Recently I published a video which defended my work debunking Holocaust denialism, after it drew criticism from white nationalists online. Mike Enoch, Jesse Dunstan, and Alex McNabb of the TDS (formally The Daily Shoah) podcast took issue with my videos on the subject, stating that I wasn’t simply misinformed, but that I was purposely lying to my audience over the events that took place. The trio 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 responded by countering what I considered to be the strongest arguments they made that the Holocaust never happened, whilst simultaneously defending my original work.
Rather than counter the arguments I made in this latest video with a well-thought-out, logical, and referenced response, the trio threatened to sue me.
For months, Mike, Jesse and Alex told their audience with some conviction that I was too much of a coward to ever listen to their show, let alone respond. Yet behind the scenes they chose to ignore me when I reached out and expressed interest in their various challenges to refute revisionist media. I stated that my only stipulation was that I refuse to fund Holocaust denialism and therefore wanted them to pay for a physical copy of Germar Rudolf’s The Chemistry of Auschwitz, a book which Mike demanded I read. I also requested copies of their video podcasts which are usually hidden behind a paywall. Eventually I grew tired of being ignored and bought myself a copy of the book so I could begin my research. Soon after I published a blog post on the subject, which finally drew their attention. However, in their eyes, I was still a coward because I hadn’t yet produced a video. At this point you could tell by their lacklustre response that they were worried they had bitten off more than they could chew. They believed that they had stumbled upon a random YouTuber, with no understanding of chemistry, who could easily be intimidated. Little did they know who they were dealing with. A few weeks later and I published my video response, which is when the trio dabbled with the idea of suing me. To me, this initial response is very revealing, as it shows that they are not who they wish to portray themselves as (highbrow, free-thinking intellectuals who only want to defeat Europe and the white race), but petulant, impotent edgelords, who care more about shutting people up than the actual truth.
Before I move onto the crux of this blog post, I would like to offer the podcasters a little advice. If in the future you are thinking of suing someone for obtaining copies of your videos hidden behind a paywall, don’t tell your audience to send that person the videos and don’t upload them to bit-chute.
In my previous blog post on the subject I mentioned that Alex has found a video which shows that “Myles Power doesn’t know a god damn thing about chemistry”. The video in question is called ‘A Response to Myles Power on the Leuchter Report’, which was original uploaded to YouTube in May of last year, but was taken down for apparently “violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech”. In this blog post I am going to point out some of the more egregious inaccuracies in the video, as well as delve into the basic GCSE Chemistry mistakes made by the creator Efrain and the back and forth I had with him via email last year.
One of the main issues Efrain had with my critique of the Leuchter report was that it was about the Leuchter report. You see, for years, revisionists have been moving the goal posts and it seem as if nothing I produce will ever be good enough for them. My original content on the subject focused around a revisionist documentary starring Gerald Fredrick Töben, which I happened to stumble upon. After I published my critique, I was told that I was debunking outdated arguments and that if I really cared about exposing Holocaust denialism, I had to read and review the Leuchter report. Now that I have successfully and repeatedly shown the report to be pure nonsense, I am being challenged once again by the likes of Efrain, as well as the white nationalist trio, to expose the work of fellow revisionist Germar Rudolf. My only issue here is that despite what they say about Leuchter and Töben’s arguments being outdated, all four still use them. For example, when Efrain believes that, at least for a time, the Auschwitz State Museum was trying to hide the reconstruction of Crematorium One to its guests. As evidence, Efrain references the Leuchter report, which stated that the official guidebook says Crematorium One remains as they found it in 1945.
“It should be noted that the official Auschwitz State Museum guidebook says that the building physically remains in the same condition as it was on liberation day on January 27, 1945.”- Leuchter
This one claim took up a total of 16 seconds in a 50-minute long video, yet took me over four to five hours to disprove. It was quite difficult to do, as the Leuchter report doesn’t reference a guidebook, nor does it give a direct quote. However, an annotated version of the Leuchter report says evidence of this deception can be found in the David Cole interview of Dr. Piper (Auschwitz State museum Senior Curator) and in the ‘Journal’ of Historical Review; a non-peer reviewed pseudo-academic periodical.
“This obvious lie was confirmed during a taped interview by the museum’s director Franciszek Piper, see “David Cole Interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper, Director, Auschwitz State Museum,” VHS video (online with links to the video: www.vho.org/GB/c/DC/gcgvcole.html); also in Journal of Historical Review 13(2) (1993), pp. 11-13.” – Germar Rudolf
I sat down and watched the entirety of the 1992 David Cole documentary for a second time and there is no mention of a guidebook stating that Crematorium One remains as they found it in 1945; nor is there any mention of it in this ‘Journal’. Cole does mention a guidebook entitled ‘Auschwitz 1940-1945: Guide-Book Through the Museum’, which erroneously states that four million people were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It’s true that Soviets initially overestimated the number of victims and that the Polish communist regime adhered to this number long after it was known to be true. However, most historians – with a few notable exceptions – did not take this number seriously. I took it upon myself to track down this book, but unfortunately, I was unable to find a PDF online. I was, however, able to find a physical copy for sale on eBay. A week later, the book arrives and I immediately read all 114 pages to discover that there is no mention of the condition of Crematorium One at the end of the war! Leuchter might have been mistaken with regards to the crematorium, but Germar Rudolf is blatantly lying and banking on people not having the time to fact check his claims; something which he is well documented in doing (but more on that in a future blog post).
As I’ve said multiple times in the past, Crematorium One’s restoration has never been a secret, but if that was the case, why was British historian David Irving fined for saying so? According to Efrain’s video, Irving was fined 10,000 Deutsche Marks (DM) in 1992 for telling the German people that the gas chamber at Auschwitz – shown to hundreds of thousands of tourists annually – was a phony, post-war reconstruction.
Irving drew media attention in the 1970s when he began to claim that Hitler had neither ordered the extermination of millions of people, nor did he know about the Holocaust. In 1988, after reading the Leuchter report, he went further and began promoting the idea that no one was gassed at Auschwitz. In January 1990, Irving gave a speech in Moers, Germany, where he asserted that only 30,000 people died at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945, and all of them from natural causes. He went on to state that there were never any gas chambers and that Crematorium One was a “mock-up built by the Poles”. Three months later, Irving repeated the same speech in Munich, which led to his conviction for Holocaust denial.
Originally, the court fined Irving DM7,000, but increased the fine to DM10,000 at his appeal, after he repeated the same remarks in the courtroom. In a later appeal, he called the Auschwitz death camp a “tourist attraction”, whose origins went back to an “ingenious plan”, devised by the British Psychological Warfare Executive in 1942, to spread anti-German propaganda; that it was “the policy of the German state to be using gas chambers to kill million sof Jews and other undesirables”. During the same speech Irving called the judge a “senile, alcoholic cretin”.
Irving was not fined for simply calling Crematorium One a reconstruction; he was fined for spouting Holocaust denialist nonsense that it was fake and that no one was gassed at Auschwitz in a country where it is illegal to do so. Personally, I do not agree that governments should get involved in such matters; I believe such claims are best countered head on, but that doesn’t change the fact that what he did was illegal in that country.
Later in 1996, his reputation as a historian was irrevocably damaged, when in the course of an unsuccessful libel case, he was shown to have deliberately misrepresented historical evidence to promote Holocaust denial.
The main arguments Efrain makes in his video centre around the investigations by the Polish government and the Institute for Forensic Research (IFRC) performed post-Leuchter report.
In 1994 the IFRC designed an experiment to detect cyanide in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, but to exclude iron-based compounds like Prussian Blue. Their reasoning for doing so was that the pigment is commonly used in paint and they could not rule out the potential contamination. They also believed that due to Prussian Blue’s insolubility, coupled with the fact that the conditions in the homicidal gas chambers were not conducive to its synthesis, that its detection would not give an accurate result for total cyanide exposure. After reading this, Efrain concluded that those who conducted the investigation are of the opinion that all the blue staining found on the delousing chamber walls is a result of Nazis haphazardly painting the walls with a Prussian Blue paint:
“I mean this guy is literally saying the reason why we see some random blotches of Prussian Blue is because of paint. He is saying that the Nazis took time just to paint the delousing chambers in a random haphazard fashion with Prussian Blue for no good reason. I mean it just doesn’t make sense whatsoever.” – Efrain
He even goes as far as to include a picture of the blue staining in a delousing chamber in his video, with the text “I love Nazi art”, “Look at this beautiful Nazi art” and “Because the Nazis got bored one day”.
Soon after publishing his video, Efrain reached out to me for my response. I took this opportunity to correct his more egregious mistakes and told him that he needed to sit down with someone who had a basic knowledge of chemistry (or a general scientific background) to go through the IFRC reports because, quite frankly, he was not getting the basics. I tried to explain to him that Prussian Blue is a commonly used pigment and why the IFRC designed an experiment which excluded the iron-blues in their investigation. I went on to say that there was nothing unusual here, other than his implication that the Nazis purposefully painted the walls to hide their crimes, to which he responded:
“I hope you realize you’re taking a new position that no one has taken before. Not only are you saying that you understand and you even demonstrated and explained for us so graciously in your original video about how Prussian blue forms, you are ALSO saying that the Nazis one day just got bored and said “Hey Hans how about we go and splatter Prussian blue dye all over these delousing chambers, on top of the blue dye that is already there”. It just makes no sense why the Nazis would have painted the delousing chambers with prussian blue including the outsides as well. There is no base for this whatsoever besides someone not understanding how HCN works and deducing that the only way for Prussian blue to occur is if someone made it and then applied to in a very awkward, haphazard manner. Also, I didn’t imply the Nazis painted the walls to hide their crime, I had sarcastic captions.” – Efrain
I think my point was missed on him and I am not exactly sure how to respond to this.
In what Efrain believes is a perfect gotcha moment, he quotes the IFRC report which states that they never tested for the iron-blues – which include Prussian Blue – in their investigation. This is in direct contradiction to what I stated in my video criticising the Leuchter report, when I said that Prussian Blue had been detected by the IFRC in the homicidal gas chambers, or at least it would be if Efrain finished the sentence he was quoting. The report clearly mentions previous work in which Prussian Blue was detected.
When it comes to what the IFRC actually looked for, Efrain gets his wires crossed; he stated that they only tested for water soluble potassium cyanide. He quotes the “paper”, An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz “Gas Chambers”, which was published in 1990 in the Journal of Historical Review. The paper documents a proto-investigation designed by the IFRC to detect cyanide based residue at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The initial method described by the revisionists in their journal was poor and incapable of detecting cyanide in some of the places where Zyklon B disinfection was known to have taken place. Their method involved using sulphuric acid to digest samples taken from Auschwitz to release the bound hydrogen cyanide. They then reacted the resulting vapours with sodium hydroxide to produce the sodium cyanide salt, before using the pyridine-pyrazolone method to generate a blue colour which they measured with a spectrophotometer. They then calibrated their results against a known concentration of potassium cyanide. At no point did they exclusively test for potassium cyanide, nor was their method capable of doing so! I realise to a non-chemist it might sound like I’m nit-picking here, but to me, it shows a complete lack of understanding of what was actually going on and what was trying to be achieved.
“So in their 1990 report they openly admit that they were looking for non-metal based cyanides is not the best method because they are not testing for solid stable chemicals that last a long time but rather they are testing for chemicals that can be easily washed away.” – Efrain
Last time I checked, potassium was a metal and their method – although crude – was capable of extracting cyanide from water insoluble iron-based compounds.
During our emails back and forth, I attempted to explain how the IFRC’s method of cyanide extraction worked and how it was capable of detecting more than just sodium cyanide. You see, at the time, I believed that he got his group one metals mixed up when he said that they only tested for potassium cyanide, as sodium cyanide was generated in their investigation.
“You seem to be under the impression that the report I quoted, which proved definitively that hydrogen cyanide residue was found in the gas chambers, only tested for sodium cyanide. This is not the case – they extracted cyanide from the samples using an acid, and then used sodium hydroxide (lye solution) to make the cyanide sodium salts, which they then tested for.” – Myles Power
To which Efrain responded:
“There’s seems to be a little wording issue here, so I’ll clear it up. They didn’t directly test for potassium cyanide in the 1994 report. They, as you rightly say, “extracted cyanide from the samples using an acid, and then used sodium hydroxide (lye solution) to make the cyanide sodium salts, which they then tested for.” But you seem to have forgotten a word. They didn’t just extract ‘cyanide’, in the words of the 94 report itself (emphasis my own) “we generated hydrogen cyanide by reacting POTASSIUM cyanide and sulfuric acid.” So they did not test directly for potassium cyanide, but rather used potassium as their main agent for testing for cyanide traces, and my critiques of this still apply.” – Efrain
Don’t worry if you are a little confused after reading Efrain’s response, because so was I. He appears to have completely misunderstood a previous investigation in which the IFRC generated hydrogen cyanide from potassium cyanide, to study the effects the gas would have on bricks and mortar. I am not sure how he could read the line, “we generated hydrogen cyanide by reacting potassium cyanide and sulfuric acid” and come to the conclusion that potassium is their “main agent for testing for cyanide traces”.
Just to reiterate, this was the video which white nationalist Alex McNabb believes shows that “Myles Power doesn’t know a god damn thing about chemistry”. A video whose creator doesn’t understand basic acid-base chemistry and whose sheer hubris allowed him to reupload it months later without any corrections. Such arrogance can only arise from unknowingly finding oneself in an echo chamber, where on all sides you are told that your 10 minutes of Googling the things you want to find is equivalent to my 17 years of being a chemist.
At this point I was reminded of the bullshit asymmetry principle (also known as Brandolini’s law), which states that the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it. This is why I have only been concentrating on what I consider to be the strongest arguments; otherwise I would be here forever. So far nothing put my way has been particularly challenging but that all might change next time when I critique Germar Rudolf’s The Chemistry of Auschwitz. But more on that later…