Exterior wall of Dachau gas chamber
The photograph above shows the front wall on the outside of the Dachau gas chamber disguised as a shower room. On the wall are two bins which have hinges on the bottom so that they can be opened or closed. The hinges appear to be permanently rusted in the open position. These bins were used as chutes to pour Zyklon-B pellets onto the floor of the gas chamber. The inside wall behind the bins has two screened openings, through which the gas pellets fell onto the floor. The photograph below shows a close-up of the bin on the left side.
Baracke X, the building where the homicidal gas chamber is located, was built by Polish priests who were prisoners in the camp. Construction began in May 1942 and the building was finished in April 1943.
Although all the news reports after the liberation of the camp said that the poison gas was introduced into the chamber through the shower faucets, there were also two openings on the outside wall in the front of the building, as shown in the photographs above. The many soldiers and news reporters who saw the gas chamber immediately after the camp was liberated could not have seen these openings because they were hidden behind a wooden screen, as shown in the old photo below.
The photographs below show the mysterious hole that is located between the two bins used for pouring the Zyklon-B pellets onto the floor. There is no corresponding hole in the wall on the inside of the gas chamber. The hole appears to have been added after the gas chamber was built, as the first photograph below shows.
While I was standing at the outside wall taking these pictures, there were several tour groups that came to see Baracke X, but none of the tour leaders brought their students over to see the bins, so I never learned what this small hole was used for. Some of the descriptions of the gas chamber, by persons who saw it shortly after the liberation of the camp, mention a peephole used by the SS guards to watch the victims die in the gas chamber, but the peephole they saw was inside the building on the opposite wall of the gas chamber.
In the Dachau museum, a movie is shown, which includes some footage taken of the gas chamber on May 3, 1945. The inside of the gas chamber is shown but not the interior east wall which is on the interior side of the wall with the bins and the small rectangular opening. This film was shown at the Nuremberg IMT as evidence that there was a gas chamber at Dachau. It shows the corridor behind the west wall of the gas chamber which has what are purportedly gas pipes going into the gas chamber, but does not show the bins on the outside wall.
This page was last updated on March 13, 2008