Interior of Auschwitz Gas Chamber

Entrance door into Krema I gas chamber at Auschwitz

The photo above shows the door through which visitors enter the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp. This door, which has a glass panel on the top, was originally the door into a washroom which is shown in the foreground. The room in the background of the photo is the "laying out room" which was used as an autopsy room when the gas chamber was originally used as a morgue. The victims entered the washroom and then proceeded into the gas chamber through another door which is no longer there. When the gas chamber was reconstructed by the Soviet Union in 1947, the washroom was included in the gas chamber.

The photo below shows the first view of the gas chamber that visitors see after entering through the door shown in the photo above. On the ceiling on the left hand side, one can see the edge of one of the holes through which the gas pellets were poured into the room.

Gas chamber in Auschwitz main camp, looking toward air raid shelter entrance

In the center of the background of the photo above is the wooden door through which tourists entered in 1998. Before the Auschwitz Museum admitted that the gas chamber in the main camp is a reconstruction, visitors were told by their tour guides that this was the entrance used by the victims.

In the photo above, the wooden door is in the open position; to the left of the door is the wall of a tiny vestibule, which has a door to the outside. The outside door and the wooden door were added when the room was converted into an air raid shelter in 1944.

On the left side of the photo above is the open doorway into the oven room. This doorway was cut when the gas chamber was reconstructed; the original doorway was a few feet to the left. Notice that the doorway has no doorframe, and no marks where a doorframe was removed.

The colors in the photo above, and in the photo below, are an accurate representation of what the gas chamber actually looks like. I resisted the urge to add some warmth to the colors to make the photo more artistic. The gas chamber looks cold, hard, gray and creepy.

According to my 1998 tour guide, the gas chamber room was disguised as a shower room when it was used for gassing people, but there are no shower heads or water pipes on the ceiling now and I could not find the marks which indicate where they were removed. The walls of the gas chamber room are covered with stucco and there are patches of blue paint on the wall, but no deep blue stains left by Zyklon-B, as in the gas chambers at Majdanek.

Inside the gas chamber at the main Auschwitz camp

When the original gas chamber was converted into a bomb shelter, it was divided into four small rooms. This means that the gas chamber, as it looks today, consisted of five small rooms, including a washroom, when it was used as a bomb shelter.

In the foreground of the photo below, there is a mark on the floor which looks like where the wall of one of the small rooms of the air raid shelter was removed when the gas chamber was reconstructed. On the wall on the left side, you can see the marks where the walls of the small rooms of the air raid shelter were removed. This photo is looking toward the door where the victims entered the gas chamber. Note the doorway into the oven room on the right-hand side.

2005 photo of gas chamber, looking toward victims' entrance

When the gas chamber room, shown in the photo above, was used as a morgue, it must have had a floor drain so that the room could be cleaned with water. The only drain that I saw on my two visits to Auschwitz, and the only one that is visible in any of my photographs, is the large floor drain at the far end of the room, near the door from the "laying out" room into the former wash room.

Original blueprint of Auschwitz I gas chamber building

According to the original blueprint of the building, the wash room was a separate room from the morgue. When the morgue was converted into a gas chamber, the victims had to go through a door into the "laying out" room or a door from the vestibule into the wash room to enter the gas chamber. This means that the gas chamber had no floor drain and no way to clean the room, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

However, Fred Leuchter wrote the following in his infamous Report, after examining the gas chamber in Februrary 1988:

We had, by this time, obtained blueprints of the alleged gas-chamber facility and were able to follow the structural changes back to the dates in question. We also verified the existence of the floor drain for the periods of alleged gas chamber usage.

Close-up shows fingernail scratches on the gas chamber wall, Jan. 12, 2004

Photo Credit: Simon Robertson

For over fifty years, visitors were told that the reconstructed gas chamber was in its original state. On my 1998 visit to Auschwitz, I was led to believe that what I was seeing was the original gas chamber, complete with two wooden doors that both opened inward, a large floor drain, and drains for two toilets.

YouTube video of the Leuchter Report - Part 1

YouTube video of the Leuchter Report - Part 2

Holes in ceiling of gas chamber

Holes on roof of gas chamber

Exterior of Gas Chamber

Door into Air Raid Shelter


Start of Gas Chamber Tour

Reconstructed Gas Chamber

Introduction to Auschwitz I

Back to Photo Gallery 2


This page was last updated on June 1, 2009