One of the bigger denier asshats is a guy named Friedrich Paul Berg. He’s written a few lengthy pieces stuffed with hard-to-read prose. I think he’s trying to sound smart.

But he’s got some problems with math. And science. And stuff.

What Happened At Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor

At these three death camps, victims were killed with carbon monoxide. The Nazis used diesel engines, pumping exhaust into the gas chambers, killing the occupants.

What the Deniers Say

Guys like Friedrich say that diesel engines are too clean-burning and wouldn’t have produced the volume of carbon monoxide to kill people in a gas chamber.

Note how often I say “guys”. I can’t find may women deniers. Hats off to your entire gender, ladies.

Math and Science and Common Sense

I say hogwash. Epic hogwash. Hogwash on a Joseph Goebbels scale. Which makes sense, since Holocaust deniers appear to be the 21st-Century equivalent of big-lie Nazis.

Here’s the math, a little science, and some common sense:

The upper limit for people packed into a space, if you’re trying to be safe, is about 5 people/square meter Static Crowd Density, Dr. G. Keith Still. That, by the way, would send me into a spiral of anxiety and probably make me pass out on the spot.

That’s if you’re trying to be safe. The Nazis were trying to be unsafe. So they packed people into the chambers. Each chamber was 2100 cubic feet. Your average, somewhat-overfed 21st Century American occupies 3.5 cubic feet. Half-starved European Jews were quite a bit smaller. I’ll be very charitable and say the Nazis only fit 500 people into a single chamber (they could have fit 650, minimum, and accounts say 700+).

This is one of those times when I may sound dispassionate. I’m not.

The gas chambers, as near as my research could find, killed occupants in about 30 minutes. That’s 2% of one day. A normal person needs 19 cubic feet of oxygen per day. .02 X 19 = .4 cubic feet to survive 30 minutes and remain conscious. So each person in the chamber needed .4 cubic feet of pure oxygen, the rest of the air being the other ingredients of our atmosphere. Total, the people in the chamber needed .4 cubic feet of oxygen X 500 people, or a total of 200 cubic feet of oxygen.

Assuming 500 people in that little space, they occupied 500 X 3.5 cubic feet/person, or 1750 cubic feet. That left them 250 cubic feet of air. 20% of that would be oxygen, or 50 cubic feet of oxygen. Total.

To review: To survive and remain conscious for 30 minutes, the victims needed 200 cubic feet of oxygen. They had 50 cubic feet of oxygen.

Ignore elevated respiration because you are surrounded by the worst human beings the 20th Century could produce. Pump in even a little carbon monoxide, never mind other fumes, and you have a lethal mix.

Also, I kind of doubt the Nazis used perfectly-tuned diesels. They were a creative bunch of completely evil human beings. So they undoubtedly tuned the diesels to produce the most noxious-possible exhaust.

The lesson here: Stupid math doesn’t make you right. The Holocaust was real. Suggesting otherwise requires stupid math.