The Holocaust Historiography Project

Auschwitz Notebook

More impossibilities of the 'Gerstein Statement'

Ditlieb Felderer

The so-called “Gerstein Statement” continues to be the main evidence for the “Holocaust.” The book Holocaust (New York, 1978) written by Gerald Green- on which the TV series of the same name was based-used the “Gerstein Statement” indirectly. The statement was also featured in evidence at both the Nuremberg Trials and the Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann. Two different versions were used, which are reproduced in Paul Rassinier’s Debunking the Genocide Myth (142: pp. 410-423). The Nuremberg version is also reproduced in Professor Butz’s book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (109: pp. 251-258). Both these excellent authors deal with the mystery surrounding the identity and death of Kurt Gerstein, and the discrepancies between the various statements attributed to him. But here, let us instead concentrate our attention on some of the contents.

Amongst other things, Gerstein states that a train with 45 cars which had arrived at Belzec contained “6,700 persons; 1,450 of whom were already dead on their arrival.”

If so, each car must have held 148.9 persons on average (6,700 / 45); for simplicity’s sake let us say 150. As these 6,700 persons were prisoners, the number of guards and staff accompanying the train should be added, which would decrease the area per person even further; so much so, in fact, that one wonders if cramming people together like this would not be sufficient to kill all of them, thus saving the Germans the trouble of shipping them to the “ death camps.”

Is it in fact possible to squeeze over 150 people into one railroad car? We should not forget that the prisoners often carried big bundles with them, and we are told that on occasions even furniture went along (compare 142: pp. 200-2 and pp. 360-6). In Encyclopedia Judaica under the heading “Belzec” a picture is presented which purports to show “Jews in Zaniosc waiting for deportation to the Belzec extermination camp” (1, Vol. 4; p. 454). Observe here the bundles of belongings the Jews carry with them. At Treblinka, Gerstein claims there were mountains of clothes and underwear up to 40 meters high (see my analysis in Journal Of Historical Review, Spring 1980). A lot of wagons would have been needed just to transport all these belongings.

Gerstein is very confused. At first he claims that the Belzec “gas chambers” numbered “three garage-like rooms on each side, 4 × 5 meters large and 1.90 meters high.” That would make a total of 6 “gas chambers” each having an area of 20 square meters. Further on he suggests that there were only 4 “gas chambers” at Belzec and that the area of each chamber was “25 square meters” or “45 cubic meters.” Gerstein’s mathematical skill reaches its usual low grade, for it is obvious that if the chambers measured 4 × 5 meters, the area would not be 25 square meters, but 20. And the cubic capacity would have been 38 cubicmeters, not 45. Evenif thearea was “25 square meters” it still does not work out at “45 cubic meters” in capacity, but 47.5 (25 × 1.90).

What is even more amazing however, is the number of people who supposedly went into each chamber to be exterminated. A total of 700 to 800 people are supposed to have been placed in each chamber. The following table will illustrate what this literally means, using the wide range of figures for dimensions, which Gerstein uses throughout his “statement.” From this table, we can truly agree with Gerstein that the people were literally “crushed together” which in reality should have made the gassing by Diesel fumes entirely unnecessary. (See table below).

Number of people per chamber Size of chamber in m2 cm2 per person Space per person in cm Persons per sq. meter if formed into a square
750 20 266.7 16.33 × 16.33 37.5
750 25 333.3 18.26 × 18.26 30
800 20 250 15.81 × 15.81 40
800 25 312.5 17.68 × 17.68 31.9

As can be seen from this table, the number of persons allotted to one square meter ranges from 30 to 40 people; that is, if we could mold each person into a square, allowing no space in between. From a practical viewpoint, it would be quite a job to get even six standing grown-ups into one square meter. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the room was only 1.90 meters (6′3″) high. Any tall person, especially any still wearing shoes, would have to stoop. Even though six people would be the limit in these circumstances, Gerstein’s know-how managed to cram in up to 40 people per square meter. He does admit that it was rather crowded in the chamber, but this remark is certainly a real exercise in understatement! And these calculations are all figured on the basis of people being a regular shape, and with no allowance for space in between!

Another curious observation we make with the “Gerstein Statement” is his mentioning how he could observe the victims dying and know when they had died. He writes: “Many of the people, it is true, are dead at that point. One can see this through the little window when the electric lamp reveals, for a moment, the inside of the chamber.”

One wonders how it was that anything at all was visible through the “little window” considering so many people were crammed in there? All that would be visible would be somebody’s back or chest squashed up against the window. The point about the electric light is so absurd that it makes the whole thing a complete nonsense.

Gerstein writes that “like stone statues, the dead are still standing, there having been no room to fall or bend over.” Obviously if any person was taller than 1.90m (6'3") he would have had to bend over or stoop in order to get in! it would indeed be curious to know how Gerstein (with a stop-watch in hand, take note) could have possibly known whether or not the victims were dead, seeing as he is telling us they were all still standing! There is no way that a central light could have been seen from the window, or anything at all except the skin of the person nearest the door!

Let us finally return to the 5,250 people who survived the train ride from Lvov (6,700 less 1,450 = 5,250). We note that Gerstein claims only (!) 750 people were put into each chamber; despite the fact that they could hold up to 800, according to his previous assertions. That would mean that 3,000 people (750 × 4) were put into each of the four chambers. But what then happened to the rest; some 2,250 people? If it was possible to crush 750 people into one chamber, then why not 1,313 people into each chamber (5,250-4 = 1,312.5)? If Gerstein is going to allege that the chamber was crammed with 40 people per square meter, then 75-odd people per square meter should not present too much of a problem to such a magician, should it?

In spite of all the absurdities, impossibilities, erroneous and contradictory figures, the “Gerstein Statement” continues to maintain its supremacy in Exterminationist lore. Perhaps this is just as well, from a cynical Revisionist viewpoint, for few things could better illustrate the mythical nature of the “Holocaust” than this very item.


The numbers used refer to the author’s Revisionist Bibliography of almost 200 Revisionist and Exterminationist titles, which is available direct from the author. Those titles mentioned in this text axe as follows:

1 Encyclopedia Judaica, Jerusalem, 16 volumes, 1971/2.

109 Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, IHR, 1979.

142 Paul Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, IFIR, 1979.