No gas chambers in Nazi Third Reich: Gudenus

8th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 June 2005, VIENNA - There were no gas chambers in the Nazi Third Reich, said John Gudenus, a far-right member of the Austrian parliament, on Wednesday.

8 June 2005

VIENNA - There were no gas chambers in the Nazi Third Reich, said John Gudenus, a far-right member of the Austrian parliament, on Wednesday.

They were only in Poland, said Gudenus, adding "That's what it says in the schoolbooks."

Gudenus is already under fire for having cast doubt on the existence of Nazi gas chambers. "I never said I doubted the existence of gas chambers in principle", the MP said in an interview in the newspaper Der Standard.

The state prosecution recently decided not to start proceedings against Gudenus under the law against Nazi revivalism for merely having personal doubts.

There has been a row for months about statements by Gudenus and a fellow member of the second chamber of the Austrian parliament about the Nazi era. Siegfried Kampl, who is due to become the chamber's president on 1 July, said there had been "persecution of Nazis" in Austria after World War Two.

All parties are trying to block Kampl becoming president, and want to change the constitution to stop him.

Shortly after Kampl's remarks, Gudenus cast doubt on the existence of gas chambers, but did not yet go so far as to deny that there had been any in the Third Reich.

Israeli ambassador Dan Ashbel said that the Austrian public and government must deal with this problem seriously.

Observers point out that Gudenus' claim is historically wrong. The Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was in Silesia in Poland, an area annexed by Nazi Germany. In Austria too, which was part of the Third Reich, there were gas chambers at the concentration camp of Mauthausen, and at Hartheim.

DPA

Subject: German news

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