Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr Script - Dialogue Transcript

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Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr Script





[ Fred Leuchter,Jr.]

I became involved...



in the manufacture

of execution equipment...



because I was concerned

with the deplorable condition...



of the hardware that's in

most of the states'prisons,



which generally results

in torture...



prior to death.



A number of years ago

I was asked by a state...



to look at

their electric chair.



I was surprised

at the condition

of the equipment...



and I indicated to them

what changes should be made...



to bring the equipment

up to the point of doing

a humane execution.



Beyond making

recommendations for changes,



I sat down, on my own time

and at my own expense,



and made a new design

and new equipment...



available to the states...



utilizing electrocution...



at a price far lower than

they would have to deal with...



if they hired

an engineering firm

to redesign a specific item.



The equipment

is all standardized,



it all meets the current

electrical requirements

for electrocution...



and the pricing is such...



that it's similar

to what you'd pay for

an off-the-shelf item,



even though it's made up.



They essentially pay

for the parts, the labor

and the installation,



and a   -percent markup,

which is more than fair.



We are testing

the electrocution system...



here at

the Tennessee State Prison.



This is connected to

the execution system...



in place of

the electric chair,



and the system thinks

that this is a human body.



It consists of a series

of heavy-duty resistors...



cooled by four fans.



I will now switch on

the fans...



[ Click, Fans Humming ]

and begin

the cooling process.



We then proceed

to the power supply.



We turn on

the main circuit breaker.



You can see the voltage has

increased to      volts.



We begin the test

at the control console...



for the electric chair.



We turn the fail-safe system on

to operation.



Power up.

Computer on.



And then I push the button

for operation.



The human body

is not easy to destroy.



It's not easy to take a life

humanely and painlessly,



without doing

a great deal of damage

to the individual's body.



Excess current

cooks the tissue.



There have been occasions...



where a great amount

of current has been applied...



and the meat will come off

the executee's body like meat

coming off a cooked chicken.



The execution

must be conducted

in two jolts.



In  /   th part of a second...



the first jolt disrupts

or destroys the individual's

central nervous system.



Current is then applied...



for a time

approaching one minute.



The adrenaline

is being driven out

into the bloodstream.



The second jolt

now seizes the pacemaker

a second time.



There's now no adrenaline left

to restart the pacemaker.



The person is dead.



If the voltage does not exceed




throughout the execution,



the individual's pacemaker

is not permanently seized.



In some       minutes later

the individual's heart

restarts itself on its own...



and the person

is now alive again.



They would have to call

all the witnesses back,



strap the vegetable

back into the chair...



and reelectrocute him.



There's no difference

in a life support system

and an execution system.



Uh, the system has to

function flawlessly...



for the time period

that it's operating.



With a life support system,

if it doesn't function,

the person dies.



With an execution system,



if it doesn't

function flawlessly,

the person lives,



but he doesn't live

as a human being.



He lives as an injured,

brain-dead vegetable,



which is probably far worse

than being executed.



[ Film Projector Running ]



[ Film Projector Running ]



My father worked

in the Massachusetts

correctional system.



He was a superintendent

of transportation

for many years,



first at the old state prison

in Charlestown,



and then at the new prison

in Walpole,



which has now since been

renamed Cedar Junction.



As many youngsters do,



I went to work

with my father.



I'd been

accompanying him to work

since I was four years old.



I visited all of the cell areas,

including the death house area.



I was in the same room that

people like Sacco and Vanzetti

were executed in.



I learned a number of things

from the inmates that

normally would be illegal...



but have proved

very useful to me

in my later life,



things like picking locks

and cracking safes and--



I learned all kinds

of strange things

as a youngster.



I came into

the execution field...



from a back-door




because I was very concerned

about the humanitarian aspects

of death by torture,



similar to what happened

in the state of Florida

two years ago...



with Mr.Jesse Tafero,



where they actually

set the man's head on fire.



Once the chair broke in half

in the state of New York,



and the individual

lay writhing on the floor

of the death chamber...



crying for    or    minutes

while the carpenters

repaired the chair.



They burnt

the transformer up.




due to the quick thinking

of the prison electrician,



they had some cable,

they ran some wires

over the prison wall...



and tapped into

the outside power line...



without the consent

of the power company, but

there was no objection later.



They had one execution...



where the transformer

caught on fire and blew up,



and it occurred

in such a sequence...



that all it did was knock

the individual unconscious.



He came out of it with

no apparent brain damage,

no problem.



Six months later they repaired

the electric chair...



and they did successfully

execute him.



But, I mean,

he was very lucky.



He was hit with

a full jolt of electricity,



the equipment blew up,

burned up...



and he walked away from it

without any damage,

not even a burn.



One by one,



I determined that this state's

equipment was not functional,



this state's equipment

was not functional.



Then suddenly one day I said,

"None of the equipment

is functional."



Many of the electric chairs

were built by inmates

and electricians...



who had no idea

of what they were building.



They took a picture of another

state's electric chair and made

something that looked like it.



[ Film Projector Running ]



Tennessee contacted me...



with the construction

of their new prison.



I was asked to

inspect the equipment

at the old facility...



and make a determination

of what could be salvaged.



The only consideration was

that they wanted to maintain

the electric chair,



which they've had in place

since     .



The reasoning being

that the wood

from the electric chair...



not only had the tradition

of all of their

electrocution executions,



but it also formerly served

as the wood of their gallows.



The chair itself...



was much smaller

than one would expect.



It looked more like it was made

to accommodate a youngster...



or a woman.



So, we essentially

made the chair wider,



we made the chair higher.



We supplied them with

a completely new power supply...



so there's

no excessive cooking.



And then finally,



because we were unable to match

the old wood with the new oak,



it became necessary for us

to paint the chair...



with a special,

high-quality epoxy paint,



the same basic paint

that's used by NASA...



on the nose and body

of the space shuttle.



[ Steve ]

That was back in '  

I believe it was.



At that time

I was still in school.



I just remember coming home--

"What is this big box

in the front yard?"




it's an electric chair. "



"Oh. "



Fred and my uncle were here.



They'd come out

with the crowbars.



They had to break the box open,

unscrew all the parts.



There was an electric chair

sitting in the front yard.



It was very unusual,

something I wasn't expecting.



I guess Fred

was expecting it.

[ Laughs ]



It was very difficult

getting up and down

those stairs...



with a couple hundred-pound

piece of oak chair.



Of course, before we even

brought it inside, had to

have Fred sit down in it.



Strapped him in--

[ Laughs ]



I said,

"No, thanks. "

[ Camera Shutter Clicks ]



[ Leuchter ]

I had processed

a couple of rolls of film,



photos that I took

for engineering purposes--



detail stuff,

so you'd know how it looked

before you took it apart.



I went through it and said,

"What the hell's this?"



We had a magnifier

and we were trying to

figure out what was there.



We saw what appeared to be

more than one image.



As far as I understand it,



certain objects

give off auras,



and some objects that have

been exposed to high-intensity

electromagnetic fields...



absorb some of that energy

and would give off an aura.



I don't know

what we photographed.



We don't know

if we photographed an entity.

We don't know what's there.



It may still reside

in the parts

that are in Tennessee.



When I tore the chair apart,

maybe it was freed.



I don't know.



That's assuming there was

something there to start with.



Because of my work

in electrocution,



I was contacted by

the state of New Jersey...



to consult with them

on the construction of

a lethal injection machine.



They realized that

lethal injection is a difficult,

if not impossible problem,



even for trained

medical personnel.



They determined

that there should be

some kind of a machine...



that could repetitively deliver

the necessary chemicals...



at the proper

time intervals...



for all executions.



This completely took

the human factor

out of it.



I studied

for several months,



and I put together a proposal

on how this machine should work.



The syringe is driven

by a weighted piston...



that floats

on a column of air.



This causes

a push-pull relationship...



between the machine

and the individual's

vascular system,



and it allows the executee

to take the chemical...



at a rate that his body

and vein will accept.



The doctors were satisfied.



Now they had

to make the presentation

to the prison officials.



The deputy commissioner

was sittin' there through

most of the meeting very bored,



probably because

he didn't understand

what I was talking about...



most of the time.



But then he finally heard

something he understood.



One of the doctors said,

"Fred designed the helmet that's

used on the electric chair...



in the state

of North Carolina."



At that point

the deputy commissioner said,

"Wait. Stop the meeting."



He looked at me and says,

"You designed the helmet,

the one that they just used?"



I says, "Yes."

He said, "Okay, that does it."



He turned around

to the doctors and he says,

"Do the necessary paperwork...



and see that Mr. Leuchter

gets the contract. "



Now, what lethal injection

has to do with electrocution

is beyond me.



Simply because I'm capable

of building an electric chair...



doesn't mean

I'm capable of building

a lethal injection machine.



They're two totally

different concepts.



[ Beeping ]

With electrocution,



unconsciousness takes place

in  /   th part of a second.



Gas chamber,

within three or four minutes.



And with the gallows

it doesn't matter,



because you're being dropped

almost immediately after being

brought onto the scaffold.



None of the procedures require

that somebody lay on a gurney

for    minutes...



looking at a ceiling.



You have to have the man




He has to be unable to move,

or else he's gonna damage

his arm with the catheter.



But you certainly can

make it more comfortable.



You could put him in

a contoured chair like they have

in the dentist's office.



Then at least

he'd be sitting up.



You could give him

a television, music,

some pictures on the wall...



rather than put him

in a concrete room.



That's not humane.



Essentially, the states

talk with each other.



We immediately got Illinois,

and we got Delaware.



They had a hanging problem

that they totally were not

able to deal with.



They had a gallows

that had been stored

for    or    years.



They took it out,

they screwed it together

and it fell over.



The only thing left

that was functional were

the hinges for the trap door.



The reasoning here is that

I'd built helmets

for electric chairs,



so I could build

lethal injection machines.



I now built

lethal injection machines,



so I'm now competent

to build a gallows.



And since

I'm building gallows,



I'm also competent

to work on gas chambers...



because I'd done

all of the other three.



What really makes you competent

is the fact that you have

the necessary background,



you do the investigation,

you find out what the problem is

and you solve it.



It's not anything different

than any competent engineer

could do.



The difference is that

it's not a major market.



A lot of people

are not interested...



and are morally opposed

to working on

execution equipment.



They think it's somehow

gonna change them.



As you've probably guessed

by now,



I am a proponent

of capital punishment.



Uh, I'm certainly not

a proponent of capital torture.



We must always remember...



and we must never forget...



the fact that the person

being executed

is a human being.



One of the things

that I've had to deal with...



is the feelings of the people

who are doing the executions.



The guards that work

with the execution equipment...



are generally

the same guards that have

dealt with that inmate...



for the last five,

ten, fifteen,

sometimes twenty years...



while the man

was on Death Row.



The warden

of the institution...



is, in many respects,

the surrogate father...



is, in many respects,

the surrogate father...



of the inmate

who's being executed.



He sees that inmate

maybe five or six times a week.



He's concerned

if the inmate is sick, if

the inmate doesn't feel well--



the general welfare

of the inmate.



Then, at the end of the time,

he must take that inmate out,



strap him into

his electric chair,

his gas chamber,



strap him into

his lethal injection machine...



or put a noose

around his neck.



Most people think

of a hardened criminal

and a murderer...



as someone who is in a cell

and gonna be executed,



but these people are really

no different than somebody

that we work with every day.



The only difference is,

the inmate doesn't go home

and the guard does.



And now, at the end of

this ten or fifteen-year cycle,



they now are faced with the task

of executing this man...



with equipment

that's defective,



with equipment

that's gonna cause pain.



Even with

a good execution...



you get some burning

at the electrodes.



It's a very

distasteful thing...



for the guard who

has to unstrap the inmate

from the electric chair...



after the execution.



Normally, if we think of a belt

with holes in it and the pin

that goes through the holes,



that guard has to then

compress all the flesh

and everything on the body.



It's oozing,

because it's been cooked.



He has to get the body fluids

on his hands.



With the equipment

we designed,



all of the straps

are instant-release.



They're the same

as the safety belts in your car.



You hit a button

and the strap opens.



Another thing that we do is,

our electric chair

contains a drip pan.



All executees,



during the execution,



lose control

of their bodily functions.



They urinate and defecate

in their pants, on their chair.



This normally winds up

on the chair and on the floor

directly beneath the chair.



This is a disgusting thing

when it occurs.



It's a very inhumane thing

to allow a person

who's being executed,



a human being...



who should be afforded

the greatest dignity of all

because he is losing his life--



It's a disgusting

and a degrading thing

to allow him to defecate...



and, quite frankly,

piss on the floor.




the urine,



when it hits the floor--

and I think everybody knows that

urine is highly conductive--



it's normally mopped up.



If there's a second execution

or a third execution--



and this sometimes occurs

when they have more than one

execution at the same time--



the guards in the death house

now have to work and stand

on a floor...



that's dampened and wet...



with this

highly conductive urine.



Fortunately, there has

never been an accident.



But it's quite possible for

the urine to conduct electricity

and shock a guard.



And nobody should have to

place his life in jeopardy...



because an execution

is being conducted.



This is much the same thing

that goes on

with the gas chambers.



With the defective equipment

that exists,



every time

there's a gas execution...



it's an accident

waiting to happen.



There is a major danger

of leakage,



and I honestly believe

and I wish...



that those remaining few states

that are utilizing gas...



would do away

with the gas chamber...



and go to lethal injection

or some other procedure...



which wouldn't place in danger

the lives of witnesses

and prison officials...



who have to be at that execution

to see that the execution

conforms with the law.



Being familiar with

all of the four systems

that we use,



I would much rather

be electrocuted,



providing that you were gonna

electrocute me on the system

that's in Tennessee.



I don't want to be

electrocuted in Virginia.



I don't want to be

electrocuted in Florida.



I don't want to be

electrocuted in Alabama.



I don't want to be Mr. Tafero

or have my eyeballs

blown across the room.



I'd like the execution procedure

to go smoothly.



I have often been asked,

generally by some type

of adverse party,



whether I sleep at night,

or how well I sleep at night.



My answer

is always the same.



I sleep very well at night,

and I sleep with

the comforting thought...



of knowing that those persons

that are being executed

with my equipment,



that these people

have a better chance...



of having a painless,

more humane

and dignified execution.



Been drinking coffee

for a long time,



since I was, probably,

around four or five years old.



Yes, it's still true.

I love coffee.



I think it's running

through my veins.



Coffee never

bothers the ulcer,



but I remember,

must be       years ago

when I went to the doctor--



He was asking me, "How much

coffee do you drink a day ?"

" About    cups. "



So he's writing it down.

"How much coffee do you drink

a day ?" " About    cups. "



He says, "How much coffee

do you drink a day ?"

And I says, " About    cups. "



He says,

"Look, I'm not kidding. "

I says, "I'm not either. "



He said, "Oh?

How much do you smoke a day ?"

I said, " About six packs. "



He said,

"Six packs of cigarettes,

   cups of coffee a day.



You should be dead by now. "

[ Laughs ]



If I don't drink the coffee,

I get headaches.

They're terrible.



My body's

so used to the caffeine

that it doesn't bother me.



I'm asleep before my head

hits the pillow.



Somewhere along the line,

she just appeared.



I was a good tipper,

and she used to bring me

extra coffee.



[ Woman ] I was a waitress,

he was a customer.

I was working nights.



He'd come in on his way

to the gun club.



He taught me how to shoot.



I have a.  .



This guy Joe asked me

if I knew what Fred did

for a living.



I said "No, " and he said,

"He kills people. "



That kind of surprised me...



until he explained

exactly what he did,



which wasn't

that he killed people,



but he made things

that killed people.



He was having problems

at home with his mother.



She wasn't talking to him,

and we just got married.



Because of my expertise

in the construction

of execution equipment,



I was asked to testify...



by the defense team...



of Mr. Ernst Zündel,



a German national

living in Canada

for some   -odd years...



who published a pamphlet.:

"Did Six Million Really Die?"



[ Reporter ]

As in most of

his public appearances,



Ernst Zündel arrived at court

surrounded by supporters

wearing hard hats.



They are bodyguards

for a man who says

the Holocaust is a myth...



and who's prepared to argue that

before a judge and jury.



Zündel is charged

under a rarely used section

of the criminal code...



that he published statements

he knew were false,



statements that could cause

racial intolerance.



Forty-five years

of undetermined hatred

is enough.



The Holocaust is nothing

but undetermined

hate propaganda...



posing as history.



l, with the help of my friends

from around the world,

Jews and gentiles,



am going to finish

the Second World War,

I guarantee you.



[ Zündel ]

We can solve the mystery

of the gas chambers...



in Auschwitz

and all these other places...



if we find

an American expert,



because America

is the only country that

dispatches people with gas.



You can't open up

the phone book and say "gas,"

then "chamber," then "experts,"



and out come

ten Fred Leuchters.



No, there's nobody.



Fred Leuchter

was our only hope.



[ Leuchter ]

We were married for less

than a month when we went.



Although she doesn't

like to hear it,



I normally tell her

that was her honeymoon.



That's not

a particularly good place

to go for a honeymoon, Poland.



Every American,

it would have done them good

to visit there.



Then they would have appreciated

what we've got here.



Specifically, I brought

Carol and my draftsman

Howard Miller.



Sent with us from Canada...



was a cinematographer

who videotaped

everything we did...



and a translator...



who's fluent both in German

and particularly in Polish.



We were small, but we had

everything we needed.



Our first night there we stayed

at the Auschwitz Hotel,



which, apparently, was

the officer's quarters...



for the German military

at Auschwitz.



They had a cafeteria-style

dining area,



and our first meal there...



was, uh, starch soup.



What they did is,

they boiled noodles

in water,



removed the noodles

and served the soup.



It was terrible.




I received a double portion,



because when I wasn't looking

my wife dumped hers

into my dish.



Good morning.

My name is Fred Leuchter.



I'm an engineer from Boston

in the United States,



and I'm here this snowy morning

at Auschwitz in Poland.



The date is February   .

It's approximately   :   a.m.



I'm here to examine...



this alleged gas chamber.



Some people feel

it was an air raid shelter.



Other people feel that

it was simply a morgue.



And then there are those

that feel the structure

functioned as a gas chamber...



for sending people

on their way to their death.



Carol was outside

at one of the entrances,



essentially freezing.



She was

one of our lookouts.



We had her at one door.

The translator

was at the other door.



Howard, my draftsman,

and myself were inside,



taking measurements

and recording the locations

and bagging the samples,



and the cinematographer

was making the videotapes.



So everybody was busy at

what they were supposed to do.



We didn't have

any extra people.



We made paint scrapings

and chiseled plaster

from locations...



that are not

immediately noticeable,



but still were proper locations

for condensation of cyanide gas.



We made detailed

scale drawings of the rooms...



with arrows showing

the location that was removed.



The notebook, videotape

and the drawings...



were given to the court

and became part

of the permanent evidence.



[ Man ]

Zündel is on trial

for publishing false history,



for publishing books

of Holocaust denial.



He needs to prove...



that what others see

as false history

is true history.



Fred Leuchter

is their trump card.



He will be the scientist...



who will reclaim

from those ruins...



evidence that killing

didn't happen there.



Holocaust denial, for me,

is so revolting,



and the way for me not to

immediately become sick...



of having to deal

with Leuchter...



was by saying,

"Okay, I'm going to

map his journey. "



I have a job to do,

and my job, my first job,



is to try to understand

where this guy was

at what time,



to take that tape and record

every camera angle--



where it was,

what piece of wall

they were looking at,



where he took the samples.



It was important to be able

to follow that trail

very, very precisely.



I wanted to see

how he had done it.



Sixty-one feet.



Sixty-one feet

from the rear wall.



[ Van Pelt ]

Leuchter's a victim of

the myth of Sherlock Holmes.



[ Leuchter Continues,

Faint ]



A crime has been committed.



You go to the site of the crime

and with a magnifying glass

you find a hair...



or a speck of dust

on the shoe.



Leuchter thinks that is the way

reality can be reconstructed.



But he is

no Sherlock Holmes.



He doesn't have the training.



It was not that he brought

any experience,



the specific experience needed

to look at ruined buildings.



The only experience he had...



was design modifications

for the Missouri gas chambers

in Jacksonville.



[ Carol ]

Birkenau I never went in.



I stayed in the car,

with no keys,



and froze my... whatever off--




I was in the car

for hours.



I brought books to read.



Mystery books.



And crossword puzzles.



I do a lot

of crossword puzzles.



I didn't consider it

my honeymoon.

Let's put it that way.



I don't know that we ever

slept in the same bed

while we were there.



I try to forget

about going there.



[ Leuchter ]

I should note that

everything that was done,



was done

in the best possible taste,



understanding that these things

are national shrines

and national monuments.



The only thing that was

a little bit harrowing

or frightening...



is that I didn't want

to get caught.



Unfortunately, you have to

make a lot of noise when you're

chiseling brick out of walls.



[ Van Pelt ]

Auschwitz is like

the holy of holies.



I prepared years

to go there.



And to have a fool come in,



coming completely unprepared,



it's sacrilege.



Somebody who walks into

the holy of holies

and doesn't give a damn.



[ Leuchter ] I expected to see

facilities that could have

been used as gas chambers.



I expected to see areas

that were explosion-proof.



I expected to see areas

that were leak-proof.



There have to be holes in walls

or areas where they had

exhaust fans and pipes.



There has to be something

to remove the gas after

it's been put into the room.



There has to be

some kind of device

to heat the chalk pellets...



and sublimate the gas

to get it to go

into the air.



These things didn't exist.



[ Van Pelt ]

Auschwitz is very,

very different...



from the place it was

during the war.



Everything has changed

three or four times...



since that camp operated

as an extermination camp.



The barracks are    years old.

They're moldy, they smell bad.



It's not a smell of the war.



It's a smell of decay,

of    years of being exposed

to the elements.



There's no way that

when you go to the crematoria...



you really can understand

what it was to be led there

as a victim,



to have to undress

and be led in the gas chamber.



And when you are in

the building archive,



it is possible to reimagine

what the place was like...



during the war.



The first time

I came into the archive,

I was stunned.



I had found a mission.

I had found a task.

I had found a vocation.



When you go to Birkenau

there's very little left,



and to suddenly

have in that room...



that concentration

of evidence--



There is a tactile reality,

an incredible texture,



the texture

of making that camp.



[ Train Whistle Blows,

Faint ]



If Leuchter had gone

to the archives,



if he had spent time

in the archives...



he would have found evidence

about ventilation systems,



evidence about ways

to introduce Zyklon B

into these buildings,



evidence of gas chambers,



undressing rooms.



But then, of course,

I don't think he knows German,



so it wouldn't have helped

very much.



[ Typing ]



  th of February,     



   after  .:   p.m.



Telegram to

Topfwerke Erfurt.



"Send immediately

ten gas detectors.



"Invoice us later.



Signed, Pollok,

S.S. Untersturmfuhrer."



" Auschwitz,   March,     .




Crematoria Two and Three.



"In accordance

with your suggestion,



"Cellar One

should be preheated.



" At the same time,

we would ask you to send

an additional quotation...



"for the air

extraction installation

in the undressing room.



S.S. Sturmundfuhrer Bishof. "



"   March,     .



"Three gas-tight doors...



"have been completed.



"We remind you

of an additional order...



"for the gas door

for Crematorium Three.



"This must be made

with a spy hole...



"with double

eight-millimeter glass.



"This order

is particularly urgent.




S.S. Major Bishof. "



There was a code.



The Germans

had a coded language.



You never talk

about extermination.



You always talk about

"special action"...



or "special treatment. "



There was

a very clear policy.



Words like " gas chamber"

would not be used.



The letter of Bishof

of the   th of January...



is a kind of exception

in this...



because it is a letter

which is written by a person who

manages the whole operation...



and who himself had established

a policy that you would never

use the words "gas chamber."




in the architecture office...



underlined the word





" gassing basement, "



and put on top a note--



"S.S. Untersturmfuhrer


exclamation mark. "



This means Kierschnecht

should be informed...



about this slip.



It doesn't occur after that.



The Nazis were the first

Holocaust deniers...



because they deny

to themselves...



that it's happening.



When my doubt

about the Holocaust

first came to me,



it took me

two and a half years.



I was like

a reforming alcoholic.



I was like one yo-yo...



back and forth--



believe, not believe;

maybe believe;

false belief;, true belief.



Fred was able

to purge his own mind...



within a matter of a week.



That's amazing to me.



So I said,

"Fred, what convinced you?"



He said, "Ernst,

it wasn't what I found.



"It's what I didn't find

that blew me away.



"It never, ever

occurred to me...



that a man could be convinced

by something that is not there. "



That's what Fred said.



[ Coughs ]



[ Leuchter ]

Before I went, I had no idea

of their purpose.



I just knew that

they were concentration camps.



I knew because

I was taught that they had

gas executions there.



But I subsequently

found out...



that the concentration camps

were, in effect,

slave labor camps.



It doesn't make much sense

that they would take an

entire force of slave labor...



and execute them.



You get into a situation

where you start thinking

about what happened,



you look at the facilities,

none of it seems to make

any sense.



If I were to take

any one of the facilities...



and attempt to conduct

a gas execution in them today,



and the facilities

haven't changed at all

since      or      



then what, in effect, I'd do is,

I'd kill myself and everybody

helping me do the execution.



I certainly don't have

a death wish,



and I don't think

the German S.S.

had a death wish.



If those facilities

could be made competent

for an execution,



I would be the one

that would be able

to do that.



I assure you that nobody could

do that better than I could.



[ Van Pelt ]

Leuchter has said

a number of times...



that the place

wasn't touched.



Just open your eyes.



You realize that

this is utter nonsense.



Virtually every brick,



which was located in     

in one place,



has been relocated

to another place.



Where are all the bricks

of the crematoria?



It's an interesting question.



There's some mountain of bricks

in Crematorium Five,



but for the rest

there are no bricks.



I think I know

where they are.



The real places to sample

are the farmhouses to the west

of the crematoria,



the farmhouses

where people are living,



children are playing,

dogs are barking.



These were rebuilt after the war

with bricks of the crematoria.



This site

has been turned inside-out.



What was inside the camp

is now outside the camp.



And inside,

you have a big void.



We're standing at

Krema II...



at one of

the alleged holes...



where the S.S. officers threw in

the hydrogen cyanide material.



As you can see,

it's a rough-cut opening...



with metal

reinforcing rods.



I'm about to descend through

a hole in the roof...



in the gas chamber

at Krema II...



to retrieve samples




below the structure.



I was saying to myself,

"Fred, do you really want

to go down in there?"



It came with the territory,

so I had to go down in the hole.









Can't actually

stand up in here.



Not sure if the whole thing

is gonna come down on me.



[ Man ]

Where are you?

Oh, there you are.




Got a beautiful

piece of a roof.



I guess you thought--

I guess you're getting me.



A sample from the roof...



that I am now bagging.



Okay? Now I will find

another sample...



of brick...



from the wall we were not able

to get at from the surface,

which is over here.



I am again

going out of view,



and I will see

what I can find.



[ Leuchter ]

It was cold. It was wet.



It was kind of spooky.



It must feel like

the same way somebody feels

when they go into a tomb...



that they've opened after

a couple of thousand years,



and you don't know

what you're gonna see.



I didn't know

if I was gonna see

somebody's skeleton or bones...



or whether or not

there were gonna

be animals in there.



That would not have been

a particularly good place...



to encounter

some kind of a wild animal.



I have a sample

of the concrete...



from the alleged pillar...



that carried

the hydrocyanic acid...



into the chamber.



It would be nice

if I could obtain

a floor sample,



which I will seek...

in the lowest spot.



[ Scraping ]

I am at floor level.



And the floor

is covered with water.



I will obtain

some of the material

from the bottom,



bottom of the--

the sediment

from the bottom...



which should contain

residual cyanate.



Okay, there not being

much more I can do down here,

I will ascend to the surface.



Aah !



[ Van Pelt ]

Okay, let's go

slightly back.



[ Audio Rewinding ]



So Krema Tomb II was

the most lethal building

at Auschwitz.



In the      square feet

of this one room,



more people lost their life

than in any other place

on this planet.



Five hundred thousand people

were killed.



If you would draw a map

of human suffering,



if you create the geography

of atrocity,



this would be

the absolute center.



Every year remains

of human beings are found.



Bones, teeth.



The earth doesn't rest.



[ Leuchter ]

What happened

in all of these facilities...



is undoubtedly a mystery.



Whether or not

these facilities

were used for gas execution--



That's not a mystery.

I don't believe they were.



Because in my best

engineering opinion,



I don't think

they could've been.



It's a tough job...



to execute several

hundred people at once.



We have a hard job

executing one man.



I think it would be easier

to shoot them or hang them.



I probably could do

a reasonably good job by

building a multiple gallows...



and hanging    people

at once.



I probably could execute

more people...



within a shorter time frame.



Why didn't they

just shoot them?



Bullets would've been cheaper

than doing this.



Why didn't they

just blow them up?



Why didn't they take them

down into a mine

and seal the mine off?



Maybe we're gonna find

an execution chamber

under Berlin...



with      electric chairs

lined up.



I don't know.



It just doesn't seem

to make any sense.



I had a couple

of heavy bags of samples,



which we mixed

with our dirty linen,



dirty underwear

and all sorts of things...



because we figured the customs

people would not be willing

to go through our dirty laundry.



In the event

we got caught,



we did have

a contingency plan.



I had maps of Austria,

Czechoslovakia and East Germany.



And we would have made

some kind of a ground flight

across one of those countries...



to either get to Austria

or to West Germany.



We would've just

essentially taken off...



and hope we made it

to a border before somebody

figured out what was going on.



They probably wouldn't

have chased me immediately...



because I would've,

from a practical standpoint,



just been a vandal

chiseling holes

in their wall.



I was never so relieved

when we passed through the

West German passport control.



Because at least

I hadn't chiseled...



at any of the West Germans'

national shrines.



All of the forensic samples

that I took were brought back

to the United States...



and sent to a lab

here in Massachusetts

that was highly recommended.



They were not told

what the samples were

or where they came from.



They were told

that they were materials...



that would be involved

in a court case...




to an industrial accident...



and they should be prepared

to testify...



and they should certify

all of the samples.



All of their tests

came back.



And they did

several types of tests...



to determine whether or not

there was any hydrogen cyanide.



They were negative.



These facilities

never saw any gas.



For virtually   -odd years

I believed unquestionably

that there were gas chambers...



at these

concentration camps.



When I found that there weren't,

my next question is,

what do I do about it?



I completed my report,

and I testified at the trial.



The judge would not accept

the report into evidence.



So what the judge did is,

he accepted the report

as an informational exhibit...



as opposed

to an evidentiary exhibit.



And every bit

of the information

in that report...



had to be testified

under oath into the record.



My publishing imprint

in England,

Focal Point Publications,



we published

The Leuchter Report.



I can't remember

where I first met him.



He's not the kind of person

who would strike you.



He's a mouse of a man.



He's also a man

who is totally honest

and totally innocent,



innocent in the sense

of being a simpleton.



He went into this

as a glorious adventure.



He was taken out of oblivion.

He was given this task

to perform.



He traveled abroad,

probably for the first time

in his life, to Poland.



He came back with these

earth-shattering results.



The big point.:



there is no significant

residue of cyanide

in the brickwork.



That's what converted me.



When I read that in the report

in the courtroom in Toronto,



I became

a hard-core disbeliever.



[ Zündel ]

On April        



Adolf Hitler's birthday,



Fred Leuchter, not knowing

he's gonna be delivering a

birthday present to the führer,



steps into

the witness box in Toronto.




reigns all around.



The prosecution

and the judge...



were in a visible

state of panic.



I could see

the facial muscles

working in the judge.



I could see the pale face

of the prosecutor.



This was history-making.

That was clear

to everybody present.



They cross-examined Fred.



Immediately, of course,

they zeroed in...



on his soft or inadequate

academic credentials

for what he was doing.



The judge made a decision

that could have been

very dangerous to us...



The judge made a decision

that could have been

very dangerous to us...



in that he said,

"The samples by themselves

are worthless,



unless the defense

can bring the man

who did the testing. "



[ Man ]

I went up to Toronto

on very short notice,



not knowing any

of the background at all

of what was going on.



They wanted somebody

from the laboratory to say,



"Yes, we analyzed these samples.

Yes, we produced this report

on the analysis."



And that's

what I was there to do.



I don't think

the Leuchter results

have any meaning.



There's nothing

in any of our data...



that says those surfaces

were exposed or not.



Even after I got off the stand,

I didn't know where

the samples came from.



I didn't know

which samples were which.



And it was only at lunch

that I found out really

what the case involved.



Hindsight being   -  



the test was not

the correct one to have

been used for the analysis.



He presented us

with rock samples...



anywhere from

the size of your thumb up to

half the size of your fist.



We broke 'em up

with a hammer...



so that we could get

a sub-sample,



placed it in a flask,



add concentrated

sulfuric acid.



And it undergoes

a reaction.



It produces

a red-colored solution.



It is the intensity

of this red color...



that we can relate

with cyanide concentration.



And you have to look

at what happens to cyanide...



when it reacts with a wall.



Where does it go?

How far does it go?




is a surface reaction.



It's probably

not going to penetrate

more than ten microns.



Human hair's

a hundred microns in diameter.



Crush this sample up.



I have just diluted

that sample...



ten thousand,

a hundred thousand times.



If you're gonna go look for it,

you're gonna look

on the surface only.



There's no reason

to go deep...



because it's not going

to be there.



Which was the exposed surface?

I didn't even have any idea.



That's like analyzing

paint on the wall.



By analyzing,

they timber this behind it.



If they go in

with blinders on,



they will see

what they want to see.



What was he really

trying to do?



What was he trying to prove?



[ Woman Reporter ]

The jury said

Ernst Zündel is guilty...



of publishing news

he knew to be false

about the Holocaust.



In spite of that,

when he emerged from

the courtroom this afternoon,



Zündel still maintained

the Holocaust was a hoax.



No, this is just one

more hurdle to overcome.



And I have always

looked upon boulders

in the path of my life...



not as stumbling blocks

but as stepping-stones.



[ Leuchter ]

On my return from Canada,



I went about

my work and business

as I normally did.



And I began to notice...



that not as many

prison officials

were talking with me.



Orders weren't coming in

as expected.



The wardens and commissioners

were receiving

very heavy pressure...



from Jewish groups.



[ Woman ]

There is no slippery slope

for Mr. Fred Leuchter.



The man...

is an anti-Semite.



[ Shapiro ] There are

hatemongers in this country,

and he's one of them.



He handed over

his entire life

and reputation...



to the cause

of spreading hatred.



He didn't stop.

He kept on going.



He could've gotten out

any time.



What kind of man is he?

And why is he doing this?



And what kind of reflection

is this upon our community?



[ Tabasky ]

To me, he looks like

he's almost under a spell,



and I think he is.



He's under his own spell.



He truly believed...



what he was doing

was right.



[ Leuchter ]

I testified in Canada

for two reasons.



First, the trial was

an issue of freedom of speech...



and freedom of belief.



As an American,

one who supports

the Bill of Rights,



I believe that Mr. Zündel

has the right to believe

and say what he chooses.



I have this right

in the United States.






Mr. Zündel was not on trial

for a misdemeanor.



This was a major felony.



He could've faced

up to    years in prison...



for printing a document

stating that there were

no gas chambers at Auschwitz.



I believe that any man,

no matter what he's done,



has a right

to a fair trial...



and the best

possible defense

that he can muster.



l, unfortunately, was

the only expert in the world

who could provide that defense.



There was no one else.



[ Shapiro ]

I don't think he's naive.



I think he was empowered

by being part of this group.



Who is this guy ?



The bottom line here is,

you got a guy who basically

made a deal with the devil.



[ Zündel ]

Fred Leuchter is a hero.



Not every generation

gets a George Washington

or a Thomas Jefferson.



Our generation's heroes

maybe are more humble.



[ Tabasky ]

Fred got involved in this

and wanted to play this game.



And I think he thought

it was a game at first.

I really believe he did.



How nice to fly to Canada,



to go to Poland,



get paid a lot of money...



and come back

and have a lot of attention...



brought to him.



I think he really dug it.



I think that

he really thought

that that was great.



I pity him.



[ Van Pelt ]

In April     



there was still opportunity

for Fred to redeem himself,



to apologize.



To apologize for having

gone down in that hole.



But he chose not

to consider the evidence...



of his own foolishness.



Holocaust denial

is a story about vanity.



It's a way...



to get in the limelight,

to be noticed,



to be someone.



Maybe to be loved.



I have a sympathy to Fred

who was lost in Auschwitz,

because I think he's lost.



But not anymore

with the Fred who appears

at these conferences.



You're ignored.

You're despised

by many people.



And then there is a home,

and the home is the Institute

for Historical Review.



You make new friends.



Go to one conference,

then you go to

the second one...



and a third and a fourth.



And it's nice to get up

and stand behind a lectern

and have people applaud.



They compare your logic

with that of any

university professor.



Maybe it's about choosing

the right friends.



Please welcome a man

whose work is a mighty blow

for historical understanding.



Mr. Fred Leuchter.

[ Applause ]



My paper is entitled,

The Leuchter Report,

the How and the Why.



In     --      was

a very informative and

likewise disturbing year for me.



I was appalled to learn

that much of what

I was taught in school...



about   th century history

and World War II...



was a myth,

if not a lie.



I was first amazed

then annoyed

and then aware...



that the myth of

the Holocaust was dead.



[ Shapiro ]

Fred Leuchter

put blinders on himself.



He sat through

all of those speeches and

neo-Nazi rallies in Europe...



as he heard Jews vilified.



Whether he belonged

to a group beforehand...



has no relevance.



He joined and he took part

for many, many years.



I think Fred Leuchter,

when he was called upon,



became one of them.



[ Leuchter ]

I did this, but because

of what I have seen,



I have a compelling urge

and perhaps a responsibility...



to countless generations

who come after me,



a responsibility

to the truth.



[ Man ]

Hear, hear !

[ Applause ]



I thank you,

ladies and gentlemen.



I hope I've lived up

to your expectations.



[ Applause ]

And I will entertain

any questions.



[ Applause Continues ]



[ Zündel ]

The Leuchter Report-- about

       circulated in Germany.



There have been




A Leuchter edition

appeared in Russian.



In Latvia, in Hungary,



in Spanish.



The Leuchter Report

is out there

in dozens of languages.



and, I would dare say,

in millions of copies.



We will not go down

in history...



as being a nation

of genocidal maniacs.



We will not.



We can,

with historical truth,



detoxify a poison planet.



Holocaust Survivors

and Friends...



has asked

the Massachusetts Board

of Registration of Engineers...



to investigate

whether Leuchter

is properly credentialed.



Last week the board's

chief investigator told us...



that Leuchter

is not certified as

an engineer in Massachusetts.



And if he is working

or soliciting business here,



he could be liable

for criminal charges.



[ Leuchter ]

I have no question

that it's a conspiracy.



They even pressured

the engineering board

here in Massachusetts...



into bringing

a criminal complaint

against me...



for practicing engineering

without being registered.



Less than ten percent

of the engineers in the state

are licensed or registered.



But I'm the only one

that was ever prosecuted for

practicing without a license.



Did Christ have a diploma

in Christianity?



Did Marx have a diploma

in Marxism?



Did Adolf Hitler

have a diploma

in national socialism?



No, they did not.



But they knew

one hell of a lot...



about their field.



[ Leuchter ]

I have a half of

a lethal injection machine...



which belongs

to the State of Delaware.



We had a contract to repair

the lethal injection machine...



and to repair their gallows

and write their protocol

for hanging.



I was told that

the deputy attorney general,

Fred Silverman,



would not allow me

to complete the contract.



A conference call

was set up...



between corrections officials

and the deputy

attorney general...



and several

other attorney generals

whom I had worked with...



in terms of the development

of the hanging procedure.



And Fred Silverman told me that

I would not be allowed to deal

with the State of Delaware...




I testified in Canada.



They did not pay me...



for the $     work

that I put into the repair

of the machine.



I lost all

of the contract work

for the gallows.



And the State

has effectively said,



"Take the half

of the machine

that you've got...



and stick it someplace."



I put an ad

in the Want Advertiser.



The second week

that the ad was running,

someone saw the ad.




that the instrument

shouldn't be sold...



because I was the one

that was selling it.




there was write-ups...



in both major

Boston newspapers...



and pressure was again

applied to the district

attorney's office...



and the attorney general's




to prosecute me

for selling the machine.



And it was necessary

for the attorney general's




to explain in the newspaper

that it is not illegal...



to sell a lethal injection

machine to anybody.



Delaware turned out

to be a major problem,

but I still have their machine.



And anybody who's interested in

buying half a lethal injection

machine can contact me,



and it's available

for the cost

of the repairs.



[ Carol ]

I went a lot of places that

I probably wouldn't have gone.



But basically,

it was a nightmare.



He had a job offer

from California.



He thought

I was going with him.



I told him that

he could give his speeches,

he could do whatever he wanted,



but I would not be there.



And I told him

I went to a lawyer.



And I explained to him that yes,

I could get a divorce and yes,

you have to leave here.



I don't want you here.



And he hemmed and hawed

and whatever, but he left,

like, a week later.



When he left,

he took his phone.



The other phone

was being shut off.



The gas and electric

was being shut off.

And that was how he left.



If I never saw him again,

that'd be fine.



[ Leuchter ]

The guy that brought me

out there didn't have any money.



He wound up

with everybody suing him

and all kinds of stuff.



So I said, "Well,

I'm not getting anywhere. "



I was locked out

of my hotel room three times.



It's kind of tough when they

take your car away and they

drop you off on the freeway.



You're looking around trying

to figure out how the hell

you get back to your apartment.



Then you find you got this

super-size doorknob on your knob

so you can't get the key in,



and all your clothes

and razor's inside.



I had my car taken away from me

while I was driving it

on the freeway.



I had another car taken away

in a garage.



These are rental cars

that had been assigned to me.



It's pretty tough when

you're out in the middle

of nowhere all by yourself.



[ Irving ]

He's been destroyed

as a human being.



He's had

his marriage destroyed.

He's had his life destroyed.



I frankly am surprised

he didn't go and commit suicide,

jump under a train.



He saw everything

he had built up in his own

quiet, humble way destroyed...



by these people

he had never met,

whom he had offended.



All he did was

take the bucket and spade

and go over to Auschwitz...



and come back

with the samples.



And that was an act

of criminal simplicity.



He had no idea

of what he was blundering into.



He wasn't putting

his name on the line

because he had no name.



He came from nowhere,

and he went back to nowhere.



[ Leuchter ]

Of course I'm not

an anti-Semite.



I have a lot of friends

that are Jewish.



I've lost Jewish friends, too,

because of what's happened.



I bear no ill will

to any Jews anyplace,



whether they're

in the United States

or abroad.



I bear a great deal of ill will

to those people that have come

after me,



those people who have

persecuted and prosecuted me.



But that's got nothing

to do with them being Jewish.



That only has to do

with the fact that

they've been interfering...



with my right to live, think,

breathe and earn a living.



As far as being

a revisionist--



At this point, I'm not

an official revisionist,



but I guess

I'm a reluctant revisionist.



If my belief that there

were no gas chambers...



at Auschwitz,

Birkenau and Majdanek...



makes me a revisionist,

then so be it.



They've expressed

their unquestioned intent

of destroying me...



simply because

I testified in Canada,



not because I have

any other affiliation with

any anti-Semitic organization,



not because I'm affiliated

with any Nazi or neo-Nazi




I have no work.

I haven't sold a piece of

equipment in almost three years.



And I have no idea

if this situation

is gonna change.



[ Man ]

Have you ever thought

that you might be wrong?



Or do you think that

you could make a mistake?

No, I'm past that.



When I attempted to turn

those facilities into

gas execution facilities...



and was unable to,



I made a decision

at that point

that I wasn't wrong.



And perhaps

that's why I did it.



At least

it cleared my mind.



So I know that

I left no stone unturned.



I did

everything possible...



to substantiate and prove the

existence of the gas chambers,

and I was unable to.






I actually had the opportunity

for the first time

to sit in the chair.



There's a legend

that goes with the chair...



relative to prison personnel

and their families.



There was, um,

a youngster,



much the same age as I was

when I sat in the chair,



whose father was a guard

at the institution,



who toured the institution

and who sat

in the electric chair.



Some ten or twelve years later,

he was executed

in that same chair...



for the commission of a murder

during an armed robbery.



And so the legend grew...



that prison officials

shouldn't allow their children

to sit in the electric chair.



I kind of sat in the chair

waiting for something to happen.



But some    years later,



I wound up making

execution equipment,



instead of being the person

that the execution equipment

was used on.



So, maybe the legend

got turned around,



and maybe we created

a new legend,



and some good came

out of it after all.


Special help by SergeiK