If we take witness statements at face value, then we have to conclude that an astonishingly wide array of murder weapons is said to have been used for the mass murder of victims during the Holocaust. Apart from the obvious ones, such as simple starvation and disease to let people die from neglect, and bullets used during executions by units such as the Einsatzgruppen, there are many others, which deserve more attention. Many of these claimed weapons are unique to the Holocaust.
In most murder cases, the crime is divided into two acts: first the actual murder, and then an attempt to erase the traces of the crime – here mainly the means and methods to destroy the victims’ corpses.
The claimed murder weapons fall into four main categories:
- Bullets. Shootings are said to have been the primary execution method used by the Einsatzgruppen.
- Gas Vans. These were presumably used by the Einsatzgruppen, as well as at the Semlin Camp in Serbia and at the Chełmno Camp.
- Execution chambers. These come with a wide variety of claimed murder methods, which hint at a severe lack of coordination and a chaotic approach during the so-called Holocaust:
- Gasoline-engine exhaust: currently claimed for the Sobibór Camp, but some sources also attribute it to the camps at Belzec and Treblinka.
- Diesel-engine exhaust: currently claimed for the camps at Belzec and Treblinka, but some sources also attribute it to the Sobibór Camp. Furthermore, several sources claim or imply that diesel-engine exhaust gases were also used by the so-called gas vans.
- Vacuum: this method of pumping the air out of a room, thus suffocating everyone inside, has been claimed by witnesses for the camps at Treblinka and Belzec, and rarer also for Auschwitz, but only as a first stage before adding toxic gases. This method has been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is usually shamefully covered up and hidden from their readers.
- Chlorine: this method was frequently claimed for the Sobibór Camp, and also implied by Franz Blaha for Dachau. This method has also been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is usually again covered up and hidden from their readers.
- War gases (such as mustard gas): this method has been claimed for the Auschwitz Camp in early reports of the Polish underground. This method has been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is covered up and hidden from their readers.
- High-voltage electricity: This method has been claimed for Auschwitz, Belzec, Sobibór and Treblinka. This method has been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is covered up and hidden from their readers.
- Cyanide powder, mixed with water or an unknown liquid: this method is claimed for the Natzweiler Camp, and Bruno Piazza insisted that a version of it was also used at the Auschwitz Camp.
- Zyklon B: This method has been claimed for Auschwitz, Dachau, Gusen, Majdanek, Mauthausen, Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, Stutthof. Since Zyklon B was the most-commonly used insecticide in wartime Germany, most camps were supplied with it for reasons of pest control. Hence, it cannot surprise that claims of homicide with this product sprung up almost everywhere. One witness – Stanisław Szmajzner – claimed the use of Zyklon B for Sobibór, allegedly replacing engine exhaust gas, but no one takes him seriously.
- Steam: This claimed method is unique and also common for early witness claims about the Treblinka Camp. It may have been based on a steam disinfestation device. This method has been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is covered up and hidden from their readers.
- Bottled carbon monoxide: this method is claimed for the earliest iteration of gas vans, as well as for the Majdanek Camp. It is said to have been copied from experiences learned during Germany’s euthanasia killings. These were presumably carried out using bottled carbon monoxide.
- A “dark substance”: this claim is unique for the Sobibór Camp, made by only one witness, albeit an important one: Alexander Pechersky. This method has been abandoned by the orthodoxy, and is covered up and hidden from their readers.
- There are a number of rather peculiar murder weapons claimed by very few or even single witnesses, most of which are not taken seriously by anyone. Orthodox historians sweep these claims under the rug, as embarrassing indicators of witnesses carried away by mental or emotional disturbances. However, these wild claims are not necessarily wilder than the ones listed earlier:
- Air hammer (pneumatic hammer): this method was claimed for the Auschwitz Camp in early reports of the Polish underground. (See the section on “Polish wartime propaganda” in the entry on Birkenau.)
- Tree felling: this was a method claimed by a Soviet prosecutor during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT, Vol. 7, p. 582).
- Explosives: this method was claimed by Albert Widmann for a single, failed set of experiments, and by Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, stating that this method replaced shootings for the Einsatzgruppen.
- Chlorinated or quick lime: this method was claimed by Jan Karski for the Belzec Camp, or rather for trains going there; a message of the Polish underground transferred that method over to Treblinka. Three former Treblinka inmates incorporated this rumor in their postwar testimonies (Leon Finkelsztein, Abraham Goldfarb, Szyja Warszawski). A certain Mieczysław Sekiewicz imagined it for the Chełmno Camp, yet without trains: inmates placed in a pit were showered with water, then with boiling quick lime.
- A death bridge: this method – shooting people down from a scaffold as target practice – was claimed by Jan Sułkowski for the Treblinka Camp.
- Tarp-covered gassing trenches: This make-shift gassing “solution” was claimed by Otto Wolken.
- Portable, quick-assembly gas chamber: This gassing porta potty was claimed by Adolf Eichmann.
More of these and similar anecdotal aberrations are listed in the entry on Absurd Claims.
The tools to erase the traces of the crime, in terms of making the victims vanish, come in three forms:
- Cremation furnaces, commonly with vastly exaggerated claims regarding their capacity. (See the section “Furnace Cremations” of the entry on cremation propaganda). Such furnaces should be expected to have existed foremost at the pure extermination camps at Belzec, Chełmno, Sobibór and Treblinka, with together almost two million claimed victims. However, none of these camps had any crematoria. While Chełmno had a primitive field furnace, it was totally unsuited for the gargantuan claimed task.
- Open-air incineration on pyres, also commonly with vastly exaggerated claims regarding their capacity, and also with implicit or explicit claims of self-immolating bodies in need of no fuel, burning all by themselves. (See the section “Open-Air Incinerations” of the entry on cremation propaganda, as well as the entry on lumberjacks.). These pyres are said to have been used in the camps at Auschwitz, Belzec, Chełmno, Maly Trostinets, Semlin, Sobibór and Treblinka. Furthermore, within the context of the so-called Aktion 1005, such pyres are said to have been used in hundreds if not thousands of locations in the temporarily German-occupied Soviet Union while burning the Einsatzgruppen’s victims.
- Explosives. This method of “destroying” the bodies of deceased or killed inmates was claimed by Rudolf Höss, which is one of the many reasons why his various testimonies have a low degree of credibility. Vladimir Davydov mentioned explosives as a corpse-removal technique.