Gabai, Dario

Dario Gabbai
Dario Gabbai

Dario Gabai (or Gabbai, 2 Sept. 1922 – 25 March 2020) was a Greek Jew deported to Auschwitz in March 1944. Possibly incentivized by his brother’s interview with Israeli historian Gideon Greif a few years earlier (see the entry on Yaakov Gabai), Dario started giving his version of events in numerous media venues, soon after his brother’s death. Among these was an interview with the Shoah Foundation of the University of Southern California in late 1994. This interview, as many similar others, is characterized by the interviewer letting the subject ramble on with few interruptions by asking only occasional, superficial and often leading questions. Therefore, Gabai’s statements typically include only fleeting remarks with few details, making it difficult to assess the reliability of what he claims.

During his interview with the Shoah Foundation, Gabai claimed that the SS forced between 2,500 and 3,000 inmates at once into the alleged gas chambers of Crematoria II and III (210 m²), a physically impossible packing density. Just 4 to 5 minutes after the gas had been applied, everyone was supposedly dead – a highly unlikely speed of execution (see Zyklon B). Only 15 to 20 minutes later, the doors were opened, after which the ventilation system of the room could not possibly have removed all the poisonous gas. When the doors were opened, all the dead victims were standing upright, mothers still with babies in their arms, which is physically impossible, because when dying, everyone would have slumped down and collapsed, no matter how densely they were packed. The victims were black and blue from the gas, Gabai claimed, although the allegedly used poison gas hydrogen cyanide turns victims pink, not black and blue.

When talking about the cremation of the victims, Gabai claimed that they put four corpses into every muffle, and that it took 20 to 30 minutes to cremate them. These figures are physically impossible (see the entry on crematoria) but they do match those that his brother had claimed during his interview with Greif. This suggests that Dario was simply expanding the web of lies begun by his brother.

In an interview segment included in the 2005 PBS documentary Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, Gabai is quoted as claiming that the inmates locked in the gas chamber of Crematoria II and III “scratched the walls.” These walls were plastered with very hard cement mortar, multiple times harder than fingernails. It is therefore physically impossible for any person to scratch these walls.

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