Carbon monoxide is a color and odorless tasteless gas. When carbon monoxide is breath into a persons lungs it makes them fall a sleep. This happens without them even knowing that there being poisoned. Carbon monoxide was developed in 1776 by a man named Lassonne. He did this by heating a mixture of charcoal and zinc oxide. This mixture proved to be a source of heat to the home and the industry. Today we mostly find that coal gas oil propene all give off carbon monoxide gas.
Carbon monoxide gas was used by the German Nazis party as a way to murder hundreds of thousands of jews. The gas vans were used on people that were retarded mantle or chronically ill and criminalist. These people were placed into vans that were all sealed up with no windows. After they were all in the Natizs would lock them in there and turn on the van the exhaust from the van ran through a hose were it lead into the back were the people are. When the people were being loaded they had no clue that this was going to happen they were told that they are going to a better facilities.
In the early stages of the war with the Soviet Union the Einsatzgruppen or know as the “mobile killing squads.” the first to find such a method was arthur Nebe, the commander of the Eninsatzgruppen B. His men had been receiving mantle anguish by doing all the kill with guns. They also seemed to have a problem killing young children and woman. That’s when the started to look for an alternative way to kill them. The first gas vans were ready in September 1941. They were tasted out on soviet prisoners of war. The second test was attend by two chemists by the names of Dr. Walter Hees and Dr. Theodor Frierich Leidig. Leidig said the following about the gassing at the post war trial in West Germany : ” the van was opened some bodies fell out, others were removed by prisoners. As our chemists had predicted, the bodies had the pinkish tinge typical of victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Fifteen gas vans were in operation in German occupied Soviet territory that’s were the Einsatzgruppen put them. Two vans were for the use in Latvia and Estonia and all the areas between those two and the eastern war front.
Four vans used in Beorussia these vans were used for men women children that had been hiding or trying to escape from Aktionen. By the fall of 1942 five to six thousand people had been killed most of them were jews. After the body were taking out of the vans the were burnt usually by other jews. Gas vans in Minsk were used to kill the jews that were being transported from the Reich and the rotectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
Gas chambers was the next way used to kill jews. The first recorded instance of mass murder by using gas chambers was in February 1942. Following several trial gassing with carbon monoxide cylinders and exhaust gas it latter was chosen as the better alternative since it was a lot cheaper an did not really require any special supplies. The very next month regular killings commenced at Belzec by wooden barrack. Sobibor was the next one in May but at this one the building were made of brick not wood. The third and last of the Aktion Reinhard extermination camps was in Trebinka these chambers were sealed heretically all the other ones where not sealed like this.
The summer and fall of 1942 the capacity of the extermination camps was increased by enlarging the existing gas chambers and by adding new ones. In the ten chambers of Treblinka twenty-five hundred people could be put to death at one time. This gassing of this size took about 1 hour to kill everybody. The Jews were forced to enter the chamber with there arms in the air this was so that they could fit more Jews and the babies were usually just thrown on top. By cramming as many people as they could into these chamber made the temperature warmer that intern makes the victims suffocated faster. All the chambers were designed to look like showers rooms. The Nazis even took it a step further by planting flower and creating what seemed to be a pleasant environment this was done to fool the Jews.
The search for more efficient means of extermination the Nazis experimented with other forms of poison gas and also with electrocution. They latter proved impractical gassing with Zyklon B were made at the main camps of Auschwitz they used soviet prisoner of the war as preparation of the mass murdering of Jews. Zyklon B proved to be more superior then the diesel gassing. Zyklon B is the commercial name hydrogen cyanide. Zyklon B was in the shape of small balls and as soon as it was exposed to the air it turned into this lethal gas. Any one that was exposed to it would die in a matter of a few minutes. The weather even played a roll in this gassing to if it were worm the gassing would take twenty to thirty minutes.According to Hoss “in all the years, I knew not of a single case where anyone came of the chambers alive”.
The existing gassing facilities at Auschwitsz still could not possibly meet the requirements and they were still repeatedly enlarging. After the inspection of the Auschwitz-Birkenau facilities in the summer of 1942 by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler the decision was taken to construct an updated and more efficient crematoria. Which were connected to the gas chambers in Birkenau. They were built by spring of 1943. These units came into operation between March 22 and June 28 of that year. The use of the new chambers and crematoria considerable speeded up the killing processing Auschwitz. This went on till the war ended.