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Alan Heath, a British engineer, writes from Poland, Friday, December 29, 2000



Bad design of Auschwitz; come and see it with me

A LOT has been said recently about Auschwitz-Birkenau and in particular on the "gas chambers" and their bad design, as if this were proof that massive gassings could not have happened.

There can be no doubt that their shape is illogical and would have created bottlenecks at crucial points. It is clear that a better way of doing things would have been to have had a long building with rooms where people entered and undressed, entered alive through a front door were murdered and then their corpses were removed through a rear door for disposal.

Of course the Nazis did not have the benefit of hindsight.

There was no guide on how to build gas chambers and the Nazis in keeping the whole thing as secret as possible did not know what they were doing. The ironic thing is that the more primitive murder apparatus at the Reinhard camps worked in a more streamlined way, particularly in Sobibór.

National Socialism, like all socialist states, worked on the principal that the state knows best. In my professional capacity in central Europe I have seen such similar examples of nonsensical design

Examples of this are hotels built in Poland and Lithuania, where the swimming pool is right inside the main entrance - an icy blasty of air is just what you need after a swim, when someone walks in from outsdie where the temperature is minus 20 degrees C. Or a swimming pool located in a position where you have to walk through the restaurant to get to it.

Here in Poland it is very common to see things like windows overlooking the garbage bins or the car park, and not the sea or the lake.

The Nazis had no more of an idea on the architecture of how to murder people than communists did of how to get hard currency from foreigners.

In my opinion bad design proves nothing -- other than that the designers were bad. In fact it would have been far more suspect had everything worked more smoothly.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say that next month will be the 55th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp. For doubters this will be an excellent opportunity to meet some of the survivors who still turn up every year.

If anyone reading this wants to go then they may wish to accompany me. My telephone number is +48 602 790288. Remember, we are on central European time - do not ring me in the middle of the night.

Alan Heath

© Focal Point 2000 David Irving