Gas input device in disinfection chambers

Gas input device in fumigation cubicle

Disinfection chamber doors, May 1945

Photo Credit: Ron Clarin

The photo above shows what the disinfection chamber doors looked like when the American soldiers first arrived at Dachau. The doors were repainted after the camp was turned into a Memorial Site so as not to confuse people, as the doors originally had the word "Gaszeit" written on them. The American liberators assumed that these rooms were used for homicidal gassing.

Interior of disinfection chamber, May 2007

The photograph above shows the interior of one of the disinfection gas chambers with the gas input device in a niche on the wall.

The doors to each of the 4 chambers could be opened to the outside on both ends to air them out after gassing. Notice that all the pipes and electrical boxes are located on the outside of the disinfection gas chambers to prevent a possible explosion.

The photograph below is a close-up of the gas input device.


Zyklon-B pellets fell into box and hot air was blown in

The gas input device, manufactured by the DEGESCH company, was designed to automatically open a can of Zyklon-B pellets and dump them into a wire mesh basket. Hot air was then blown into the room to raise the temperature to 78.3 degrees Fahrenheit so that the poison gas would be released quickly and distributed throughout the room. Zyklon-B was the trade name for hydrocyanic acid (HCN) which was sold by DEGESCH. After gassing, the pellets were recovered from the wire-mesh box, put back into the can and returned to the manufacturer to be recycled.

Unlike the homicidal gas chamber at Dachau, there are no lights or electrical wiring in the disinfection chambers, and no drains on the floor. There are no exhaust vents in the ceiling because the rooms were aired out by opening the wide doors.

The photo below shows one of the two bars on the ceiling which was used to hang the clothing on hangers while it was being fumigated.

Clothes were hung on bars for delousing with Zyklon-B, May 2001

The walls of the fumigation cubicles have been covered with pure white paint and do not show any blue staining. If these rooms were used regularly for delousing with Zyklon-B, the walls would have been heavily stained with blue color, called Prussian Blue, which is a characteristic of Zyklon-B use. In May 2001, the white paint on the walls looked mottled, as though the blue stains underneath were beginning to show. The walls of the homicidal gas chamber at Dachau have not been painted over and there are no blue stains, as in the Majdanek gas chamber, shown in the photo below.

Prussian Blue stains on the walls of Majdanek homicial gas chamber


Old Disinfection Building

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This page was last updated on March 13, 2008