The Holocaust Historiography Project

About the Leuchter Special Issue

by Mark Weber

In 1988, when Fred Leuchter carried out the first forensic examination of the alleged wartime extermination gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, and then testified on his findings in a Toronto court, the American execution hardware specialist did not realize that by doing so he was condemning himself to years of insults, threats and severe financial hardship.

For the crime of daring to question the Holocaust idol, the powerful international Holocaust lobby resolved to punish this dangerous heretic. Charging that he is a pretentious and incompetent fraud, and that his 1988 forensic report is a mendacious affront to truth, his hateful adversaries have sought to discredit Leuchter and destroy his livelihood.

Sadly, this malicious campaign has been effective. For the time being, anyway, they have destroyed Fred Leuchter’s ability to make a living at his chosen career.

In this Leuchter “theme” issue of the Journal, we respond to this campaign with a detailed defense of Leuchter’s character, and of his history-making forensic report.

We begin this special issue with the publication — for the first time in English — of a report by a leading Austrian engineer that authoritatively discredits a central pillar of the Holocaust extermination story. Citing critical technical and organizational data, and the inviolable laws of nature, Vienna engineer Walter Lüftl persuasively establishes that the familiar stories of mass killings of Jews in gas chambers cannot have taken place as described. The 'Lüftl Report' also provides expert confirmation of the essential validity of Leuchter’s findings.

Next, in an essay entitled Fred Leuchter: Courageous Defender of Historical Truth we provide a summary overview of the entire case, including the little-known but impressive record of Leuchter’s expertise.

Then, in an essay presented at the recent Eleventh IHR Conference, Leuchter himself reports on developments during the last two years in the still-continuing campaign against him.

Since it was first published in 1988, many tens of thousands of copies of the Leuchter Report have been distributed in numerous countries and all major languages. Predictably, several efforts to refute the Report’s specific points and arguments have also been published. Probably the most serious has been the critique of French pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac, which appeared in Truth Prevails, a book published in 1990 jointly by the Paris-based Klarsfeld Foundation and the US-based “Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice.”

In our next article, Paul Grubach carefully marshals fact after well-established fact in a devastating point-by-point refutation of Pressac’s critique of Leuchter and his findings.

Next we present, for the first time in English, an official statement on “The So-Called Leuchter Report” issued by Germany’s prestigious Institute of Contemporary History, the Munich archive and research center that is a main bastion of the official German version of twentieth-century history. In an introductory commentary, we report on the impact of the Leuchter Report in Germany, where the Holocaust story plays a particularly important role in cultural and political life. Following the text, we point out specific errors of fact and lapses in logic in the Munich Institute’s statement.

Next, we take a close and critical look at Truth Prevails, the book-length attack against Leuchter mentioned above …