March 21, 1991
THE FOLLOWING material is exclusive to The Times (if you notify me to-day) and you might like to use it either as a Reader's Letter or as the basis for further inquiries for a news story:-
You reported (Mar. 19) that French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has been fined for dismissing the Nazi gas-chambers as a "detail" of history. If similar laws are passed in Britain, an anomalous situation may arise, since it is plain that the gas-chambers of Auschwitz and Birkenau -- and no doubt elsewhere -- are open to historical question.
I have in my possession a copy, improperly obtained, of the Polish forensic laboratory report commissioned secretly in February last year by Franciszek Piper, the new non-Communist director of the Auschwitz museum and archives, following my publication of the Leuchter Report (an American team's clandestine laboratory analysis of the purported gas-chambers).
This new Polish investigation, which the Auschwitz museum authorities have yet to release, although it is dated September 24 last year, shows that while there are substantial concentrations (between 9 and 147 micrograms per 100g) of cyanide residues in ten samples taken from the walls of the rooms and chambers where cyanide gas was used for disinfecting the slave-labourers' clothing, there are none whatever in ten samples taken from rooms identified in countless war crimes trials as the lethal gas chambers also using this Zyklon B (hydrogen cyanide) gas, apart from a " vanishingly small" trace in one column in Birkenau, compatible with routine disinfectant operations. Forensic tests on human hair samples were also negative. The implications are obvious.
Needless to say, both I and members of the American investigating team were subjected to extraordinary intimidation following the Leuchter Report, and we have been delighted to see our findings vindicated by the Auschwitz officials' own secret investigation. It is for them to say why they have not yet released the report.
P.S.: If you wish, I have here available twenty very large scale aerial photographs of Auschwitz and Birkenau showing the buildings in question.