The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter

The Unreliability of Documents in Jean-Claude Pressac's Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers

By Carlos W. Porter

Update 2005: Pressac's mighty tome -- for what it is worth, which is something, but perhaps not quite in the manner intended by its author -- is supposedly on-line, in its entirety, at:

The following article is less confusing if you read it once through without referring to the graphics. In doubt, please see the original by Pressac. "Page 433" here is "" on the website, so they should be easy to find; just paste them in. The graphics are better quality as well. Of course, as always, the entire book should be read from beginning to end to form a proper opinion. It may be best to save it with "Teleport Pro" from, and then print it, the entire book. It was billed as the "Final Solution to the Revisionist Problem", but only 1,000 copies of it were printed, which then promptly became unobtainable. They have been sold for up to 2,000 US dollars second hand. -C.P. 2005

Jean-Claude Pressac's book, AUSCHWITZ: TECHNIQUE AND OPERATION OF THE GAS CHAMBERS (1988, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation) reproduces many German documents. The documents which Pressac considers to be most incriminating are, in the great majority of cases, either "photocopies" or "microfilm copies" made available by the Soviets; many have been retyped by unknown persons and do not even purport to be photocopies; others are obvious forgeries.

The quality of many of these documents is so poor that it is obvious they are photocopies of photocopies ad infinitum.

On pp. 90/91, Pressac lists the documents which are available only on microfilm. On pp. 199, 243, 245, and 439, he admits that many of the others (not including the blueprints, which are available as originals) are available only as "photocopies"; he would very much like to see the original documents, but that is impossible; no one has ever seen them (p. 439 "reverse of document is not known", p. 243 "Moscow prosecutor... omitted to communicate the verso"). All documents marked BW 30/25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 36, 44, and 46 are Soviet microfilm copies.

All documents marked BW 30/43 are Soviet photocopies.

This includes nearly all the correspondence, and about half of the time sheets and work sheets - the very documents which Pressac finds most suspicious.

The document on p. 100 bears no handwritten markings of any kind.

The document on p. 134 is a retyped "certified true copy" of a microfilm. The document on p. 135 is crystal-clear at the top of the page, but fades to illegibility downwards towards the signature, indicating that it, too, is probably a "microfilm copy".

The document on p. 210 is supposed to be a "telex", but it's a "microfilm copy" of a document which has been "retyped", with the same handwritten markings as on pp. 187 and 504.

The "Vergasungskeller" document on p. 211 is a "photocopy" of a "microfilm copy". The document on pp. 214/215 is a microfilm without signature; where is the end of the document?

The document on p. 222 does not match the caption; it is a "microfilm", although the table on p. 89 lists these documents as "originals".

The document on p.238 is a "certified true copy" retyped by a Jew.

See also: Commentary on the Franke-Gricksch "Report" ("True copy" retyped by Jew)

The document on p. 247, letter of 28 June 1943, BW 30/42, is a "photocopy" transmitted by the Committee of Anti-Fascist Resistants of the German Democratic Republic; see p. 91.

The document on p. 248 is a "microfilm copy" with many handwritten corrections but no signatures.

On p. 279, a gigantic thumbprint indicates that the document is another "microfilm copy". Another retyped "microfilm copy" of a "telegram" appears on p. 371.

The document on p. 361 bears the statement "Remarks on original letter" ["Anmerkung auf den Originalbrief"] typed out right in the "original German document", which turns out to be a "microfilm copy".

The two different versions of the document on p. 207 are a "microfilm copy" of a "retyped copy" which has "signature illegible" ["Unterschrift unleserlich"] typed out right in the "original German text" itself.

The document on p. 375, left, says "written in pencil" ["in Bleischrift geschrieben"] typed out in the "original German" text! It purports to be a "telegram", but it's been retyped.

The "wire mesh introduction devices" documents on pp. 376, 430, etc. etc. are also "photocopies". So are the "gas-tight door documents" on pp. 438 and most of the other time sheets.

(NOTE: Since all the pillars and columns in the so-called "gas chambers" at Auschwitz are of solid reinforced concrete, and since there are no holes in the roofs, the "wire mesh introduction devices" document may safely be dismissed as a forgery in any case.)

For obviously forged signatures, compare the signatures of "Kirschenek" on p. 192 bottom, with p. 211 top, p. 240 bottom left, p. 368 bottom left, p. 371 (with initial by Järhling), p. 388, top centre.

Kirschenek's squiggle should also be compared: p. 245 centre (next to "Sturmbahnführer", where it is difficult to see), p. 241, and p. 388.

(NOTE: If I understand Pressac correctly, on page 388 both the squiggle and the signature are supposed to be by Kirschenek. The translation states:

[Hand written additions]  
Dealt with Jährling [initialed] Kirschneck
                 [in violet pencil] Kirschneck and Janisch). This may be a misreading of Pressac's meaning on my part. C.P.]

Compare the signatures of Bischoff and Jährling p. 223, with Bischoff's initial on p. 242, and the signatures of Bischoff on p. 376, p. 235, and especially p. 360 bottom of second page, and p. 199. These last may be someone else signing on Bischoff's behalf, but there is no indication of this; if that were so, normally a document would so state.

Were there two Bischoffs? He's a Hauptsturmfüher on p. 199 and Sturmbahnführer on p. 360, but it's not the same signature as the Sturmbahnführer on p. 376.

In my view, most of the Bischoff documents are probably authentic, but not all the Kirschenek and Pollok documents.

Compare the signatures of "Pollok" at bottom of p. 211, with those at bottom of p. 213, p. 360, and p. 504. They only look the same on p. 211 and p. 432; the others are different.

There are two different versions of the "Vergasungskeller" document with related report; they are not the same documents on pp. 211/213 as on p. 432 and pp. 503/504; the text of the two versions is identical, but the signatures are different and the documents have been retyped. The one on p. 503 is labelled as a document retyped by the Poles; but it looks the same as the others. All you have to do is leave out the word "Odpis" [copy], fake a name or initial, and presto! It becomes an "original".

The document on p. 504 (second page) claims to be an "original document", but it's not the same "original" as on p. 213. The signature at the top of p. 504 is a forgery of Jahnich's signature, see bottom of p. 187. The document on p. 213 appears to bear a forged Kirschenek signature at the top. Another apparent forgery of Jahnich's signature appears under "F.d.R." ["For the Correctness of the Copy"] on p. 361, right next to "Remarks on original letter" ["Anmerkung auf den Originalbrief"].

Pressac gives the same references for the Vergasungskeller document on p. 211 and p. 432 in the apparent belief that they are identical. But they are not the same document or even the same signature; only the text is identical. [See graphics of  "Vergasungskeller" document.]

P. 245 is only a better quality photocopy of the document reproduced on p. 441. These are identical.

The document on p. 243 is an obvious forgery utilizing the "quotation within a letter" technique.

The initial by "Jothann" on p. 250 is an obvious forgery if this is supposed to be the same person who signed his name in full on pp. 387 and 413.

On pp. 27, 28, 31, 55, 56, and 57, etc. he shows that "Gaskammer" was a perfectly ordinary word used by the Germans to mean "delousing chamber". He even reproduces the blueprints, which clearly state "ENTWESUNGSANLAGE Gaskammer". He doesn't claim that the delousing chambers were used or designed for any purpose other than delousing. One wonders what Pressac thinks he's proving with all this material.

Pressac claims that it's absurd to heat a morgue, which must be kept cool, and that the presence of a stove in a morgue proves it's a "gas chamber for the extermination of human beings". In fact, morgues must be kept cool, but must not be allowed to freeze, because frost damages corpses. The temperature must be kept at 2 to 12 degrees Centigrade.
(source: Garten und Friedhofsamt, Darmstadt, Hermannstr. 4, FRIEDHÖFE UND KREMATORIEN, p. 423).

Pressac considers the word "undressing room" to have sinister connotations; it is hard to see why, since these structures were morgues with washing facilities and showers.

It might be pointed out that Pressac believes in the reality of the "socks of human hair" socks (p. 475); this document, USSR-511, the original of which no one has ever seen, bears a typewritten heading, a typewritten signature, and two German stamps. The human hair socks have never been found.

Pressac also apparently believes that cyanide gas travels horizontally, then vertically, like sewer water filling a basement (p. 473).

Now. What I want to know is, if the "mass gassing victims" in the "homicidal gas chambers" could see the gas approaching and attempt to escape from it by climbing on top of each other, was the gas lighter than air, or heavier? What colour was the gas, since they could see it? Purple? Pink? Red, White, and Blue? I have asked this question many times, but never gotten an answer.

See also:
KATYN: How the Soviets Manufactured 'War Crime' Documents (translation of USSR-54) by C.W.Porter
Commentary on Document L-180 ("Einsatzgruppen Report") by C.W. Porter
Graphic of Document BW/30/42
Graphics of "Vergasungskeller" Document

For another interesting KGB forgery, see:
(they forged an almost perfect letter from Lee Harvey Oswald, but misspelled his middle name! That, too, was a "photocopy" of a "microfilm".)