ball Report, Ball Resource Services Ltd., Canada 1993; 
The Rudolf Report, p.268.
>From AHGC sites 0.5 ± 0.6 (n=4) ppm

III. The Markiewicz et. al. Polish Study of 1994

The manager of Auschwitz Mr Piper approached Dr Jan Markiewicz of the Jan Sehn 
Institute of Forensic Research at Cracow as to whether they would check over 
the residual cyanide levels, in the wake of the Leuchter Report. On 20 Feb 1990 
Dr. Wojciech Gubala arrived and removed 22 samples, including two control 
samples. The team then decided that they would like to follow this up with a 
further study before publishing any results.

This survey, published in 1994, differed from those of Leuchter and Rudolf in 
that it only looked at soluble cyanide in the brickwork. Critics objected that 
it was precisely the soluble component of cyanide which one would not expect to 
provide a memory of the past, because it would clearly be affected by 
weathering. Their reason for using such a method, was apparently that they did 
not want to get involved in debates over Prussian Blue formation: their 
approach 'excludes the possibility of the decomposition of the relatively 
permanent Prussian blue, whose origin is unclear in many parts of the 
structures under investigation,' and therefore 'The real level of total cyanide 
compounds could therefore be higher than shown by our analysis.' The samples 
were put in 10% sulphuric acid for 24 hours, thereby driving off the cyanide as 
before, except that cyanide bonded to iron was not liberated by the Polish 
method - the point of which has not been clear to a lot of people.

The soluble or non-bonded cyanide thereby measured was only present in low 
concentrations measured in parts per billion rather than parts per million. How 
were they able to attain this accuracy in measurement unattainable either by 
Alpha Analytical laboratories or the Fesenius Institute? The method they 
referenced for this analysis had been published in 1947, and could one expect 
this to attain these much higher levels of accuracy? From three 'gas chambers' 
they found:

Table IV: Polish data, Mean levels of soluble cyanide in Crematoria walls. 1994 
AHGC walls, Krema I: 0.07 ± 0.1 ppm (n=7)
KremaII: 0.16 ± 0.2 ppm (n=7)
Krema III: 0.03 ± 0.02 ppm (n=7)

These samples averaged 90 parts per billion. The Polish group claimed that 
their method could measure down to 2-3 parts per billion. For their 'control' 
they took eight samples from three different residential blocks, and thereby 
obtained (or at least published) consistently zero values - i.e., zero parts 
per billion! How impressive to have discovered this ultra-sensitive method. As 
'holocaust' chemist Dr Richard Green explained, 'The IFFR used a much more 
sensitive method. Their sensitivity was 3-4/!g/kg, i.e., 300 times more 
sensitive.' If that method published in 1947 had such astounding accuracy, then 
why did subsequent chemists fail to use it?

This investigation gave DC wall-concentrations in its Table 4, finding a 
several-fold elevation in cyanide levels there. Eight values for 
'concentrations of cyanide ions in samples collected in the facilities for the 
fumigation of prisoners clothes, (Birkenau BathHouse Camp BI-A)' gave a mean 
value of273 ppb, thrice that of the 'Kremas.' Their conclusion omitted comment 
upon this highly significant elevation.

This paper has been much cited by pro-Holocaust sources, as refuting the 
Leuchter Report, by demonstrating that the AHGCs ('Kremas') had raised cyanide 
as compared to 'controls.' The paper was entitled, 'A study of the cyanide 
compound contents in the walls of the gas chambers in the former Auschwitz and 
Birkenau concentration camps'.

It thus used a Nuremberg-type terminology, where 'gas chamber' simply meant a 
place for human extermination. They could hardly have done otherwise, because 
doubt over 'the Holocaust' is a crime in Poland. The DCs were alluded to as 
'Facilities For the Fumigation of Prisoners' Clothes.'

The Polish team went to a lot of trouble, with some sixty measurements mostly 
measured thrice, and was the only study which obtained permission to take the 
samples. It omitted two things in its conclusions: any allusion to the Birkenau 
DC ('facilities for the fumigation of prisoners' clothes') where it had found 
greatly-elevated cyanide levels over the AHGCs; and, the insoluble cyanide that 
was bound to iron. In regard to both of these it cited the Prussian blue ferric 
ferrocyanide complex, leaving open the possibility that is had some quite 
extraneous source and was therefore to be avoided.

The 1947 method used by Markiewicz et. al. was given by Joseph Epstein and 
published in a US chemistry journal." It was a procedure whose limit of 
accuracy was given as 0.2 micrograms per ml. To expel the cyanide from 
brickwork and then dissolve it into a solution suitable for measuring it, 
involves an order-of-magnitude dilution at least, so that one would not expect 
to obtain an accuracy less then one ppm in the brickwork, using this method. 
Any claim that this decades-old titration and colorimetric method using 
thiocyanate can find parts per billion has to be spurious.

IV. Desjardin analyses Leuchter

Dan Desjardins, after carefully retracing the steps of Leuchter on a 1996 visit 
to Auschwitz'", and watching the film that had been made of Leuchter's 
sampling'", divided the samples 1-31 into two groups: those which had been 
exposed and open to the elements over the decades (n=20), and those which were 
more protected in sheltered, unexposed locations: 'Leuchter's samples, numbered 
25 through 31, extracted from Crematorium I... taken from a facility which was 
not destroyed and has remained intact since the end of the war, were not 
exposed to the elements. The same might be said for samples 4, 5 and 6 taken 
from Crematorium II. Leuchter removed these samples from a pillar, wall and 
ceiling which, though accessible, were nevertheless well protected against 
wind, rain and sun.'

Less then half (14 out of 35) of Leuchter's samples had measurable levels of 
cyanide in them, where measurable means above one part per million. We have 
here assigned an arbitrary value of 0.5 ppm for those too low to measure, i.e 
below 1 ppm. This gave:

Table 5: Desjardins grouping of the Leuchter data as 'sheltered' or 'exposed' 
(2007) Sheltered (n=l0) 1.88 ± 2.2 ppm
Exposed (n=20) 1.31 ± 1.56 ppm

The 'exposed' group scored 30% lower than the sheltered group, a result which 
lacks statistical significance (t=0.8). This data could suggest that one-third 
of the cyanide had leeched out from the exposed walls, over sixty years; if 
indeed they had all at one historic period been exposed to hydrogen cyanide.

Mr Desjardins further subdivided the Leuchter samples into those taken from 
AHGC walls, and those which were 'controls' i.e taken from barracks, etc. The 
definition of the 'control' concept is critical here, and means brickwork where 
no one has been concerned to allege that is was part of a room where systematic 
cyanide gassing took place whether of humans or of mattresses.

Leuchter surmised that the 'control' sample had been exposed at some stage to a 
single fumigation by cyanide gas, by way of cleaning out any lice from cracks 

Table 6: Desjardins groups Leuchter's data by AHGC versus 'controls'
AHGCs (n=19) 1.63 ± 2.1 ppm
Controls (n=9) 1.45 ± 1.2 ppm

This result too lacks statistical significance, i.e. Leuchter's sample provides 
no evidence for human 'gas chambers' having raised residual cyanide levels 
above those of 'controls.' The data suggests that the AHGCs did not ever 
function as lethal gas chambers.

These two sets of data (using Desjardins' divisions) covary somewhat, in that 
if we increase the 'exposed' samples by say 25%, to allow for leeching out of 
their cyanide over the decades, then the difference between the AHGC and 
'control' groups disappears altogether. (As Mr Desjardins put it, five times as 
many of these [AHGC] samples came from locations protected from 40-years' 
exposure to wind and rain.') Mr Desjardins concluded, 'Fred Leuchter's broad 
sample gathering, despite flaws, establishes a reasonable basis for inferring 
that the presence of cyanide residue is due to benign rather than homicidal 


1. One might expect that the accuracy of cyanide-ion assay would have increased 
substantially over the last couple of decades, but this is not the case: any 
reanalysis of the brickwork would face the same frustrating situation, where 
differences between AHGCs and controls hover right next to the lowest 
detectable levels.

2. The essential questions here reviewed may be best evaluated without 
arguments over whether or not Prussian blue coloration has formed. The latter 
involves a slow and complex sequence of reactions. We have here been primarily 
concerned with total cyanide in the brickwork.

3. Plaster on the wall-surface may tend to have a higher cyanide level than 
brick or mortar underneath it, and the ferric-ferrocyanide does decrease as a 
function of depth. Samples should therefore aim to have a comparable 
breadth-to-depth ratio.

4. The notion of a 'control' sample has developed from Rudolf's sampling and 
also from Mr. Desjardins evaluation of the Leuchter sample locations. This 
permitted an evaluation of whether measurements of authentic AHGC wall were 
significantly elevated over such. While there was a hint of this from Rudolf's 
sampling, and while further investigation might confirm this, overall no 
statistically significant elevation was evident.

5. The careful and extensive Polish data was analyzed using a 1947 US titration 
procedure, which gave no indication of reaching the parts per billion accuracy 
claimed by that study. If Marciewicz et. al chose to use a method which only 
analyzed 1 % or less of the cyanide, viz. the soluble component, for whatever 
reason, they should first have shown that their method was capable of detecting 

6. Both the Leuchter and Rudolf surveys obtained a three order-of-magnitude 
differential between the walls of DC and AHGC buildings; the simplest 
explanation of which is that the former was used on a regular basis for cyanide 
fumigation while the latter was not.

7. The Leuchter data showed that there was no great diminution of cyanide 
levels due to weathering over half a century, and this accords with what is 
known about the insolubility and permanence of the ferric-ferrocyanide complex. 
The residual cyanide within those walls may therefore offer the most reliable 
memory which the human race now has, concerning what happened historically in 
German 'gas chambers.'



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