On 9 August 1938, a new concentration camp near the Austrian town of Mauthausen near the city of Linz was established. The camp was mainly populated by political prisoners, later also Soviet PoWs and partisans from south-eastern Europe. The camp served as a reservoir of slave labor for several enterprises, foremost a company for construction material employing inmates in a large granite quarry. Jews became a sizable part of the camp population only when other camps filled with Jews started to evacuate their inmates westward toward the end of the war.

Although Mauthausen has the reputation of having been one of the most brutal camps of the Third Reich, it enters Holocaust history due to the alleged presence of facilities to mass murder inmates with toxic gasses. The first propaganda reports about alleged mass murder in a homicidal gas chamber at the Mauthausen Camp were published in a Jewish periodical in the United States already in November 1941 – at a point in time when orthodox historians insist that no such facility yet existed. In fact, no documents exist at all which support the orthodoxy’s claim that a homicidal gas chamber existed at the Mauthausen Camp.

Not satisfied with one utterly unsupported claim, the orthodoxy added another related hypothesis: the Mauthausen Camp also had a gas van in which inmates were murdered with exhaust gas. Both claims ultimately rest on an affidavit written by third persons about what the commandant of the Mauthausen Camp, Franz Ziereis, supposedly stated while lying on his death bed, bleeding to death from gunshot wounds. Rather than providing medical care, several former inmates allegedly interrogated him in that state, and then concocted an “affidavit,” not signed by Ziereis, but by the inmates. (See the entry on Hans Maršálek.)

One of the claims put into Ziereis’s mouth via this “affidavit” concerns an alleged meeting of all concentration-camp commanders at the SS headquarters in Oranienburg – or rather the Sachsenhausen Camp attached to these headquarters. During that meeting, these commanders were allegedly shown an automatic shoot-in-the-neck device for the conveyor-belt execution of Soviet commissars. No evidence exists for this meeting nor for the existence of a shoot-in-the-neck device during the war.

Orthodox historians take this invented meeting as their basis to claim that, upon his return from this meeting, Ziereis initiated the construction of a homicidal gas chamber at Mauthausen. But the “affidavit” about Ziereis’s alleged death-bed confessions claims that the homicidal gas chamber was constructed either on the initiative of the SS garrison physician of the Mauthausen Camp, Eduard Krebsbach, or on orders of Richard Glücks, chief inspector of concentration camps. Apart from this “affidavit,” there is not a shred of evidence to support any of this.

During the Soviet Show Trial against former staff members of the Sachsenhausen Camp, the claim about the meeting of camp commandants in that camp for the sake of inspecting the above-mentioned execution device was “confirmed” by witness testimony.

Also “confirmed” by witness testimony during a later West-German show trial were claims of mass murder by gassings perpetrated at the Mauthausen Camp. The location allegedly used for that was a real(!) shower room of just 13.3 square meters of floor area, located in the basement of the camp’s inmate hospital. This room was supposedly “retrofitted” with a metal box and a fan in an adjacent room. A hot brick was supposedly put into the box, then shreds of Zyklon-B wood-fiber disks were presumably put onto that brick, the box was closed, and the fan turned on. The fan blew the evaporating fumes through a pipe into the shower room.

This procedure was not only primitive, but also highly dangerous. Putting shreds of wood fiber soaked with hydrogen cyanide onto a hot brick would result in the instant release of cyanide vapors, like water hitting a hot surface. Before the box could have been closed, these vapors would have spread throughout the room, which was not ventilated. To make matters worse, mixtures of 5.4% and more of hydrogen cyanide in air are explosive. If the brick had been pre-heated a little too much, the whole thing could have blown up into the face of whoever was trying to put those fiber shreds into the box.

Mauthausen Camp. Inmate Shower Room, alleged Gas Chamber
“Gas chamber” of Mauthausen, with real showerheads of the real inmate shower at the ceiling, and a radiator on the wall. (Photo of 1990: click on it to enlarge.)

Keep in mind that, at the same time, and in contrast to this nonsense, it is documented that a professional Austrian pest-control company set up proper DEGESCH circulation fumigation chambers at the Mauthausen Camp, which were designed to prevent any dangerous situation. That same company is said to have been involved in rigging the homicidal gas chamber with a “brick” heater. Hence, instead of equipping the homicidal chamber with the safe technology known and available to them that would have allowed the claimed crimes to be perpetrated professionally, this company supposedly used an utterly ridiculous setup for the homicidal gas chamber: a “pre-heated” brick was put into a box… That is a sure sign of delusions conjured up by incompetent witnesses.

After the war, as the Mauthausen Camp was prepared to serve as a museum, the shower room was “reconstructed.” As was the case at the Auschwitz Main Camp’s crematorium, neither the original state nor the “reconstructions” performed during that phase were recorded. The claimed gas-introduction box with pipes disappeared, and the two original doors were replaced with two air-raid-shelter doors made of steel and with peepholes. This way, the room now looks menacing to the uninformed visitor. The original doors have totally disappeared.

Unlike Auschwitz, where the Museum admits at least some of the fraudulent post-war changes, visitors of the Mauthausen Museum are misled to this day to believe that the room is in its original condition, when in fact it is a post-war forgery. If the original doors to this room could have convincingly serve as “gas chamber” doors, they wouldn’t have been replaced by air-raid-shelter doors.

Speaking the truth – this room is a post-war forgery – is punishable with up to ten years imprisonment in Austria.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2016e, pp. 130-150.)

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