The Gas Chamber Temperature

In this article, the gas chamber temperature, that is the temperature of the gas chambers of Auschwitz during the mass executions, is calculated. There is no physical or written evidence for the Holocaust, thus the numerous eye witness reports are the only evidence for this crime. In the pronouncement of judgement of the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial it is stated, that

Except for a few documents of limited informational value, the court relied almost exclusively on witness testimony in order to reconstruct the defendants’ deeds. [1]

Robert Jan van Pelt, professor at the university of Waterloo and Holocaust scholar, admits:

Ninety-nine per cent of what we know [about the Holocaust] we do not actually have the physical evidence to prove. [2]

The following calculation of the gas chamber temperature is based exclusively on such legally protected witness testimonies as well as on physical laws.

Operation of the gas chambers

The two identically built crematoria II and III of Auschwitz concentration camp both contained a gas chamber, each of which contained four hollow wire-mesh columns. From the roof of the crematoria, containers filled with Zyklon B were lowered through these columns into the gas chambers. [3] Zyklon B was a granulated material saturated with fluid hydrogen cyanide. Through heat transfer from the room air of the gas chamber to the hydrogen cyanide contained in the Zyklon, the hydrogen cyanide vaporized. Two to three minutes after the introduction of the Zyklon into the gas chamber, everyone inside of the gas chamber had died of cyanide poisoning. The hydrogen cyanide contained in the Zyklon vaporized completely in this short time span, otherwise a lower amount of Zyklon would have been used. Regarding the duration of the mass executions, the chemist Germar Rudolf wrote:

According to conventional accounts, the ‘gas chamber’ doors had at most one peephole, which SS physicians allegedly availed themselves of to supervise the proceedings. Such witnesses would thus be the only ones not reporting from hearsay. In his 1992 report Professor G. Jagschitz quotes one such ‘qualified’ witness. The Auschwitz camp physician he quotes – Dr. Horst Fischer, who claims to have frequently supervised ‘gas chamber’ executions himself – reports of gassing times of two to three minutes, which agrees with the claims of the vast majority of all other witnesses. The former Camp Commandant R. Höß also spoke of 3 to, in exceptional cases, 15 minutes. [4]

Determining the gas chamber temperature

Heat transfer, i.e. the exchange of thermal energy between physical systems due to a temperature difference, satisfies the equation:

Q = \alpha \cdot A \cdot \Delta T \cdot \Delta t [5]

Q is the amount of heat transferred (in joule)
\alpha is the heat transfer coefficient (in W/(m2K))
A is the cross-sectional surface area (in m2)
\Delta T is the temperature difference (in Kelvin)
\Delta t is the time interval (in seconds)

To calculate the gas chamber temperature, the heat transfer from the room air of the gas chamber to the hydrogen cyanide contained in the Zyklon is examined. Through determining Q, \alpha and A one can calculate the temperature difference \Delta T between the room air and the hydrogen cyanide that is required to vaporize the hydrogen cyanide in \Delta t = 2,5 \text{min}:

\Delta T = \frac{Q}{\alpha \cdot A \cdot \Delta t}

The heat of evaporation of hydrogen cyanide is 998,6 kJ/kg, [6] i.e. it is required to transfer 998,6 kJ of thermal energy to 1 kg of hydrogen cyanide in order to evaporate it, even if it is already close to its boiling point.
The Zyklon containers in the interior of the wire-mesh columns were, too, made of wire-mesh. Each container held 5,096 kg of hydrogen cyanide per 1 m2 of container wall (see appendix).

Let Q designate the thermal energy that had to be transferred to a filled Zyklon container per 1 m2 container wall in order to vaporize the hydrogen cyanide:

Q = 5,096 \text{kg} \cdot 998,6 \text{kJ/kg} = 5089 \text{kJ}

The heat transfer coefficient \alpha satisfies the equation: \alpha = \lambda / l . [5] \lambda is the thermal conductivity of the thermal boundary layer, which in this case is the layer of granular material that is already devoid of hydrogen cyanide (because it already evaporated). l is the thickness of this layer of granular material. The granular material Zyklon was made of was diatomaceous earth, which has a thermal conductivity of \lambda = 0,06 \,\frac{\text{W}}{\text{m}\cdot\text{K}}. [7]
The Zyklon containers had a square base of 15 cm side length. Inside the containers there were additional wire-meshes with a distance of 25 mm to the exterior container walls. [3] Therefore, the thermal boundary layer had an average thickness l of

l = 0,5 \cdot 25 \text{mm} = 0,0125 \text{m}

Now, the heat transfer coefficient \alpha a can be calculated:

\alpha = \frac{\lambda}{l} =  \frac{0,06 \,\frac{\text{W}}{\text{m K}} }{0,0125\text{m}} = 4,8\,\frac{\text{W}}{\text{m}^2 \text{K}}

Using 1 kJ = 1000 J and 2,5 min = 150 s \Delta T can finally be computed:

\Delta T = \frac{Q}{\alpha \cdot A \cdot \Delta t} = \frac{5089000\text{J}} { 4,8\,\frac{\text{W}}{\text{m}^2 \text{K}} \cdot 1\text{m}^2 \cdot 150\text{s}} = 7068\text{K}

Hence, the gas chamber temperature had to be at least 7000°C in order to vaporize the hydrogen cyanide contained in the Zyklon completely in 2,5 min.

The result does not depend on whether and how the gas chambers or the Zyklon containers were heated. The regulations for using Zyklon B as an insecticide demanded the outgassing of the Zyklon to last for a minimum of 16 hours. [8] That is why using Zyklon B for delousing was done at far lower temperatures.


No one could have survived being in close proximity to a 7000°C warm gas chamber, but the Jews didn’t mind, because their cause of death was not the immense heat but cyanide poisoning. Thus, Jews are highly heat resistant. This is also the reason why the members of the Sonderkommando were Jews. Even the SS man on the roof of the gas chamber, who filled the containers with Zyklon, had to be a heat resistant Jew.
The materials the gas chambers consisted of had to be highly heat resistant, too. Pressure and temperature are directly proportional to each other, thus these materials had to have unbelievable properties like, for example, incredibly high hardness. If the germans had had knowledge about these materials, they could have built airplanes light as a feather. One cartridge fired from a rifle could have sunk an armored cruiser. The defeat of the German Empire thus proves that the Germans couldn’t have built the gas chambers. The Holocaust was, for unknown reasons, carried out by the Jews themselves. The blame was laid on the Germans in order to draw the attention off of the Jewish perpetrators.


The Zyklon containers inside of the wire-mesh columns held 5,096 kg of hydrogen cyanide per 1 m2 of container wall:

Let G designate the base area of a Zyklon container.

G = (15\text{cm})^2 - (10\text{cm})^2 = 125\text{cm}^2

Let h designate the filling height of a Zyklon container per 1 m2 of container wall.

4\cdot 0,15\text{m} \: \cdot \: h = 1\text{m}^2 \implies h = \frac{10}{6}\,\text{m}

Zyklon was kept in tin cans. Each can contained 1,435 kg hydrogen cyanide and had a radius of 7,7 cm and a height of 31,5 cm. [9]

Let V designate the volume of a tin can containing 1,435 kg of hydrogen cyanide.

V = \pi \cdot (\text{radius})^2 \cdot \text{height} = 3,1416\cdot (7,7\text{cm})^2 \cdot 31,5\text{cm} = 5867\text{cm}^3

Let m designate the mass of hydrogen cyanide contained in a filled Zyklon container per 1 m2 of container wall:

G\cdot h = \frac{V}{1,435} \cdot m \cdot \frac{1}{\text{kg}} \implies m = \frac{G \cdot h}{V} \cdot 1,435\text{kg}

\implies m = \frac{125\text{cm}^2 \cdot \frac{1000}{6}\,\text{cm} \cdot 1,435\text{kg}} {5867\text{cm}^3} = 5,096\text{kg}

List of references

[1] ^ First Frankfurt Auschwitz trial (1963-1965), reference nr.: 50/Ks 2/63, Seite 109

[2] ^ Toronto Star, daily newspaper, 27.12.2009

[3] ^ Robert Jan van Pelt, The van Pelt Report, 1999, Seite 113

[4] ^ Germar Rudolf, Die ’Gaskammern’ von Auschwitz und Majdanek, quote in English

[5] ^ Wikipedia, thermal conduction

[6] ^ VDI Heat Atlas, 2nd edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010, Seite 302

[7] ^ The Engineering Toolbox

[8] ^ Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, 1989, Seite 19

[9] ^ Polnisch-sowjetische technische und chemische forensische Expertise, August 1944, Lublin


2 thoughts on “The Gas Chamber Temperature

  1. Hab jetzt auch bei mir einen Menüpiunkt “Gas Chamber Temperature (short version)” hinzugefügt welcher direkt zu deiner Seite führt. Daß das geht wusste ich noch gar nicht!


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