In the past, I have published three videos investigating claims made by Holocaust deniers that the Nazis did not systematically kill millions of people in their death camps. My first two videos on the subject focused on what I considered to be the strongest arguments made in the Holocaust-denying documentary Judea Declares War on Germany. One of these arguments centred around the formation of a blue pigment known as Prussian Blue. This compound can be formed from a reaction between hydrogen cyanide from Zyklon-B (trade name of a cyanide-based pesticide used by Nazi Germany in their gas chambers) and iron found in the bricks of the gas chamber walls. One important thing to note – and something that I mentioned in my original videos – is that the synthesis of Prussian Blue (and in fact any other iron-based cyanide compounds) is by no means a categorical sign of cyanide exposure. To form, they require specific conditions, including a very high concentration of cyanide and an assessable iron source. At the time of publication, I believed I’d well and truly crushed this cornerstone of the Holocaust denialism movement, but I was inundated with people who weren’t convinced by my arguments. I was soon challenged to refute the Leuchter Report, a pseudoscientific document authored by American execution technician Ferd A. Leuchter. This report was commissioned by Ernst Zündel to defend him at this trial for distributing Holocaust denial material.
The Leuchter report stated that it found no Prussian Blue in the homicidal gas chambers and therefore they couldn’t have been used to gas people. However, as discussed in my third video, Leuchter’s methods were flawed and his conclusions aren’t supported by the evidence. Normally, I would say that people like him design experiments to get the results they want, but I believe Leuchter was so incompetent that he unwittingly stacked the deck in his favour. For my third video I decided to go all out and contact the Auschwitz museum, convincing them to allow me to film at the camp; something which they very rarely allow. Not only did they allow me to film but they also agreed to give me access to places the general public are not normally allowed. This included a delousing room, where I was able to see the Prussian Blue staining for myself, and a room housing some very moving artefacts, including a gas chamber door. They did this because they saw the value in my videos and know that Holocaust denialism is still alive and well; not, as some have speculated online, because they paid me to.
Once again I believed I’d crushed the foundation of the Holocaust denialism movement and was surprised when I was recently contacted by a large number of people who were once again unconvinced by the evidence I presented. Upon questioning them I discovered that they were all listeners of the podcast TDS (formally The Daily Shoah) hosted on The Right Stuff website.
The Right Stuff is a Neo-Nazi and conspiracy theory media website that hosts a blog, a discussion forum, and various podcasts. It was founded by Mike Enoch, an American white nationalist who first drew media attention for his use of the ‘Sieg Heil’ salute at a conference organised by Richard Spencer to celebrate Donald Trump’s presidential election. Mike soon found himself moving up the alt-right ranks and would later garner media attention for his role in organised book burnings. Even the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, told his followers, “Hate him or hove him – Mike Enoch is someone to pay close attention to”.
However, in January 2017, his journey up the alt-right ladder was nearly halted when fellow neo-Nazis believed that Mike was “hurting white nationalism” by “watering it down” and released his private information. Unbeknown to the majority of his followers, Mike was using a pseudonym to hide his Serbian heritage, because the Nazi regime – and therefore presumably his audience – classified Serbs as subhuman. His real name is Michael Peinovich, which just goes to show that the perfect Nazi is as blonde as Hitler, as tall as Himmler, as slim as Goering and now as non-Untermensch as Mike. What’s more, the doxing revealed that his wife was Jewish and their wedding had featured traditional Jewish rites and chantings. At first, Enoch tried to insist that he wasn’t Peinovich, but soon confirmed his identity.
“Yes my wife is who they say she is. I won’t even bother denying it. … Don’t lie for me. Don’t try to defend me to those attacking me. Don’t jeopardize your own reputation by defending things that you don’t think you can. … I am just a guy that puts ideas out there on the internet. I want to save Europe, America and the white race. We are going to continue and not let this thing die.” -Mike Enoch
After Mike had been doxed, one New York resident took to printing out colour photographs of his face and pasting them to telephone poles next to his New York apartment: “Say Hi to Your New-Nazi Neighbour, Mike Peinovich”, the flyer read.
Mike would later take to his podcast to let his audience know that he was “in a bad spot” and that his “life was in wreckage”. He implied that he had lost his job as a software developer and at this time in his life his then wife had gone to stay with her mother in the Midwest. “I can’t believe all you fags still support this Jew fucker!”, one of his listeners wrote on a white-nationalist message board. Some held out for more information on how Jewish he was before passing judgement, while others simply demanded he divorced her. Surprisingly there were a few who remained loyal to the podcast and even donated to Mike in his time of need.
Despite this bump in the road, the TDS podcast is still going strong with a reported audience of 100,000 listeners. The show was first brought to my attention after several of these listeners contacted me to inform me that Mike, his co-host Jesse Dunstan (a man whose name I had to look up because he has all of the presence and charisma of a damp hedgehog) and their guest Alex McNabb (whose name I also had to look up due to his total lack of presence) had schooled me on chemistry on their show.
The three had taken issue with the videos I made on Holocaust denialism, believing that I was not simply misinformed, but that I was purposely lying to my audience over the events that took place. At the time they dedicated hour-long sections in three of their podcasts, where for the most part they just called me a liar over and over again without providing any evidence of my deception. I have to admit that at first, before listening to the show, I was nervous, believing that an up-and-coming Neo-Nazi like Mike would be well schooled on the subject of Holocaust denialism. However, it became apparent very early on that no one on the show had a firm grasp of the topic. They didn’t even do the basic research on me, which is why Mike at the end of the second show is both surprised and perturbed to discover that I am a chemist, ending with, “I’m not confident to talk about chemistry”, despite having talked about it for over two hours at this point. Mike did take the time to try and find out if I was Jewish, for some reason. Perhaps, like the 9/11 truthers before him, he is obsessed with my heritage and wanted a backdoor into me sending him dick pics. Who knows.
Being a former podcaster myself I know how easy it is to make mistakes when talking off the cuff, so I usually cut shows like TDS a bit of slack. However, their lack of knowledge is on another level, to the point where it’s embarrassing to watch. For example, they took issue with a quote I used from Josef Sackar, who was a member of one of the Sonderkommandos working in the gas chambers. He describes one of the procedures in place which explains why the gas chamber walls would be far less likely to contain significant amounts of cyanide-based compounds.
Jesse immediately jumps on the mic to say, “The odour of the odourless gas”, closely followed by Mike, who chimes in with, “Zyklon is an odourless gas” and “just so everyone gets that, Zyklon-B is an odourless gas. There is no odour of the gas”. Anyone who has watched a spy film knows that hydrogen cyanide (for those who can smell it) has a bitter almond odour; or more accurately, fruits that have a pit, such as apricots, apples, and bitter almonds, smell like hydrogen cyanide. This is because they contain small amounts of cyanohydrins, which slowly break down to release hydrogen cyanide, as I mentioned in the video Laetrile (B17) – The History of the Quack Cancer Cure That Will Give You Cyanide Poisoning. In all actuality Joseph probably wasn’t even referring to the smell of hydrogen cyanide in the quote. It’s more than likely that he was talking about the chemical irritants which for a time were added as a warning odorant to create ZyKlon-B. The irritants were designed so that one of them would be present sooner than the hydrogen cyanide and another would linger around later, much in the same way ethanethiol is added to gas.
Mike, Jesse and Alex all seem to take issue with the temperature at which hydrogen cyanide evaporates, implying that the gas chambers were too cold to allow a lethal concentration of the gas to accumulate within the allocated time. Ignoring for a second that the gas chambers would have been heated by the hundreds of people crammed into them, it’s not at all necessary to come anywhere near the boiling point of a liquid for it to evaporate readily. We all know this as there are not many places on the planet where the temperatures reach above 100°C, yet water evaporates off the pavement after it has rained. The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which its equilibrium vapor pressure is equal to the pressure of the atmosphere. Below the boiling point, the vapor pressure of a liquid can be quite large. For example, diethyl ether (which boils at a higher temperature than hydrogen cyanide) has an extremely high vapor pressure, even at very cold temperatures.
The boiling point of hydrogen cyanide is 25.6°C (significantly less than human body temperature). At room temperature (25°C) the equilibrium vapor pressure is 750 Torr (760 Torr equates to 1 atmosphere) corresponding to 987,000ppm. At 0°C it is 260 Torr corresponding to 342,000ppm. To put this into context, the Merck index warns, “Exposure to 150 ppm for 1/2 to 1 hr may endanger life. Death may result from a few min exposure to 300 ppm.”
Another of the denialists’ claims is that irrespective of temperature Zyklon-B off gasses take between 6 to 32 hours. Therefore, it will either not kill as fast as is claimed, or alternatively it will be too dangerous for the Nazi operators to enter the gas chambers. In reality, Zyklon-B canisters take about 30 minutes for the vast majority of hydrogen cyanide to dissipate. Gerhard Peters, the general director of Degesch, the company that sold Zyklon-B, wrote the following in the technical manual Prussic Acid in Pest Control:
“The development of the gas from the Zyklon sets in with great vehemence immediately following the pouring out of it. The thinner the layer of the disseminated support material the faster will be the development of the gas. Depending on the species of the pests to be controlled, and on the characteristic of the rooms to be gassed, one may choose to reach the maximum of the gas concentration to arise very quickly or more slowly by the thickness of the disseminated layer. Usually, the material will be disseminated in a layer of 1/2 to 1cm thickness, then the greatest part of the hydrogen cyanide will have developed already after half an hour at normal temperature.”
The 73-page technical manual, published in 1933, was to be used in the extermination of lice, ticks and other vermin. Its author could not have known that just eight years later, experiments would begin in the use of this extremely deadly poison on humans.
In 1941 two researchers from Degesch took it a step further and investigated Zyklon-B’s properties when used (to kill insects) in the cold of winter. They published their findings in the paper The Efficiency of Prussic Acid Fumigation at Low Temperatures and reported that even at temperatures as low as -10°C the gas had completely evolved after “one or at most two hours”. So if this is the case, where are revisionists getting the idea that even at room temperature it takes between 6 to 32 hours for the Zyklon-B’s canisters to completely finish off gasing? They are deceptively mixing release time with recommended exposure time to kill lice.
Lice and other insects have a far higher resistance to cyanide than humans and therefore the delousing facilities at the concentration camps were using a concentration of hydrogen cyanide up to 16,000ppm with an exposure time of up to 20 hours. This was well above the 300ppm and 15 minutes required to kill a human. For some reason Jesse seemed to find this fact particularly hilarious and for three episodes of TDS smugly chuckles to himself every time he hears me make this claim. He never provides any evidence to explain his scepticism; he simply sits there and chuckles. This is until Mike, who appears to have been fact checking my claims between episodes, corrects him in the third episode on the subject.
The claims that it would be too dangerous for the Nazi operators to enter the gas chambers, because they were unable to use Zyklon-B safely (despite using it at higher concentrations in their delousing facilities), or that it would take too long to ventilate the chambers, are idiotic. First of all, the gas chambers were operated by Sonderkommandos who occasionally wore gas masks. Secondly, the gas chambers were equipped with fans to remove hydrogen cyanide after it had been used to kill people, despite what our Neo-Nazi friends tell us. In the book The Machinery of Mass Murder at Auschwitz: The Design, Construction, Use, Modifications, and Destruction of the Crematoria and Gas Chambers of the Auchwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps, French chemist and former Holocaust denialist Jean-Claude Pressac describes how the gassing took place:
“Within five minutes, all the victims had succumbed. The aeration and deaeration system were then started up and, after 15 to 20 minutes, the atmosphere, which had been practically renewed every three to four minutes, was sufficiently pure so that members of the Sonderkommando could enter the stiflingly hot gas chamber. During this first gassing, the Sonderkommandos wore gas masks as a precaution. The bodies were untangled and dragged to the goods elevator. Hair was clipped, gold teeth pulled out, wedding rings and jewels removed.”
As I have said multiple times in both this blog post and my videos on the subject, the synthesis of Prussian Blue is by no means a categorical sign of cyanide exposure. To form, it requires specific conditions which Holocaust denialists have never proved existed in the homicidal gas chambers. Pointing to large amounts of Prussian Blue in the delousing chambers and saying that you can’t physically see any in the gas chambers proves nothing! The hosts of the TDS podcast repeatedly seem to think this is the smoking gun, even though trace amounts of the compound have been found in the former gas chambers.
In my third video I stated that hydrogen cyanide will only penetrate to a depth of around 10 micrometres; the large chunks of gas chamber wall which Leuchter collected will therefore dilute any Prussian Blue in the sample. All three denialists seemed to be outraged by this fact and point towards a picture of one of the delousing buildings at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The building in question has a relatively large amount of the blue compound on one of its external walls, which the deniers see as proof of hydrogen cyanide’s penetrating properties.
I don’t understand why Mike, Jesse, and Alex never stopped to think that if hydrogen cyanide can perpetrate brick and mortar, why it would choose to do so at this specific part. To me the explanation is rather simple once you step back and look at the patterns left. The stains give the appearance of having come through cracks in the mortar which is further backed up by broken sections showing that the Prussian Blue has not penetrated the solid to any great degree.
The TDS shows I listened to are peppered with examples of the hosts making things up on the spot. When they do this, they often make their claim with such confidence that I can imagine it goes under the radar of their average viewer, but not me. Most examples of them doing this aren’t very interesting, but there is one that I found particularly hilarious, so I felt I had to bring attention to it. In my third video I discussed my disapproval with how Leuchter collected samples from Auschwitz without permission and how devious of him it was to smuggle these samples out of Poland by hiding them in his dirty underwear. As evidence of him doing this, I showed a short clip of him being interviewed for the movie Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Frederic A. Leuchter, Jr, which the denialists paused just before he admitted what he had done. Without taking a break, MIke turns to the camera and says, “first of all that isn’t even true”, before his co-host presses play and the interview in which Leuchter admits how he smuggled out his samples. I don’t know why but I found this particularly hilarious.
Rather embarrassingly, in one of the TDS podcasts, the denialists take issue with the placement of Crematorium One’s chimney. Like Gerald Fredrick Töben before them, they believe that the Soviets were so incompetent in making the world believe this building had once been used to gas humans, that when rebuilding it in 1947, they forgot to attach it to the main building. While discussing how the chimney’s placement disproves the Holocaust, the trio are watching my third video, in which I explain that the chimney is not attached above ground. I go on to give evidence of its existence before it was once again retrofitted into an air raid shelter. My evidence included blueprints of Crematorium One dated September 25, 1941, to which Mike says, “I don’t trust that fucking blueprint”, followed by, “I do not trust that blueprint for one second.” He goes on to speculate that the blueprint is not an original without giving any evidence and ends with, “I have seen the actual blueprints they have in several of the books I have and that doesn’t look like any of them.” Apparently Mike didn’t pay attention while reading Germar Rudolf’s The Chemistry of Auschwitz – a book which he insisted I bought, because it uses identical blueprints.
The three soon move on, believing that they have thoroughly debunked my arguments. Their audience, however, were not so convinced, as they knew that Crematorium One was a fully functioning crematorium well before it was turned into a gas chamber and the placement of the chimney has nothing to do with any gassings that took place. They took to the comment section to correct the three and once again, to my surprise, Mike seems to be open to changing his mind when confronted with evidence. At the beginning of the next show, despite the pleas of his co-host, Mike admits that they were wrong about the placement of the chimney, but went on to say that I am still at fault because I purposely put it in my videos to trick Nazis.
One thing the Neo-Nazis pointed out, which I will admit, is that I shouldn’t have edited a clip of David Cole’s 1992 Auschwitz documentary in the way I did. In my third video I used it as evidence of a revisionist claim that the Auschwitz museum is trying to hide the reconstruction of Crematorium One and clipped it before David and his guide Alicia entered the building.
When inside, a non-native English speaker Alicia describes the holes in the ceiling as “original” even though they were made during the Soviet reconstruction. For some reason, the white nationalists believe this to be a gotcha moment and the perfect example of my deception. But is it? All I see is a woman who is trying her best as a non-native English speaker to answer David’s questions. What the trio won’t tell you is that at one point she gets so frustrated that she gets her supervisor involved, who has a better grasp of English, and tells David as a matter of fact that holes were added after the war. Still not happy, David talks to Dr. Piper, Auschwitz State museum Senior Curator, who also openly informs him of Crematorium One’s restoration:
“So after the liberation of the camp, the former gas chamber presented a view of [an] air [raid] shelter. In order to gain an earlier view… [or] earlier sight… of this object, the inside walls built in 1944 were removed and openings in the ceiling were made anew.”
“So now this gas chamber is very similar to this one which existed in 1941-1942, but not all details were made there, so there is no gas-tight door, for instance, and the additional entrance from east side rested [remained] as it made in 1944.” -Dr. Piper
In hindsight, I probably should have used the full clip, because far from showing the revisionists are correct, it shows how desperate they are to believe utter nonsense. If all it takes to prove to them that the Holocaust never happened is the broken English of one tour guide, then there’s no hope for these people. And how does this show that the Holocaust never happened exactly?
In this blog post I wanted to counter what I considered to be the strongest arguments Mike, Jesse, and Alex made that the Holocaust never happened and I believe I’ve done exactly that. Nothing they threw my way derailed me, nor was it taxing for me to counter. It just goes to show that these people aren’t looking for the truth; they’re looking for excuses to explain their bigotry, and saying the Holocaust didn’t happen gives them the perfect excuse.
The story doesn’t end there, as Alex apparently knows of a video which shows that “Myles Power doesn’t know a god damn thing about chemistry”. But more on that later…