Excerpt from the Leuchter Report on Dachau
The Leuchter Report on the Dachau gas chamber is printed here in order to show photos which illustrate and explain the terms used. Fred Leuchter, who does not have a degree in Engineering, has been discredited as a gas chamber expert and he no longer works as a gas chamber consultant.
(Click on the links below to see photographs of the features of the gas chamber referred to in the Leuchter Report. These photographs were NOT taken by Fred Leuchter and were NOT included in his report.)
It was constructed primarily as a replacement for the older and smaller two (2) retort crematory located nearby. The facility also housed a morgue, fumigation cubicles (delousing chambers), related work areas and a room identified by a sign over the door as a "Brausebad" (shower room). It is this shower room which has been alleged to be the gas chamber and which tourists today are informed was the "gas chamber."
The alleged gas chamber has an area of some 427 square feet and a volume of some 3,246.7 cubic feet. It originally was a shower room but appears to have been modified sometime after Dachau's capture by the Americans. The present ceiling is some 7.6 feet in height and contains some seventeen (17) pseudo-shower heads, fabricated out of what appears to be soldered sheet zinc. Additionally, it contains some eight (8) recessed lighting fixtures which are not explosion proof. It also contains two (2) alleged gas inlet ports (dumps) with internal grates measuring 15.75 inches x 27.25 inches which are welded open to the outside. This alleged gas chamber also contains a ventilation port clearly added after construction. The walls are of tile and the ceiling of concrete painted white. There are two (2) 20.5 inch x 26 inch floor drains connected to the other floor drains throughout the building and the camp. It has two (2) doors with provision for gasketing, as do many European doors.
It appears from construction that the alleged gas chamber was originally a shower room, as found in all the other investigated camps. The pseudo-shower heads are fabricated from sheet metal of a cylinder and a cone with a sprinkler type head as found on a garden type watering can. The end is sealed and not threaded. They are not connected, nor are they capable of being connected to any piping system. They are designed to appear as functional shower heads when observed from below. The ceiling with the phoney shower heads seems to have been added at a time later than original construction, apparently after capture of the camp. The ceiling is fabricated of poured concrete, cast around the pseudo shower heads. It is typical suspended-slab concrete construction. Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, of the United States, includes an investigation of Dachau.
In this document, the gas chamber is described as having a 10 foot ceiling containing brass fixtures for introducing gas into the chamber. The present ceiling, as noted, is only 7.6 feet high and has none of the gas inlet fixtures described in Document No. 47.
Directly over the shower room are the steam and heating pipes, which is consistent with good and standard design for supplying hot water to the shower area. These pipes cannot be seen in the shower room today. Their existence, however, can be confirmed by observing the pipes entering into the shower room area from an off-limits corridor behind the shower room and visible only from a rear window of the building. It is an inept and extremely dangerous design to put hot, high pressure steam pipes over a chamber containing potentially explosive gas. At one end of the chamber the ventilation port was clearly added. The ports alleged to have been "Zyklon B" introduction ports, not different from apartment incinerator garbage shutes, were obviously added after the original tiling. Both these modifications are clearly discernible from the uneven replacement of the interior tiles and the exterior brick. At one end of the room there are two (2) recessed electrical boxes with grates something which should not be in a room containing potentially explosive gas. There is no means for sealing the room to prevent gas leakage and there is no system for exhausting the gas after use or any suitable vent stack (40 foot minimum is standard). The doors are not gas proof, or even water proof. They are only water resistant. There is no system for evaporating (heating) or distributing a gas into or within the chamber. The use of the improperly designed "Zyklon B" introduction port would prevent proper evaporation of the gas from the "Zyklon B" pellets because of insufficient surface area exposure. Most, if not all, of the "Zyklon B" pellets would remain in the dumping mechanism due to insufficient angular motion of the gas pellet dump.
On a sign posted within the alleged gas chamber, Dachau Museum officials state: "GAS CHAMBER - disguised as a 'shower room' - never used as a gas chamber". An examination of the alleged gas chamber clearly shows, however, that this facility was constructed as a shower room, used only for this purpose. The modifications to the room which include the addition of the ceiling, pseudo shower heads, air intake and gas inlet ports were made at a time much later than the original construction of "Baracke X" and the shower room, and for reasons and by persons unknown to this author. No samples were taken at this location due to excessively heavy tourist traffic inside the alleged gas chamber.
For the record, this alleged gas chamber would have held only forty-seven (47) persons utilizing the nine (9) square foot inclusion rule as accepted by standard engineering practice for air handling systems. Without an exhaust system or windows, it would require at least one week to vent by convection. This estimate is based on American gas chambers requiring twenty (20) minutes to vent with two complete air changes per minute, and a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours to vent a fumigated building with an abundance of windows.
An inspection of the four (4) new crematory retorts at "Baracke X" revealed that, although fired, none of these ever experienced much use, if any. These retorts were coal fired.
After an in depth investigation of the alleged gas chamber at "Baracke X", Dachau, this investigator, in his best engineering opinion, categorically states that this installation could not have ever been utilized as an execution gas chamber. It was in fact a shower room (Brausebad) as originally labeled by the Germans.
Prepared this 15th day of June, 1989 at Malden, Massachusetts.
Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc.
Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
This page was last updated on July 9, 2009