THE STRANGE LOGIC OF RICHARD GREEN
Dr Richard Green, the Holocaust chemist, has his own Wikipedia section . His anti-Rudolf polemics on the web include The Chemistry of Auschwitz
 Leuchter, Rudolf and the Iron Blues
 and Rudolf, Rhetoric and Reduction
. We'll here allude to these as CA, LR and RR, respectively. In these texts, weak chemical arguments alternate with strong invective. The arguments are saturated with venom, as are the delousing-chamber walls of Birkenau with cyanide. He scoffs at the practical labour and conclusions of others, himself a mere armchair theorist.
A lot of his argument is about the Iron Blue, so let's remind ourselves with a quote from Rudolf:
The walls of the delousing buildings are saturated through and through with cyanide compounds, of which only a part becomes visible as iron blue, predominantly in damp areas and at the surfaces due to accumulation processes .
In addition there are very small traces of cyanide not bound to iron, mainly calcium cyanide, Ca(CN)2, water-soluble. The Polish 1991 study looked at this, and Dr Green is concerned to extol this survey, dismissing the others.The Burden of Proof
The terminology used in Green's essay can be confusing. Thus, we find statements like: 'The burden of proof that Prussian blue must have formed under the conditions present in the gas chambers is on the deniers' [LR]. and again: 'In order for Leuchter or Rudolf to demonstrate the significance of their findings, it is necessary for them to prove the necessity of Prussian blue formation under the conditions that the homicidal gas chambers were operated. [LR]' Clearly, (a) Leuchter and Rudolf don't believe in the existence of any such homicidal gas chambers, and (b) no Prussian blue ever formed in such alleged chambers. Let's try one more time to follow Dr Green, here:
Yet the burden of proof here lies with the deniers. They claim to prove that gassings could not have occurred in the gas chambers. To make such an argument, they need to demonstrate that their proposed mechanism of Prussian blue formation must be operative in the gas chambers under the precise conditions under which they were operated. Their task is daunting. [LR]
We ('the deniers') are affirming the simple fact that Prussian Blue never
appears in the AHGCs - which Dr Green here calls 'the gas chambers' - for the simple reason that cyanide wasn't used in them; whereas, it is present in the DC walls. We are not obliged to explain any 'proposed mechanism' whereby this blue complex forms ; it suffices to point out that it does
form, it is
there, is permanent
, and those parts of wall having it, contain high iron and cyanide levels.
Jean Pressac may have been correct, that the deep blue only matured slowly, appearing there after the War . Mother Nature was thus pointing out something, which turned out to be vitally relevant. Green correctly states, that 'Yet the burden of proof here lies with the deniers. They claim to prove that gassings could not have occurred in the gas chambers. [LR]'
We do, indeed: chemical
proof, Dr Green. One needs to add a caveat that his terminology can mislead: Pressac's hard-to-find magnum opus showed diagrams of rooms labelled 'gas chambers' (gaskammers
) that were clearly the delousing chambers and that is not Dr Green's meaning.
Where is the Prussian Blue located? Dr Green tells his readers, that 'Some of the delousing chambers exhibit blue-staining, whereas the homicidal gas chambers do not,' [CA, V] whereas the truth is, that all
of the DC walls exhibit blue-staining while none
of the AHGCs do so. The sole
exceptions here are (a) the AHGC at Majdanek which has blue walls, easily explained by the fact that what is shown there was, in reality, a delousing gas chamber , and (b) the Dachau DC walls have no blue pigment, because their walls were coated with paint that was impermeable to gas and water. 
He doesn't want conclusions to be drawn from the blue hue, nor indeed from Leuchter and Rudolf's measurement of their ultra-high iron cyanide levels:
The bulk of the cyanides detected by Leuchter and Rudolf were in the form of Prussian blue and/or related compounds. That there is a discrepancy between the amount of Prussian blue between some of the delousing facilities and some of the homicidal facilities is clear from inspection of the prominent blue staining on some of the delousing chambers (and the chemical work of Leuchter and Rudolf, even if honestly conducted, shows no more than is evident from inspection). The important question is whether such staining is an accurate marker for exposure to HCN. Must it always be present in buildings exposed to HCN? ... These measurements (of iron cyanide) are essentially meaningless. The information content is not more than the fact that some of the delousing chambers have blue-staining and the homicidal chambers do not. [RR]
Dr Green seeks to persuade his readers, that the contrast between the DC walls glowing with deep blue and the AHGCs which have absolutely none, is merely 'a discrepancy between the amount of Prussian blue between some of the delousing facilities and some of the homicidal facilities.' Sophistry can be carried no further! The Prussian blue has appeared, he explains, for complicated reasons, but one cannot say that it is caused by the cyanide gas of half a century ago. He then dreams up the notion that Leuchter and Rudolf measured cyanides 'in the form of Prussian blue and/or related compounds' - whereas what they measured was total cyanide
. The conclusion he draws from all this, is that the Polish approach has the advantage, because it avoided the Prussian Blue issue:
Cyanide residues, not in the form of Prussian blue are far more susceptible to weathering away. The IFRC researchers experimented with exposing building materials to HCN and found that the cyanides were easily removed with exposure to water. The samples that they found containing cyanides from the Kremas were carefully taken from places in the chambers that were as sheltered from the elements as possible. Leuchter and Rudolf, collecting their samples illegally, could not afford that luxury. [CA,V]
We agree that the 'cyanide residues not in the form of Prussian blue' are more susceptible to 'weathering away', which could be why Ball, Leuchter and Rudolf didn't measure them.Blue Church Walls
The connection between fumigation with Prussic acid for de-lousing treatment and the development of Prussian blue, has been demonstrated by Rudolf's survey of the latter forming in an old church (a Protestant church of Wiesenfeld) after it received this treatment. A report found that:
Several months after the building was opened to the public, small ink-blue spots appeared at various places on the newly plastered surfaces. Little attention was paid to them at first; it was assumed that they were ink stains or the like. But the spots grew larger, and in some parts of the building discolored patches up to about a square meter (10 sq.ft.) in size developed. Even after one-and-a-half years new blue discolorations still formed in some places. No-one could remove the blue and so all of the plaster had to be removed. 
Here Dr Green complains 'The fact that blue staining occurred in this church is not sufficient to demonstrate that the same mechanism is responsible for the blue staining in the delousing chambers.' Isn't it? What more does he want?  Let's listen carefully:
buildings that were exposed to HCN but did not form Prussian blue stains (as Gauss's fumigation experts attest is the normal state of affairs). A building in which Prussian blue formed would have much higher levels of detectable total cyanides than a building in which Prussian blue did not form. We must therefore conclude that Prussian blue is not a good marker for exposure to hydrogen cyanide. Because of the fact that Prussian blue is much less susceptible to weather, a building that has Prussian blue stains will have a total cyanide content much greater than one in which Prussian blue did not form. Because of these facts, we must conclude that judging exposure to cyanide by means of the total cyanide content is inappropriate. A fair marker for exposure to hydrogen cyanide is to measure the remnant cyanide content when iron compounds are excluded. Such an experiment was actually performed by the Institute for Forensic Research in Cracow.? [RR]
Did you follow that? He is endeavouring to avoid the plain-as-day conclusion that massive cyanide gas infusions caused walls to turn a deep blue due to the formation of iron cyanide, which endure for half a century! He is irked by the simple force of the argument. This effect does not always happen, to be sure, and some churches have not turned blue after de-bugging with cyanide gas (a procedure still used today in Germany).
After the human gassings had taken place the walls were washed down, Dr Green explains, and this would have dissolved out all of the cyanide: this 'may actually be the explanation for the presence of Prussian blue in the delousing chambers yet its absence in the homicidal chambers.'[LR] This is an argument which might work better in reverse: if the walls were kept damp by washing them down, this would facilitate their absorption of cyanide, as compared to the dry walls of the DCs. Control samples
The polish survey (IFRC), he claims, found raised cyanide in the AHGCs as compared to 'control' samples, but not much of a difference between DC & AHGC walls:
The IFRC found traces of cyanide at levels significantly above background in all 5 Kremas as well as bunker 11. They also measured concentrations in bath-house B1-A in Birkenau, which was used for delousing prisoners' clothing ... So it is true that the highest measurements were higher in fumigation chambers ... but not by much [CA].
The DC wall values ('bathhouse B1-A in Birkenau') were, as we have seen, three times
higher than the AHGC walls, using the Polish approach . Measuring the iron cyanide gives at least a thousandfold difference, as three surveys have shown, whereas if, for some obscure reason, Dr Green does not want to use this, then measuring only the non-iron bonded cyanide, will give him a factor of three. Comments about 'not much' difference are here totally inadequate. Further, if he is keen on measuring soluble cyanides, as opposed to the insoluble iron cyanide complexes, can he please tell us why he believes that these are a memory of what happened sixty years ago? The iron cyanide presence is permanent - despite experts at the Zundel and Irving trials trying to scoff at Leuchter's work in this respect - but, what reason is there to assume that parts per billion of soluble cyanide hold any such memory? Scientific method should here involve starting off with the null hypothesis, that these extremely low levels of soluble cyanide in the walls merely reflect ambient conditions, eg atmospheric nitrogen somehow combining with carbon or whatever. One then has to refute this, if one is to establish that these are a record of something done to the walls in the past. Merely to say that the sample sites were 'sheltered from the elements' may not here be adequate.
Green is prone to stating that the Polish team 'took several samples from Bunker 11, and Kremas I-V. They found levels of cyanide significantly higher than background levels in all of these sites of homicidal gassing.' A concentration of 0.09 parts per million is not significantly higher than background, which as I've argued earlier the Polish team did not well ascertain (they just put it as zero parts per billion). 'Do the homicidal gas chambers contain more cyanide compounds than an ordinary barracks? The answer is yes as discussed below' [CA, III]. A more truthful answer here would be that, if the Leuchter and Rudolf data-sets are combined, they give a mean AHGC wall cyanide level somewhat elevated with respect to control levels ('ordinary barracks'), however this difference lacks statistical significance (see above, April 2nd).
As a general comment, the scientific method is used if one is not sure about an answer, and wish to be guided, by putting questions to Nature. The experiment thereby aims to test Nature, and find an answer. Dr Green, in contrast, always appears as being certain about his answers, and what he wants to believe. His essays aim to show the moral depravity of those who disagree with him, owing to their wilful pursuit of Untruth. This seems to me more a theological goal, whereby Truth is revealed (and Green quotes some not-to-be-doubted sources of What Really Happened) and an apologist like him is there to damn and dismiss doubters. If we turn to the Nizkor website (the official Polish Holocaust info site) section on Leuchter , it complains that, by taking his samples, Leuchter committed sacrilege
, that he profaned and violated
the sanctity of this site by his act of 'desecration.' Dr Green here appears as rather defending the sacred legend. Unperturbed, it must be our business to ensure that technical-scientific considerations are applied to this debate, and become its fulcrum, and not be derailed by such endeavours to ethically-damn persons of incorrect opinion.
This powerful debate, of interest to the entire human race, has never been published in any English-language chemistry journal!
2. 1998 www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/
3. 1998 www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/blue/
, also http://veritas3.holocaust-history.org/a ... stry/blue/
4. By Green & J McCarthy, 2000: www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/che ... e-science/
5. Dissecting the Holocaust
2003 p.366, www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndgcger.html
6. Iron in the wall mortar is present in its trivalent form, whereas the Iron blue is present in both di- and tri- valent forms. Some form of reducing agent is therefore necessary to obtain the bi-valent iron, and Green and Rudolf debate this.
7. Truth Prevails: Demolishing Holocaust Denial
1990, Ed S. Shapiro, p.38
8. Thanks to F.P. Berg for this info. Jean Pressac (in Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the Gas Chambers
, 1989, p.555) commented likewise upon this Majdanek DC, that its red-ochre bricks were stained dark blue because this 'gas chamber' had been a delousing installation; Green denied this (C of A), with an argument that solely
involved scoffing at the 'deniers:' 'Happy to be logically inconsistent as long as they can spread a bit of confusion'.
9. The Rudolf Report
11. Iron Blue used to appear as a by-product of city gas or 'coke gas' in Germany. It was washed with iron peroxide in order that the cyanide in would be eliminated. Iron Blue was the end-product of this, so there is Iron Blue around old German city gas works. (The Rudolf Report
p.179) It is regarded as non-polluting because of its great stability.
: I showed that the mean cyanide levels of the Polish study were, DC wall mean 0.27 ppm (Birkenau Bath-House Camp B1-A) compared to 0.09 ppm for 5 AHGCs, that's a big difference.