“Gates of Hell”: Auschwitz in the Popular Media

“Since the media machine will certainly use this 75th anniversary to further advance its propaganda, we may as well use it to further analyze the media itself.”

The most commonly used image to represent The Holocaust is this view of the main gate into the Birkenau camp, shown here with dramatized photographic effects to convey a sense of impending danger. But, in fact, this gate is similar in design to that of most German labor/internment camps that are not classified as “death camps.”

by Thomas Dalton, PhD

In the 75 years since Auschwitz labor camp was captured by the advancing Soviet Army, we have seen the growth of a monstrous propaganda machine focused on this one, small location in the vast global theater of WW2. Imagine: some 60 million people killed all around the world, across hundreds of thousands of square kilometers and in dozens of nations, and yet today, in films and television, on radio and the Internet, popular media gives a hugely disproportionate amount of war coverage to one small location, a mere pinpoint on the map, in southeast Poland—the alleged site of the murder of one million Jews. Since the media machine will certainly use this 75th anniversary to further advance its propaganda, we may as well use it to further analyze the media itself. The on-going system of obfuscation and brainwashing about the Holocaust is endlessly instructive.

The ordinariness of the Birkenau entrance in reality, with a weak gate below a short tower with windows for guards to watch who is coming and going. No heavy steel doors or anything sinister … it’s all in how it’s presented.

But let’s first recall the early days of the Auschwitz myth. Reports about a German camp at Oswiecim (the Polish name for Auschwitz) first appeared in the New York Times as early as 30 March 1941. In November 1942, the NYT was reporting on “gas chambers in which thousands of Jews have been put to death” there. In August 1943 we read of the “Oswiecim camp, where 58,000 persons are believed to have perished.” June 1944 saw the first reference to Birkenau and to “gas chambers” there, where “800,000 persons had been killed or allowed to die.” The first explicit reference to Auschwitz came on 3 July 1944, where “more than 1,715,000 Jewish refugees were put to death.” Several other stories followed in quick succession. Thus by the end of 1944, the groundwork for the Auschwitz myth had been fully laid.

Into 1945, even more outrageous claims emerged after the camp was “liberated” on 27 January. In February, a Jewish newspaper, the Palestine Post, reported that “truckloads of children were burnt alive by the Germans at Auschwitz concentration camp.” On 3 April, the NYT reported on 35 Jewesses from Auschwitz who claimed that “women…too weak to work were taken to a gas chamber and asphyxiated.” Then the astonishing headline of 12 April: “5,000,000 reported slain at Oswiecim.” And in just 10 months!1 This ridiculous claim came from the Jew Bela Fabian, president of the former “Hungarian Independent Democratic Party.” In the AP’s version of the same story, it was added that “Dr. Fabian told a story so horrible as to be almost unbelievable”—indeed! Nonetheless, claims of 4 million killed at Auschwitz appeared in the Nuremberg Trials, and this figure henceforth became the official statistic, surviving all the way until 1990, when it was unceremoniously dropped to around 1 million. Today, the new “official” story is that around 1.1 million people were killed there, of whom about 1 million were Jews. And of these Jews, around 900,000 allegedly died in one of the Zyklon gas chambers.

Those who study Holocaust revisionism know that there are many holes in the conventional story. I recount these in detail in my book Debating the Holocaust, but in brief, these are some of the many issues:

  • The “gas chamber” in the Auschwitz main camp was massively reconstructed after the war, in order to fit public expectations of a homicidal facility. In fact, it was never more than a standard crematorium and, later, an air raid shelter.
  • Despite all the public attention today on the main camp, 98% of all alleged Jewish deaths occurred at Birkenau camp (located a few miles from the main camp). But 98% of all tourists see only the main camp, where the story is much easier to control.
  • Nearly 250,000 Jews are claimed to have been gassed at two Birkenau farm houses, or “bunkers,” despite the fact that these buildings had no logical way of introducing the Zyklon pellets, nor did they have exhaust fans to clear the rooms after gassing. Oddly, we have virtually no tangible evidence of these structures today; only the outline of the foundations remains.
  • Details of the gassing scheme rely on highly dubious testimony from just a handful of Jewish ex-inmates, and from three captive Germans (Rudolf Hoess, Johann Kremer, and Pery Broad). The Jews had every reason to lie or exaggerate, and the Germans were likely tortured or threatened into saying almost anything their captors wanted.
  • The most common gassing scheme—Zyklon pellets dumped on top of Jews trapped in ‘gas chamber’ rooms—is ridiculous, because it could not have killed all the people in a timely manner. It furthermore would have been nearly impossible to clean up, with the deadly pellets emitting gas for hours. How could anyone get in there to get the bodies out, without themselves dying?
  • The ruins of Crematorium #2 today have no obvious candidates for ceiling holes by which the Germans could have dumped in the Zyklon.
  • Samples of “gas chamber” walls taken by Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf were chemically analyzed, showing little or no exposure to Zyklon gas.
  • After the alleged gassings, the crematoria were utterly incapable of burning the bodies at the rate needed. The four Birkenau crematoria could have burned a maximum of around 1,100 daily, and yet the “gas chambers” were allegedly killing, at their peak, 200,000 per month, or some 6,600 per day.
  • The so-called “Hungarian Operation,” which supposedly gassed the Jews of Hungary, claimed to have killed about 450,000 Jews in just eight weeks during the summer of 1944. This represents nearly half of the total Auschwitz toll, in just eight weeks—in a camp that allegedly gassed Jews for almost three years.
  • The Hungarian gassing would have required that the Germans burn huge amounts of bodies in the open air, on large log fires—at the rate of 6,000 to 10,000 per day, every day, for weeks on end. This whole concept is both ludicrous and utterly impractical.
  • Open air fires, and even crematoria smoke, would have been visible from the air. But despite a series of air photos taken mid- to late-1944, none show supporting evidence. As explained below, a few photos show very small open-air burnings, but these are consistent with the incineration of perhaps a few hundred bodies, at most.

All this points to a death toll far below the claimed numbers. Leading revisionists argue that all evidence suggests a figure of perhaps 140,000. This is still a tragic number, it’s true, but far less tragic than the 1 million trumpeted by the media machine.

An Example of Fine British Media

How, then, do Western media handle these tricky issues? Virtually without exception, they do so by obfuscation, selective omission, inuendo, implication, and outright lies. Let’s take one specific example. On 12 January, the British paper The Guardian published a lengthy story entitled “The gates of hell: Auschwitz 75 years on”.2 It is a case study in how major media manipulate and distort the Auschwitz story, in service to the traditional account, and to the benefit of Jews and Israel. Let’s look at their account with a critical eye to the truth.

According to 90-year old Renee Salt, she was interned all of about two months at Auschwitz with her mother in summer 1944, probably in quarantine the whole time, before being transferred to the “exchange camp” of Bergen-Belsen, where she was released in good health in April 1945.

The news story is centered on a Jewish woman, Renee Salt, a camp survivor and first-hand witness to events there. Now, the most basic questions about any Auschwitz survivor are (a) when did they arrive at the camp? (b) how long did they stay? and (c) when did they leave? This is critical because it allows us to compare their claims of events with what the orthodox experts tell us occurred at that time. Then we can better assess the validity and value of the survivor’s account. Here, for the most part, the Guardian leaves us guessing. Currently 90 years old, Salt arrived at Auschwitz when she “had just turned 15.” Why say it this way? Why not just state when she arrived? Does she not remember her own birthday? Apparently we have to calculate dates for ourselves. Depending on Salt’s birthday, she could have arrived anytime between February and December 1944. But later in the article we get another clue: “Salt and her mother had been moved [from Auschwitz] about four months earlier” than the arrival of the Soviets on 27 January. Therefore, she left the camp around mid-September 1944.

But when did she arrive? Was she there for months—beginning February or March—or just weeks? We are not told. At one point the story implies that the Salts were imprisoned “for several weeks,” which suggests perhaps two months. This seems about right. Any longer and the story surely would have mentioned their “months” at the camp; but this is not said. So let’s assume that Salt arrived in mid-July 1944, and departed around two months later, in mid-September. Shortly we’ll return to what she might have witnessed at that time.

The Salt family arrived via a “cattle truck”, along with “hundreds” of other Jews, during which they were deprived of “food, water, or air for 24 hours.” (We note that no one can live without air for 24 hours, so clearly there was some exaggeration going on here.) Most Jews, however, arrived via train, not truck, in train cars also designed for cattle; perhaps Salt was confused here.

Upon arrival with her parents, she and her mother were separated from their father, whom she “never saw again”—presumably gassed, but the story does not say. Standing in the selection line, she and her mother were confronted by none other than Josef Mengele, the notorious doctor of Auschwitz. (Encounters with Mengele are standard fare for most every Auschwitz survivor tale.) Mengele allegedly decided who went “to the right” (gas chambers) and who “to the left” (labor camp). By “God’s will,” Salt and her mother were sent to the left.

“I remember everything,” says Salt. “I can see everything.” They were taken to a hall and had their heads shaved—standard procedure for likely lice-infested Jews. The Germans took all their possessions—obviously, since they were now in a forced labor camp. “We thought this was our last hour,” says Salt. Instead she was given prison clothes, and presumably set to work.

Camp conditions must always be portrayed as inhumanly as possible, to keep with the conventional myth. The story claims that “for several weeks, the prisoners sat in rows on the stone floor of a hut, day and night.” This is a ridiculous statement; no one could, or would, be made to sit, 24/7, on a stone floor. And yet, Salt insists that “we had to sleep as we were sitting.” (Right.) “Twice a day we had roll calls outside the hut. Very often people collapsed from weakness.” “We were treated like animals,” she says.

But this, oddly, is all we hear from poor Ms. Salt about the “hell” of Auschwitz. No more statements about the camp appear in the article. No explicit mention of gas chambers, nothing on piles of corpses, nothing on huge open-air fires to burn the bodies, no smoke from crematoria chimneys—nothing. Instead we read that Salt and her mother left Auschwitz, were sent to Hamburg “to do back-breaking demolition work” (how much demolition work could the Germans have demanded from a 15-year-old girl?), and then on to Bergen-Belsen, until that camp’s “liberation” in April 1945.

Salt’s lack of discussion of the gas chambers and disposal of bodies is hugely revealing. If she arrived in July 1944, this was during the final phase of the infamous Hungarian Operation (mentioned above). In the month of July, on the standard view, some 100,000 Jews were gassed. And another 60,000 in August. This would have meant something like 3,000 Jews per day being paraded to the gas chambers—an event Salt could never have overlooked, especially since she “remembers everything.”

Even more striking, this rate of killing far exceeded the existing crematoria capacity, and therefore the Germans must have had to burn thousands of corpses a day on huge open-air fires. In July, the figures would have been staggering: around 80,000 burned in the open. This, along with another 45,000 in August and 20,000 in September. This would have required some 10 or 20 active fire pits, burning bodies around the clock. The smell and the smoke would have smothered the camp for weeks. And yet nothing on all this from Ms. Salt—the woman who “remembers everything,” and who, even today, “can see everything.”

What this suggests, of course, is that there was nothing to see. No parade of Jews to homicidal gas chambers, no massive burning of bodies on open-air fires. Instead, the bodies of the few hundred Jews who died in Auschwitz each month (most of typhus or other disease) would have been discretely disposed of, either in the three operating crematoria or in a small firepit in the far corner of Birkenau. Either way, nothing for young Ms. Salt to see.

And in fact we have objective, positive evidence to suggest that there was nothing for her to see: air photos. As it happens, we have four or five air photos of Auschwitz during precisely the time that Salt was there.3 And they show—almost nothing. The photo of 8 July has no smoking crematoria, and no parades of people heading to the “gas chambers”; but it does show a wisp of smoke from a small pit near Crematorium #5, consistent with the burning of perhaps a few dozen bodies, or perhaps some unknown debris. Three photos in August (20, 23, 25) show either the small smoking firepit (20, 23) or no smoke at all (25). The photo of 13 September shows no smoke, no pits, nothing—nothing but a calm prison facility on a clear fall day. We can understand Salt’s failure to comment.

Compliant Authorities

The article supplements Salt’s story with other bits on information on the upcoming ‘celebration’ of the 75th anniversary. At Auschwitz, Salt and “200 other Holocaust survivors” will return and commemorate the liberation. (Salt, we read, has personally returned to the camp “dozens of times” in the past 15 years—implausible, to say the least.) She will be accompanied by “scores of heads of state, political leaders and dignitaries,” including England’s own Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Later in the piece we read that heads of no less than 22 countries will be participating. Truly an impressive show of support.

Meanwhile another event will take place at Yad Vashem in Israel. This one will be “attended by dozens of world leaders,” including Britain’s Prince Charles, Mike Pence, Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin, and German president Steinmeier—all in all, “more than 40 state leaders, royals, and other dignitaries.” (One wonders what kind of political influence it takes to make such things happen.)

The article goes on to write of suffering by 2nd– and 3rd-generation “survivors”—that is, children and grandchildren of actual camp inmates. Incredibly, the trauma seems to have passed on to future generations of Jews, who struggle with “clinical depression, anxiety, addiction, and eating disorders”—all thanks to those evil Nazis. Such “survivors” naturally demand reparation money. Back in 2015 it was reported that British Jews were lobbying for a “campaign to support the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors across the world”.4 Astonishingly, some actually claim that “the breast milk of survivors was affected by stress hormones that impacted on the physiology of the next generation”—even to the point that it may have “altered the DNA of victims’ descendants.” This, of course, is the stuff of science fiction, not reality.

Meanwhile, the wonderful British media continue to unquestioningly promote the conventional view of Auschwitz and the wider Holocaust. The article notes that the BBC produced a documentary featuring Salt back in 2005 (“Grandchild of the Holocaust”). Late in the piece, the article states that the BBC will be “broadcasting a range of documentaries and dramas” for the anniversary, along with a feature “Songs of Praise” from the UK National Holocaust Centre, as well as providing live coverage of the Polish commemoration. The key man behind this propaganda is cited as Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, who evidently takes it as his personal mission “to ensure that the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust are not forgotten.” Hall, incidentally, has been criticized as serving as a leading Israeli apologist and advocate, and whose top staff reflect similar attitudes.5 So much for fairness and objectivity at the BBC.

Those Evil “Deniers”

At two points in the Guardian article we read of the true fear of those in power: that the evil “Holocaust deniers” might continue to persuade people of the falsity of large parts of the conventional story. UK Holocaust Centre’s chief executive, Marc Cave, is quoted as saying “In a climate of ignorance, trivialization, and denial, the primacy of first-hand testimony cannot be overstated.” As if ambiguous, exaggerated, or obviously false testimony is worth anything. Thus he is undertaking to create “The Forever Project,” which will recreate bizarre “life-sized images of survivors” that can “answer” questions from future generations. And he has produced a short film “through the medium of hip-hop” to reach the younger crowd—nothing like rappin’ Nazis! The propaganda machine spares no effort.

The article ends with a quotation from Ms. Salt: “There are still people who say it didn’t happen, there are still deniers. But you can’t hide people like me away.” First, no rational Holocaust skeptic claims that Auschwitz, or the Holocaust, “didn’t happen.” This is a classic strawman fallacy repeatedly presented by traditionalists. All revisionists admit that Hitler and the top Germans hated the Jews and wanted them out of the greater Reich; that they implemented a ruthless plan of deportation by which many thousands of Jews would die; and that upwards of half a million Jews lost their lives in the process. Revisionists do deny that homicidal gas chambers were used at Auschwitz (or elsewhere), and they do deny that anything like 6 million Jews died. But this is not saying that “nothing happened.” Any claim otherwise is pure propaganda.

Second, why would revisionists want to “hide away” survivors like Ms. Salt? We love people like her. They either tell the truth—as Ms. Salt has largely done—and thus support the revisionist cause. Or they lie through their teeth, in which case their duplicity and maliciousness are transparent to all, which again aids revisionism. By all means, let’s hear from the survivors now; within a few years, there won’t be any left at all.

In sum, the “hell” of Auschwitz is not what happened at that camp—horrible things happen everywhere in a world war—but rather it is the present-day propaganda media machine, aided and abetted by wealthy and influential Jews, who radically distort history for their own benefit. They effectively divert billions to Jews and Israelis, they sustain a pathological guilt complex over Germany and much of the West, and they use the Holocaust as a weapon against free speech and against all those who might speak up against Jewish hegemony. This is the true “hell” of the Holocaust, and millions of us continue to live with the consequences of this artificially-constructed reality every day. Its cost is incalculable. But with the ongoing good work of revisionists everywhere, its days are surely numbered.

With luck, our time in the Jewish-constructed Auschwitz hell may soon be over. And then, with luck, our tormentors will get their due. One can only hope.



1 This comes to nearly 18,000 per day, every day, for nearly a full year—sheer nonsense.

2 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/12/auschwitz-gates-hell-75-years-on

3 Photos reproduced and discussed in my Debating (pp. 229-237).

4 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/03/holocaust-survivors-grandchildren-inherited-trauma

5 See the 2013 story “Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC” (https://electronicintifada.net/content/apologists-israel-take-top-posts-bbc/12395). Hall’s predecessor at the BBC, incidentally, was Danny Cohen.


Thomas Dalton is the author of Debating the Holocaust and The Holocaust: An Introduction, plus several other books. Email him at [email protected]