The Instigator
Kc1999
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Conservative101
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The Holocaust Gas Chambers were not used for execution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Conservative101
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,653 times Debate No: 54377
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

Kc1999

Pro

FIRSTLY welcome to this debate. Historical revisionism on DDo has been very limited; to very very minor debates. Conservative101 and I have been discussing this theory for a very long time, and have decided to do a debate about it.

If Conservative101 wants to amend the motion, then he should send me a pm. Nevertheless, what am I representing in this debate?

Common Questions I felt like I needed answering first:

1. Are you Anti-Semitic?

No. Quite simply, no, I am not a racist.

2. Are you a Neo-Nazi?

Hell no! Neo-Nazism is horrible

3. Do you deny that 6,000,000 died in the Holocaust?

I do not ought to even estimate how many people died in it. Atrocities were committed, and many people did die, but I am here to argue about the infamous gas chambers only.

4. Do you deny the Holocaust?

It happened. To what extent is the question that I attempt to present to this website now.


Secondly, this debate may incite many people. I would like to apologize if this debate angers anyone. However, I feel like the truth, or at least my version of the truth, must be uncovered to the world.

Lastly, to the people who know that I am a Historical Revisionist. To those people, I have made my points very vague. Now I would like to present my points and clear up any misconceptions that anyone may have.

Format of the Debate:

Four Rounds.

Rnd. 1: Acceptance and opening statements (not arguments)
Rnd. 2: Arguments (no rebuttals)
Rnd. 3: Rebuttals
Rnd. 4: Counter Rebuttals

Good luck to my opponent and have fun. I hope this stirs up some discussion on the issue of historical revisionism on this website. If you have any questions/concerns, please comment or send me PMs.

Sincerely
Kc1999
Conservative101

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Kc1999

Pro

DEBATE MOTION: The Holocaust Gas Chambers were not used for mass executions

Stance: Government

Burden of Proof: The Holocaust Gas Chambers were not used for mass executions



The Holocaust, possibly one of the most sensitive and controversial topics ever. Before I start with my case, I would like to define this debate and several terms in the motion.

Gas Chambers: A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. (C and P directly from Wikipedia) Therefore, we should distinguish gas chambers from gas vans.

Execution:the carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action. Therefore, we should distinguish between execution, in which death is intentional, to torture, in which death is sometimes intentional but most of the time not.



This debate is not a debate based upon the complete assumption that I, pro, fully deny the Holocaust. My personal opinions are this: something happened, but not the way it was presented. This debate is also not an anti-semitic debate, unlike the last one based on a similar issue (http://www.debate.org...) in which the contendor accused "holocaust believers" (the government side) of being zionists. This debate is not that; I sincerely hope that my opponent won't call me a Nazi or a "Stupid Commie" and debate me on the points I present. However, this debate is a debate on the existence of the execution gas chambers (as apart from execution gas vans, in which I need to do some more research in) such as those present at Auschwitz. According to conventional historical sources, gas chambers were first used by Third Reich Authorities to gas 600 Soviet prisoners who were unable to work with a compound commonly known to the world as Zyklon B. Zyklon B is the trade name of a pesticide product used during the pre-war era. As the war intensified, Gas executions (according to mainstream historical sources) increased in size; according to the Israel-funded Nizkor Project, 1.2 million Jews died as a result of these gas chambers. However, questions started rising and soon the cult of Holocaust deniers began to increase; most Holocaust deniers were also Neo-Nazis in their political persuasion. As I have stated before, I am neither a racist nor a neo-nazi. However, the truth (or at least my version of it) has to be revealed. And I will do so.

I would like to introduce my first two cases, while I leave the third case to be developed in the next round.

Contention One: Zyklon B is not sufficient enough to kill human beings and is harmful towards those who operate it too

An Introduction to Zyklon B

Zyklon B is the commercial name of a cyanide based pesticide. 3200ppm is the ideal ppm of HCN particles for execution. 100ppm is enough to kill a normal human being in less than 60 minutes (3200ppm would kill a person in 10 minutes). Zyklon B's patent was awarded in 1926; it soon replaced Zyklon A as the main fumitigation substance of the day. Zyklon B was the substance that was first tested on Russian soldiers in 1941 by Captain Karl Fristch (according to the mentally unstable Rudolf Hess). The co-inventor of Zyklon B was executed in 1946 by British authorities for the role he played in supplying Zyklon B to Gas Chambers.

Harm Toward Executioner

The toxic effects of Prussic Acid are high; one needs absolute chemical protection from Prussic Acid to be safe from it's threats. A gas mask is not sufficient enough to be safe from the threats. Therefore, it would be logical for the Germans to utlize a tube system in which Zyklon B would have to be prepared in the tube and the gas would then have to come down from there. An inspection of the site showed that there was indeed no tube connected to the ceiling (as previously believed). As witness have and reports have repeatedly shown, the gas would be given to an officer, who would then bring it to the gas chambers and open the Zyklon B cans. There are two contradictions or mistake in this method; to drop the Zyklon B into the gas chambers like that would be made upon the fact that windows are absent. The gas chambers were also never heated, allowing dampness to build up within the gas chamber. Zyklon B and dampness are incompatible; therefore, when the Zyklon B is dropped into the gas chambers, it would cease to have any effects on the subjects of the gas chamber. Another contradiction shown here is this: the designers of the gas chambers never consulted with any American execution equipment engineer (as America was the only other country executing it's condemned with gas chambers) and it would be hard to assume that the German Designers instructed with building these gas chambers came up with the model themselves. Gas execution is a hard and dangerous process for the intended victim and the executioneer; safety precautions must be taken into consideration.


Inability to Kill and an Insensible Way to Commit Genocide

Zyklon B is a very hazardous substance, but the ability for it to kill a large number of people must be based on its ability to let gas circulate around the room. However, this was impossible; if the gas chambers did kill that many people (1.2 million), then conditions in the gas chambers would have to be overcrowded. In order for the gas to kill all the inhabitants of the chamber, it would in turn kill the person observing and verifying the deaths of all the inhabitants of the chamber as well. The design of theWith all doors in the gas chamber open inwards (allowing the collection of bodies to be faster), Zyklon B gas must have surely escaped from the chamber. Relating to it's designs, the Gas Chambers at Auschwitz were directly adjacent to the hospital; why would it have been logical to built something, in which gas would escape, directly adjacent to a hospital? Apart from this, the gas chambers would have to be rubbed with ammonia before the next batch of prisoners come in; however, due to a shortage of ammonia, they were unable to this. Yet we find no cases of guards dying from cyanide poisoining from the lack of ammonia.

Contention Two: The Design of the Chambers initially suited more fumigation purposes rather than execution ones

Design Specification for an Execution Chamber


An execution chamber is initially an airtight chamber in which the gas, usually a mixture of sodium cyanide and sulfuric acid, would then be applied through a vent somewhere in the gas chamber. By then, the HCN would already be in it's lethal form (through previouos preparation of the gas) and when applied, would take less than four minutes to kill the condemned. The chamber should be built with steel or plastic PVC. It operates on negative pressure, as it contains highly lethal gas and any leak would be inwards, not outwards. Zyklon B is not recommended, due to it's long time to get the lethal gaseous content out. The execution chamber has to be efficient at killing people at a fast pace (especially in the case of German ones).

Design Specifications for a Fumigation Chamber

A fumigation is sealable and allows the circulation of air. It needs to have a means of creating an equal distribution of lethal gaseous content around the chamber. It must be sealed, but as stated before, it must allow air circulation; the chamber must therefore have means of replacing poisoinous gas with fresh air. The temperature of the walls of the fumigation chamber should be around 10-30 degrees celsius. As we can see, fumigation chambers would have a free flow of air from windows or ventilation holes dug up atop of the ceiling. Fumigation would take around 1-2 hours

Comparison between both to the design specifications of a Nazi Gas Chamber

The designs for a fumigation chamber matches the design of Nazi Gas Chambers; Nazi Gas chambers had open windows and ventilation systems for fresh air to quickly replace cyanide gas. Apart from this, the small confined spaces of the chambers (which would have never held as many people as it theoritcally should have) would mean that the Nazis never wanted it to be used for large scale executions. Apart from this, the design of the gas chambers to be initially connected to the crematories would result in an explosion and the destruction of the gas chambers (as a result of cold and damp conditions).


Perhaps the Holocaust did happen. And perhaps it wasn't misrepresented. But that is the opponent's Burden of Proof. I hoped that my burden of proof was met via the facts I presented, and I hope to have an interesting debate with the opponent.
Conservative101

Con

Blue Stains

Zyklon-B, a pesticide that was used widely throughout Europe, was the gas that was used to exterminate the Jews in the gas chambers[1][2][3]. Zyklon-B was delivered through the roof of the chambers in blue-green pellets, which were coated in hydrogen cyanide (HCN), a very poisonous liquid[2]. Hydrogen cyanide (also referred to as prussian blue) reacts with iron in the walls to create blue stains. Photographs: http://www.scrapbookpages.com...

Holes in The Ceiling

The gassing chambers of Auschwitz have been examined numerous times, and the evidence supports the existence of holes for dropping Zyklon-B through[2][3][4]. "A properly authorized and rigorously conducted forensic study was done in 2000 by qualified experts. The experts unearthed a photograph of the roof of Crema 1 that clearly shows five holes in the roof which had been resealed after the building was abandoned as a gas chamber and turned into an air raid shelter in late 1944."[2]

Cremas 2 and 3 were blown up in late 1944 to cover up the German's genocidal activity. All that remains of these structures is collapsed rubble of the walls and ceilings. There is however, photographic confirmation of the existence of these holes even after the explosion of Cremas 2 and 3. One of the photos of which can be found here: http://www.nizkor.org...

Eyewitness Testimonies

There have been many testimonies and confessions written by guards, commandants, and survivors of the extermination of the Jews in concentration camps and gas chambers. SS-Unterscharfuehrer Pery Broad, who was a Nazi guard in Auschwitz, was captured by the British on May 6, 1945, recalled the process of extermination by gassing. In his memoir he wrote,

"The disinfectors are at work . . . with an iron rod and hammer they open a couple of harmless looking tin boxes, the directions read Cyclon [sic] vermin destroyer, Warning, Poisonous. The boxes are filled with small pellets which look like blue peas. As soon as the box is opened the contents are shaken out through an aperture in the roof. Then another box is emptied in the next aperture, and so on. After about two minutes the shrieks die down and change to a low moaning. Most of the men have already lost consciousness. After a further two minutes . . . it is all over. Deadly quiet reigns. . . . The corpses are piled together, their mouths stretched open . . . . It is difficult to heave the interlaced corpses out of the chamber as the gas is stiffening all their limbs."[1]

Was Broad being coerced? Well, let's examine the facts. Broad was never tortured, and although he had the opportunity to recant what he testified in a later trial, he did not. Was he insane? If he was, then how was he was able to accurately depict the design of the gas chamber, undressing rooms, and crematorium, as well as recall the construction of the chambers?[1]

Let's examine another. SS- Obersturmbannfuehrer Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, gave a similar testimony.

"Then, very quickly, the door was hermetically sealed, and a can of gas was immediately thrown onto the floor, through an opening connected to an air duct in the ceiling of the gas chamber, by the disinfectors, who were standing ready. This led to the immediate release of the gas. Through the peephole one could see that those who were near the air duct died immediately. It can be said that about a third died within a moment's notice. The others began to struggle, to scream, to choke. But very quickly the cries became death rattles, and, after a few minutes, all were on the ground. After a maximum of twenty minutes, nobody moved.""[1]

Like Broad, Hoess told about the construction of the undressing rooms, the gas chamber, the crematorium, and other structures that matched what Broad said earlier. What is peculiar about this is that both guards were unaware of each other's testimonials. How could both of them not only describe the construction of the gas chamber parts of the concentration camp, but recall the same procedure of execution (the cans being thrown through the roof)? There are of course many documentaries and testimonies that exist for this case which I might elaborate more on in future rounds, but for the time being I will hand over the case to Pro to rebut.

Sources

1. http://www.nizkor.org...

2. http://www.hdot.org...

3. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...

4. http://web.archive.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Kc1999

Pro

Rebuttal #1: Blue Stains

The opponent has stated that Prussian blue stains (on the wall of the gas chambers) support the theory that Prussic Acid was used for executing people. However, Zyklon B, as stated before, is a harmful gas only when the gaseous pellets would be released. Hydrogen Cyanide, used in this case, was not in its liquid form, but in its pellet form. Zyklon B does release cyanide; however, this cyanide would have to circulate around the room. As the chamber would be packed with 300-400 victims at once, and witness reports have stated that the Zyklon B would be thrown into the chambers after all the victims entered the room, circulation of the lethal cyanide content would be limited to only several areas. As stated before, an ideal execution chamber looks after the health of both the to-be executed and the executioner; therefore, it is absolutely sealed (and airtight). However, the Gas Chambers, as the opponent and I have agreed on, have several holes on the top of it, allowing dampness and iron to penetrate the chamber. Zyklon B's cyanide content would then immediately be stabilized with the iron from the rainwater; namely, only some (not all) of the Cyanide's content would be released. On the case of Zyklon B itself, Zyklon B is actually much more effective as a fumigant than as an execution chemical. An ideal execution chemical can, and would kill, in 15 minutes or less. I would like to repeat these facts over and over again; Zyklon B takes 30 minutes after its initial release for all the cyanide content in it to be evaporated into the air, and even from there, it would take from 10-60 minutes to kill a human being. Therefore, we can conclude from these facts that the Blue Stains were probably a result of delousing.

Rebuttal #2: Holes

I, unlike (apparently) many Holocaust Revisionists, do not deny the existence of holes in the Gas Chambers. In fact, these holes make up the core of one of my arguments; as stated before, execution chambers are initially airtight. In a sense, no gas should escape from the execution chambers. However, the Gas Chambers did have holes, and this meant two things:

1. Gas was able to escape from the holes
2. Dampness from rain was allowed to come into the chamber

As explained before, dampness and Zyklon B are not compatible. The existence of these holes would highly reduce the initial effects of Zyklon B. Apart from this (and to be explained in the future), executioners need complete protection from the lethal gases; a gas mask is not feasible protection. In order to protect themselves, they would have to wear special protective clothing to protect their skins from interacting with the many particles of lethal cyanide floating in the air. Even if the executioners never went in, the gaseous content of the Zyklon would have evaporated up from the Gas Chamber and would have killed the executioner; this was, however, not the case. Therefore, we can conclude that the holes in the gas chambers only added to its ineffectiveness as one (or only adds to our growing list of evidence of the gas chambers being used for delousing purposes)

Rebuttal #3: On the Eyewitness Testimonies

Let us look at SS Lance Coporal Perry Broad's Testimony (at Dr. Tesch's Trial) First:

"Several people in gas masks were on the roof of the old crematorium. They hammered open tins (presumably of Zyklon B) and poured the contents into six holes each ten centimeters (four inches) in diameter, leading apparently through the roof to a chamber underneath. Broad alleged that 300 to 500 people were in the "Old Crematorium." After 2-3 minutes, the screaming ended. "

This was a summarized version of a much longer testimony that could be given, in Broad's direct words, in the opponent's argument. However, it does not take a revisionist to point out several fallacies in this statement; it takes 30 minutes for the cyanide content of Zyklon B to be released, and it is released in such a low ppm that it takes around 10-60 minutes for all the people in the gas chambers to die. Apart from this, they dropped it into a hole with only a gas mask on (Several people in gas masks were on the roof of the old crematorium). However, a fully protective uniform is needed to protect the executioner from death from the cyanide content that he ought to use on the to-be executed. Now, let us look at the social situation of Mr. Broad; perhaps he was not forcefully coerced to make his point, but he knew that he was already lucky to be alive at this point, 10 months of the war's end. If he did not satisfy the Americans, they would have sent him to the Soviets, whose labor camps for ex-Third Reich soldiers were already giving fears to many ex-combatants. He did what was necessary for him to survive; during 1964-1965, he did start to look back on the testimonies he gave. He soon denounced his life-saving testimonies, as now he had the freedom to do so. We come to a chilling conclusion; the testimonies given by Perry Broad are life-saving testimonies, made up on the spot to save him from having to work for the Soviet Union.

Let us now turn to the case of Rudolf Hoess, the Auschwitz SS supervisor:

While awaiting trial, he was given a pencil instead of a pen to write his memoirs in. If he were to have received a pen for writing his memoirs, then facsimiles would be impossible. Rudolf Hoess was trialed at Polish Court in 1946. His testimony is used by the opponent as direct proof of the alleged mass gassings of Jews. However, I would like to point out that the fact that Rudolf Hoess presented inconsistent data throughout his testimony. For example, to the lawyers, he said “two trains bought Jews into Auschwitz on 27 occasions per month. Each train had around 3,000 Jews.” This was from an interview with an American psychologist, placing the death tolls from gassings at around 2,500,000. However, he told the court that his camp was responsible for the deaths of 2,000,000 Jews. What should we believe? It should also be noted that he never gave any details whatsoever of the nationality (how many victims were Belgian Jews, Polish Jews…) of the gassed victims. This was not the only inconsistency he gave. He states in his memoirs (which might have been faked) “trains brought 1,000 Jews to the concentration camp.” However, three pages later, he then states that “15,000 Jews were being brought in” It doesn’t seem logical to immediately assume that five train trips of 1,000 citizens would have allowed 15,000 of them to come into the concentration camp. Again, whom should we believe? Was he lying? Let us move on to the Crematories, as stated by Rudolf Hoess. He states “Crematories in Auschwitz was able to cremate the bodies of 3,000 Jews per day.” However, it is completely vital to recognize the fact that if 1.2 million bodies were to have been cremated, then 9,000 people must be cremated every day. Lastly, we move on to his testimonies on the actual execution itself; Hoess testifies the whole execution as 20 minutes, while Broad says 3-4 minutes. As a revisionist, I am expected to “deny and discard the whole testimony because of this minor difference” Therefore, I have used “historical data inefficiently” However, I have explained other inconsistencies, and this one is not a minor contradiction. This is a major contradiction in the sense that Zyklon B took a long time for its cyanide content to be released. With this in mind, when we are presented with contradictory evidence and we know several facts about Zyklon B, we will conclude that neither of these testimonies is true. There is no conclusive evidence to say that he told the truth in his testimonies; he probably over exaggerated the threat, like what Perry Broad did, in order to attempt to satisfy the Allied Authorities and receive his freedom; however, Hoess suffered from a far more unfortunate fate than Broad did. He was hanged on April 16th, 1946. Perhaps he was innocent.

Citations:

http://www.ihr.org...
http://ihr.org...
http://holocausthandbooks.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Conservative101

Con

Efficiency at Killing

Hydrogen cyanide from Zyklon-B is extremely efficient at killing people. One need only do a little research to find that it is ultimately poisonous to humans. It is true that there were other gasses that were comparably good at killing, but Zyklon-B was special because it had two advantages. One was that it was easy to pack, store, and transport. It came in sealed tin cans and could be ordered from any ordinary chemical company. Another was that it was widely available and therefore easier to obtain, since Zyklon-B was used for delousing purposes all across Europe[1][3].

Circulation

My opponent states that the hydrogen cyanide used for gassing would have to circulate around the room and would be limited to several areas. However, many gas chambers had forced-ventilation systems, so the ability for the lethal cyanide gas to travel around the room would not be much more than a few minutes. The time it would take for the Jews to consume the gas would also be reduced, so it is certainly viable that a 3-4 minute extermination could occur in a gas chamber. The reason that different testimonies of the gas chambers told about different amounts of time that it took for the Jews to die is totally dependent on several conditions, which are: "the temperature (Zyklon-B dispersal depends on the air temperature), number of people in the room, the size of the room, and the amount of gas poured into the room; not to mention the psychological differences in time perception by different observers. If the estimation of times were exactly the same, in fact, we would have to be suspicious that they were all taking their story from a single account."[2]

Endangered Executioners

Pro asserts that the executioners would have used more protective clothing to keep the hydrogen cyanide away from them. I would like to point out that in wartime, safety standards do not apply, especially not when the aim is to kill a thousand people as fast as possible. It is true that the executioners would need this protection. However, Pro is assuming that the process of Zyklon-B disposal through the holes were done without sealing up the holes afterwards. If we examine the testimony of Henryk Taeber, who witnessed the extermination process at Auschwitz, we will find that the openings to the gas chamber were closed after the Zyklon-B was poured through.

"...Scheimetz opened them with a special cold chisel and a hammer, then poured the contents into the gas chamber. Then he closed the orifice with a concrete cover. As there were four similar chimneys, Scheimietz poured into each the contents of one of the smallest cans of 'Cyklon'..."[4]

Salmen Lewantal, a member of the Sonderkommado, stated in his testimony:

"...After throwing 4 tins of the gas through the small upper doors and after sealing them hermetically, silence soon reigned."[4]

From these we can conclude that Pro's contention, that the executioners would have to be protected from the lethal hydrogen cyanide, is false. The executioners would drop the Zyklon-B pellets in and close the upper orifices that sealed the holes, which would prevent particles of lethal cyanide from floating or evaporating up and affecting them. From this we can also see that there would be no time for rainwater or dampness to affect the hydrogen cyanide or gas chambers themselves since the top of the holes would be covered at all times except for when the gas pellets are being delivered.

Analysis of the Testimonies

Here Pro argues that there are contradictions between Broad's and Hoess' testimonies. He states that because their testimonies do not coincide perfectly with the circumstances that should've been present at Auschwitz, then the gassings themselves did not happen. However, I would like to point out that this is not the case. As I said before, documentaries of what happened in a certain scenario are dependent on many conditions. A major one is the psychological differences in perception by different observers. When estimating the numbers of Jews being transported in, or the amount of time it took, one must not stop their investigation of historic claims because of minor contradictions between two testimonies.

I would like to also point out that there are multiple accounts from ex-commandants, guards, and survivors of what happened at Auschwitz. Yes, not every testimony is exactly the same, but if they were, we would have to be suspicious that each testimony was coming from a single account, as I stated earlier. Let us also take into consideration the circumstances of the ex-guards and witnesses of the gassings: when interviewed, they know their life is on the line, and they can't recall exactly how many Jews were transported or how many bodies are being cremated. To show that one's estimations do not align the same as others' or their's are different from what should've happened, yet to ignore the many other witnesses that testified of the gassings of Auschwitz with similar descriptions of the extermination process, and to not take into consideration that these former Nazi guards were unaware of the similar testimonies being told by other commandants is nonsensical on many different levels. To find sixteen testimonies of the holes alone, refer to source [4].

Sources

1. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...

2. Source 1, Round 2.

3. http://www.nizkor.org...

4. Source 4, Round 2.
Debate Round No. 3
Kc1999

Pro

Response to Zyklon B and Killings

Hydrogen Cyanide itself is extremely efficient at killing people. Zyklon B, however, is not. In the temperatures of the gas chambers, it would take Hydrogen Cyanide up to 30 to 40 minutes to release. As explained before, dropping it into the four vents into a damp gas chamber would initially reduce the effects of the Zyklon B. The cyanide gas, as I do not deny, can be harmful. However, it is harmful when it reaches concentrations of more than 100ppm, and can be lethal after 300ppm of lethal content would be released. According to DEGESCH officials, it takes up to 5 hours for 100% of the cyanide gas to be released under temperature conditions of -18 degrees celsius. This is contrary to many witness reports, who place these executions as taking only 2-30 minutes (under, as the opponent states, different conditions). Mainstream sources places them at 30 minutes max; however, even under normal temperature, for 100% of the lethal cyanide content to be released in temperatures of 15 degrees celsius, it would take up to two hours. Even with different perceptions of time, no one can state that the executions took either took five to 30 minutes; we have direct scientific evidence that suggests the contrary.

Apart from this, there has been new evidence of the Gas Chambers being used for delousing purposes. Captured German War Archives stored in Moscow were recently uncovered and an examination of them found mentions of a delousing chamber (""Entlausungskammer für ein Krematorium") used by the Germans. However, they did not find any orders ordering for the Gas Chambers to be used to exterminate the Jews. They did not find Soviet Air Reconaissance photos on Auschwitz; they, however, even found orders that ordered SS members to treat the prisoners with care. Is this not direct evidence that Gas Chambers weren't used for mass scale executions?

Circulation and a Response to Endangered Executioner Claims

The opponent has cited a testimony from Henryk Tauber to support his claim. Firstly, I would like to rebut the technical concepts of the point that the opponent has presented first. My testimonial analysis shall be in my next section. A concrete cover is not sufficient protection to prevent the leakage of lethal HCN gas. This would be because of the design of the concrete orifice would have to fit perfectly, not allowing any air to escape. The inhabitants of the gas chambers would therefore die before any of the lethal gas, as explained before, came out, therefore denying them the ability to scream (as many witnesses have proven). Even if the concrete cover did prevent lethal cyanide from coming out of the chamber, the concrete used is still filled with lethal cyanide, which would make the concrete dangerous for anyone handling it. Apart from this, according to the opponent's testimonies (and official SS documents discovered), the doors and the seals were to be left open before and after the execution. This, unlike what the opponent has stated, can and would allow dampness to dominate the chamber. Apart from this, the material used to create the chamber would naturally absorb water, allowing the material there to be damp too.

Apart from this, many gas chambers, unlike what the opponent has stated, did not follow conventional gas chamber making designs. A modern day inspection of each gas chambers would have stated so; not all gas chambers, especially the ones present at Auschwitz, Madjanek, and Birkenau, were built accordingly to the designs provided to them by DEGESCH, a German Chemical Company making delousing chambers which was given the task of designing gas chambers. More evidence suggests that DEGESCH equipment was used by the Germans in the gas chambers. This equipment was fumigation based equipment, and can no way be used to execute mass amounts of people.

Response to Testimonial Claims

Let us firstly look at the claims of Tauber. Henryk Tauber was a Jewish Pole who was drafted into the Sauderkommando Corps. The Sauderkommando Corps were Jewish Prisoners who were chosen because of their good health to operate these allegedly execution chambers. Tauber was brought to testify to Polish Court. The opponent has used his testimony to validate his many claims about the Holocaust. However, from a justice point of view, a testimony can, and would be effected by many things:

1. Emotional Connections/Biased

A testimony usually has a lot of emotional biased. This is a perfect example; being a Jew, he would (understandbly) be in a state of anger, and biased usually comes from this.

2. Third Party Influence

A testimony can be effected by third party influence; coercion, indoctrination and things to that sort. Third Party Influences can be a very important factor in giving a false confession.

3. Memory Problems

Reliance usually declines after a few days only; after months, in which he would have been freed, accuracy is seriously put in doubt.

Keeping this in mind, I would like to examine Tauber's case in detailed. Tauber's case was filled with contradictions, from both a scientific and historical point of view. Firstly, I would like to add that he operated crematories, and perhaps witnessed gassings perhaps once or twice, but could have definitely not have provided an accurate description without adding his own biased and misconception. In fact, members of his corps weren't allowed to come out of the crematories, for fear that they would spread typhus around, as typhus was the main factor in the deaths of many of the bodies they cremated. Tauber, during his testimony, stated that "when allied planes were approaching the camp, I would have hurled more bodies into the crematories to get the flames to come out." Firstly, it is a well-known facts that no flames did come out of any of the crematories. He then states that the crematories were able to cremate bodies in 8 minutes; even with today's technology, that seems highly unlikely. With the technology available during the Third Reich Era, that would be pure imagination. Therefore, we cannot cherry-pick our evidence from an inherently inconsistent source.

Apart from this, the opponent states that Broad's and Hoess's testimonies are valid sources because both are reliable; however, I would like to repeat several facts that we know about both the Gas Chambers, Zyklon B and the sources themselves. Major Inconsistencies may be spotted in both testimonies; both relating to the time of the executions and the method of execution themselves. From a justice-based perspective, if the trial were actually trialed at neutral conditions, both testimonies would have been discarded for the inconsistencies they presented. Different perception in time cannot simply allow someone to take two hours and then completely revise it as two to 30 minutes; two hours is scientific data, supplied to us by people who supplied the chemicals to the Germans. Apart from this, how can the opponent be sure that the German guards didn't testify to save themselves from being transported and deported to the Soviet Union? After all, they did give inconsistent data on many things; the limits of the crematories, the number of Jews deported into camps, and the nationality of them are the same. Many arguments from mainstream historical sources rely on testimonies; yet no mass graves have ever been thoroughly investigated, and a neutral international forensic team never did investigate the sight of the mass executions. Each testimony was different by a significant portion; many of them were tortured or given false assurances that they would be safe if they "satisfied the court" Many of them knew that even if they did gave false testimonies, they would be deported to labor camps (in the USSR) or serve a term in prison.
With this, I would like to conclude my arguments for this debate:

Zyklon B is an inefficient killer

As explained before, Zyklon B takes up to five hours (under freezing conditions) for 100% of the cyanide content to be released. It would have been inefficient to do so. The execution chambers would have had to kill people at such a fast pace that each execution should take around 15 minutes. Gas Execution chambers must be rubbed with ammonia before the next batch could come in, or else the execution chambers would be dangerous for the executioners who would have to empty the chambers.

More Inclined for Fumigation Purposes

With the usage of fumigation equipment and all, the chambers were more fitted for fumigation purposes as it is made out of material that absorbs the lethal content in. Zyklon B is also made mainly for fumigation, and would unfit the purpose of killing humans. Apart from this, the chambers were not airtight and not temperature controlled, unlike many execution chambers. A historical perspective would also prove that absurd; no Americans were consulted in building the gas chambers.

Harm towards Executioner

As the shortage of ammonia and the lack of protective equipment proved, the executioner might also receive some harm from disposing and carrying out the executions. Many protective measures have to be taken before the execution goes in place, and the execution chamber must be approached minutes after the execution. The crematories were also unable to keep up with the rapid pace of executions, and the designs of the execution chambers would have caused an explosion if they were used for executions, due to the fact that the gas chambers would have used the same heat source as the crematories if they were indeed used for executions.


Citations:
http://vho.org...
http://www.vho.org...
http://www.mchekc.org...

http://vho.org....

Sources from previous rounds

Conservative101

Con

Zyklon B

As we have established, hydrogen cyanide is the gas released by Zyklon B, which was used to kill the prisoners. We can then establish that Zyklon B itself was not used to kill, but rather, to release the gas that is in it. My opponent's claim here is that Zyklon B is not efficient in killing people. This argument is obviously false, because hydrogen cyanide is what was used to kill the prisoners, being released by Zyklon B.

"While some claim that the gas would need a lot of time to kill, because it would have to spread all over the chamber, it simply is not true; the gas chambers were not that large (those in Krematoria II and III were about 210 square meters), and the Zyklon-B was dropped from four openings (still visible in the ruins of the gas chambers). Since the concentration used was higher than the lethal one, death was very swift."[1] "For example, a room 5 m x 10 m x 3 m (150 cu m) contains roughly 150 kg of air, and would require (150,000 grams x 300)/ 1,000,000 = 45 grams (1.6 oz) of hydrogen cyanide to achieve a lethal concentration."[2] From this, one cannot as easily make the claim (there were also ventilation systems) that HCN would take a lot of time to kill.

Endangered Executioners

My opponent's argument on the validity of the concrete covers' ability to cover the holes perfectly is a bit overemphasized. The surface area of the holes themselves are much smaller than the cover's surface. Therefore, the cover would be able to completely cover the holes just fine. Even if the orifices did not cover the holes all the way, the amount of HCN that would leak out would not be enough to kill the executioners that are handling it.

Without the dampness from the chambers, the Zyklon B would not have been able to release. The Zyklon B pellets would not be able to work unless exposed to water.

Testimonies

Pro states that the differences between Broad's and Hoess's testimonies are "major inconsistencies". However, his argument supporting so does not undermine the legitimacy of the gassings themselves. Remember that gassings are dependent on:

-The temperature
-The number of people in the room
-The size of the room
-The amount of gas being poured into the room
-Psychological difference in time perception by different observers

I wouldn't say that perception in time is valid enough for someone to take two hours and change it into thirty minutes. However, there are many others factors included. To simply point out that certain time durations vary, yet ignore the many different conditions that apply, is not a credible argument. Also, there is indeed emotional connections and third party influences involved in some cases, but to say so doesn't mean that every testimonial account of the gassings is wrong. As for memory problems, I believe that case is exaggerated a bit. When one reads the testimony of a witness who described the gassing process in such detail, one cannot simply make the case the memory problems were an influence, because the testimonies don't seem to have a lack of detail in them; the processes are described well, and all are very similar.

Sources

1. http://www.nizkor.org...

2. http://www.debate.org...

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
I disagree with iamanathiet's vote but I'll let it go by.
Posted by Conservative101 3 years ago
Conservative101
You too Kc1999!
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
Great and Intense Debate Conservative101!
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
"exciting"

I was dying to try this case out.
Posted by SPENCERJOYAGE14 3 years ago
SPENCERJOYAGE14
This is a exciting debate!
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by DerKing 2 years ago
DerKing
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I guess I have to agree with the other voters in that both sides were argued so well that I have to declare it a tie. however, I do feel like the quality of sources given by Con was better. All this, not factoring my heavy dislike for Con.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Overall, each side seemed to produce well-argued, relevant responses. Basically, the debate boiled down to whether Zyklon-B was used. I think that every point was met with an argument of near equal force. For example, the dangerousness of Zyklon-B for he exterminators was explained by Con with the concrete sealant, yet Pro then argued that concrete absorbs Zyklon-B, and then Con.... Based on the content here, I cannot split the debate. Pro's lack of sources in the first round arguments was later made-up for.
Vote Placed by Dennybug 3 years ago
Dennybug
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow great debate, both sides argued very well and responded neatly and very understandably to eachother. I felt that in the first few rounds krit was winning, however Con won me over in the last few rounds when he presented arguments against Pro's initial arguments that conditions made it hazardous to executioners and dampness would have rendered the zyklon b ineffective. I aslo felt that Pro's disregard for the legitimacy of the testimonies was a little weak and not refuted properly. So overall I'd say that the evidence presented by con would be a more plausible theory. Let me say again though, both sides did extremely well and in the end it came down to a few small things.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm going to leave arguments even. This was a good debate and I felt you guys responded pretty well to each other's points. Pro's sources don't really count because he just throws in a few really long PDF's nobody has time to read through, plus doesn't specify what they are be used as citation for. Con's sources were all from parties a little too interested in proving the holocaust happened, but they are still better than Pro's usage. I'm going to come back and examine the arguments a few more times, but for now and probably permanently they remain a tie. Any attempt to prod me to make a decision on arguments will result in an automatic loss of conduct points, to whatever party prods me. Good luck to both of you in future debates.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debates argument points go to Con who pointed the illogical consistencies in Pros arguments. It seems as was shown by Pro, that he relies on different interpretation depending on the circumstances for the argument to work. This is not a good argument i.e. HCN at 100 ppm kills, yet the executioners exposed to way way less than that should also die? its illogical. Also Pro failed to explain why the Nazis would admit to gassing the Jews if it was not true.
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
Kc1999Conservative101Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I was asked by Pro to vote, but that doesn't factor my decision in any way. This was a very close debate to the extent that I'm not sure who to declare the winner, even after a couple of reads. Therefore, I'm leaving it a tie. As feedback, Con could have used better responses to some things Pro mentioned such as an argument from the better explanation, or at least scientific examinations of Jews who could have only died by being gassed in chambers. However, the debate boils down to whether it would have been effective to use hydrogen cyanide released by Zyklon B, and I think there was a tie here with the pros and cons of using Zyklon B, and no sufficient evidence by both participants on whether it was used or not used for gassing purposes. Both seem to agree that Zyklon B was used, but Pro argued that it was used for delousing purposes.